Autism Society of America applauds the introduction of the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act

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January 31, 2019, Bethesda, MD — The Autism Society of America applauds Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) for their leadership regarding the introduction of the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act. This bill is designed to strengthen the disability employment delivery systems throughout the country. The bill authorizes funding to states to strengthen its infrastructure to be able to provide real jobs with real wages in the community for individuals with autism, developmental and other disabilities.

Specifically, the bill includes a six-year phase-out of subminimum wage certificates. Two grant programs are authorized to support states to help build capacity to provide competitive integrated employment. The bill also creates a technical assistance center to support all state entities to transform the system and to disseminate best practices and lessons learned on the transition from subminimum wage to competitive employment.

“Individuals with disabilities are capable and hard-working employees,” said Scott Badesch, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America. “Most people with autism want to work and prefer to have jobs in the community. Like anyone else, they deserve competitive pay for the work they complete.

“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) includes competitive and integrated employment as a priority, supporting the phase-out of non-integrated workshops,” added Kim Musheno, Vice President of Public Policy. “Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act allows employers to seek certificates allowing them to underpay employees with disabilities. The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act will support states to comply with current laws and regulations and help people with autism become more economically self-sufficient.”

The Autism Society of America, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots organization dedicated to helping people with autism and their families, pledges its support to help to move this bill move through this Congress.

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