Awhile ago I spoke at a SHRM conference that Shirley Martinez attended, I believe the year before. She remembered me and emailed asking if I would come to Colorado and speak to a forum of employers. She had quite the busy two days for me between Monday and Tuesday.
She sent my colleague Nicole the agenda of what we were doing for the next few days. Shirley kept me on my toes. She had me at her class at the Colorado Springs Utility. I didn’t know I was going to be presenting 3 times Monday. I also presented at a Pikes Peak Community College class and at a communications class. I thought the presentations went very well. That day I also did a podcast with Podcast Rocky ADA. Monday was a full day of fun. After we finished a busy day Nicole and I had the day to ourselves so went up to the Garden of the Gods. The views were spectacular to look at.
Tuesday was still a busy day not as hectic as Monday thankfully. I keynoted at the employee forum where I talked about my personal story, telling them that individuals like me with Down Syndrome want to find work and be valued members in the community. We are assets to the companies that want to hire us. We are more alike than different. People that are Differently Abled are the same as everyone else and we want to get paid like everyone else In my presentation I also talked about ending Law Syndrome and the laws behind them such as subminimum wage and other laws that pertain to us today. In this particular bill some employers are given a special wage certificate known as 14C allowing them to pay under minimum wage. Employees that have disabilities are still getting paid under subminimum wage earning 5 cents. This isn’t fair, it is is an 80 year old law that we want to phase out in the next 6 years. After speaking and listening to other speakers and panel discussions. Nicole and I had the rest of the day to ourselves.
We like being tourists so we took a tour of the Cave of the Winds. It was so cool to be able to travel for work and be able to explore the sites. It was such a great trip.