This PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) alert was excerpted from the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition E-News, which can be found at http://www.ncset.org/enews/.
PACER Legislative Alert – Supporting Youth With Disabilities
Congress is considering changes to the Workforce Investment Act and the federal Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program that assists youth and adults with disabilities to get the education and training they need to obtain and retain a job. While Congress is trying to strengthen the VR services that students with disabilities would receive as they transition out of high school, some possible changes would hurt families of youth with disabilities. PACER is asking families and others to call their representatives to make the following points critical to families and youth:
(1) Oppose moving the Vocational Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology programs out of the Department of Education (the Senate version of this legislation seeks to move Vocational Rehabilitation to the Department of Labor and the Assistive Technology program to the Department of Health and Human Services, but separating these programs and moving them out of the Department of Education would disconnect them from a culture valuing parental involvement and the other programs that support students with disabilities, and such a move would damage the strong family connections and important services provided to youth and adults with disabilities by providing such services together in Department of Education);
(2) Strengthen competitive employment awareness provisions (ensuring that young adults with disabilities transitioning from high school to employment are aware that jobs which pay the minimum wage and higher are available is an important aspect of providing individuals the opportunity to reach their potential, and the bill could be strengthened by ensuring that there are no exceptions to making sure young adults are made aware of the possibility of working in a competitive workplace, in addition to the non-competitive, often less than minimum wage, work possibilities).
The phone numbers of Congressional Representatives can be found at the website.