NDSS supports the following federal legislation that aims to improve employment opportunities for people with Down syndrome.
TRANSFORMATION TO COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT ACT (H.R. 873/ S. 260)
NDSS supports the passage of the Transition to Competitive Employment Act (H.R. 873/ S. 260). This legislation will help pave the way for equality in the workplace for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities, many of who work in settings that fail to prepare them for integrated employment in the mainstream economy. By phasing out the special wage certificates, this legislation will give people with disabilities access to the work and training environments that will allow them to acquire meaningful skills and better employment opportunities.
The phase-out period includes a systematic approach to expand capacity for competitive integrated employment, particularly for people transitioning out of sheltered workshops. Specifically, the bill authorizes $300 million for two grant programs supporting competitive, integrated employment and a technical assistance center. One grant program will help states transition the business models of 14(c) certificate holders. The second will help current 14(c) certificate holders located in states that do not apply for the state grants to transition their business models. Technical assistance center will support all entities phasing out 14(c) to disseminate best practices and lessons learned on the transition from subminimum wage to competitive employment.