FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Down Syndrome Society endorses the introduction of the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act
New York, NY (April 9, 2021) – The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) endorses the introduction of the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (H.R. 2373) by Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (WA-05) on April 5, 2021. As the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome, NDSS fully supports phasing out Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 which would eliminate subminimum wages for people with disabilities.
"Down syndrome doesn’t hold us back, it’s old, antiquated laws that do,” said Kayla McKeon, manager of grassroots advocacy at NDSS and the first registered lobbyist with Down syndrome, “we also want the same pay and benefits as everyone else because we are like everyone.”
Phasing out subminimum wages will pave the way for workplace and income equity for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities. The Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (HR2373) establishes a grant program and a timeline to successfully transition out of the 14(c) certificate model. This will give people with disabilities access to work and training environments that will allow them to acquire meaningful skills and better employment opportunities while maintaining access to services.
NDSS has long advocated for the phase out of subminimum wages on the federal, state and local levels by collaborating with policy makers, other disability organizations and grassroots advocates at every step. Through its programs, NDSS promotes access to competitive integrated employment for all people with Down syndrome who seek it. By amplifying the voice of the Down syndrome community on this civil rights issue, NDSS will continue to advocate until people with Down syndrome and other disabilities have truly obtained wage equity.
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations and become valued members of welcoming communities. Founded in 1979, NDSS supports and advocates for the Down syndrome community by focusing on three key areas of programming: Resources & Support, Policy & Advocacy and Community Engagement. Within these focus areas NDSS engages in various activities, events and programs such as the National Advocacy & Policy Center, which seeks to create systemic change through engaged advocacy; the National Buddy Walk® Program, which honors and celebrates individuals with Down syndrome in local communities across the world, and other initiatives that provide support, informational resources and community engagement opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome and those who support them. Visit www.ndss.org for more information about NDSS.