We have a crisis at the National Council on Disability, which is the independent federal agency charged with advising the federal government on disability issues. U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has decided to nominate a candidate for the Council whose work in the disability world harms the social progress of people with disabilities.
Robert “Bob” Brown is currently the Foundation President of Opportunity Village, Nevada’s largest habilitation organization providing services to people with intellectual and related disabilities. He was also a coach for the Special Olympics and served on the Board of the Special Olympics of Nevada. Bob Brown is currently a member of ACCSES, which represents more than 1,200 disability service providers across the country as the Voice of Disability Service Providers. Bob Brown also pays his workers with disabilities less than minimum wage.
We at Access Living, in solidarity with our national umbrella organization the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), need YOU to call Senator Reid’s office and ask him to withdraw the nomination of Bob Brown to the National Council on Disability. Details follow in the action alert from NCIL shared below my signature.
Director of Advocacy, Access Living
Action Alert: Tell Senator Reid to Withdraw the Nomination of Robert Brown to the National Council on Disability!
We need you to tell Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) that we have a problem with his decision to nominate Mr. Robert Brown of Nevada to the National Council on Disability (NCD).
NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) transitions NCD from 15 members appointed by the President to nine members. The President shall appoint five members with the other four members appointed by Congress, two from the House and two from the Senate leaderships.
Senator Reid has chosen Mr. Robert Brown, a man who does not support the ADA Guiding Principles of equal opportunity, full inclusion, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.
Mr. Brown has publicly stated in an editorial in the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Some utopian academics would like to eliminate Section 14(c). They believe people with severe disabilities are being unfairly exploited and that all workers should be paid at least the minimum wage. On the surface, this position seems reasonable. Upon rational examination, it is nonsense.” Read the editorial.
The NCD has proactively worked on a phase-out plan to end Section 14(c) and subminimum wage practices. NCIL has been a leader in the dismantling of segregated living as well as segregated employment. As the lead disability rights organization that assisted in crafting the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, NCIL took a strong position and supported the Section 511 provision. This provision works to end the use of subminimum wage employment for people with disabilities. WIOA also provided a legislative definition for Competitive Integrated Employment and made Customized Employment a part of federal statute within the Rehabilitation Act. None of these things are supported by Mr. Robert Brown of Nevada!
We need to send letters telling Senator Reid that his choice is offensive and against everything the disability community and the Independent Living Movement stand for.
Please use our sample letter , fill in your organization’s information, and send it to Senator Reid this week.
• FAX your letter to: 202-224-7327
• To email your letter, go to www.reid.senate.gov and click the envelope at the bottom of the page.
Stay tuned for further information.