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Casey Holds Hearing on Supporting People with Disabilities in the Workforce

Hearing highlighted success of competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities in Pennsylvania and across the country

At hearing, Casey touted legislation to phase out subminimum wage for people with disabilities

Watch full hearing video here

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA) held a hearing entitled, “All Means All: Empowering People with Disabilities to Thrive in Careers and the Workplace.” The hearing examined effective strategies for hiring and retaining people with disabilities, with a particular focus on the transition of businesses away from a subminimum wage model and ensuring fair pay for workers with disabilities.

During the hearing, Chairman Casey touted his Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (TCIEA), a bipartisan bill to phase out the subminimum wage for people with disabilities. The TCIEA would end this discriminatory practice and support employers transitioning to paying competitive, fair wages to people with disabilities. At the hearing, Casey released a pamphlet that shows how Pennsylvanians with disabilities have already benefitted from the transition to competitive integrated employment.

Today’s hearing highlighted the successes of businesses that pay people with disabilities a fair wage and allow them to work alongside their peers without disabilities,” said Chairman Casey. “It’s shameful that in some places, people with disabilities are still being paid a subminimum wage. We have to phase out this discriminatory practice and provide people with disabilities the opportunity to work and advance in their jobs.”

Senator Casey invited Erin Willman, the Founder and CEO of White Cane Coffee Company in Warren, PA, to testify at the hearing. Erin has been blind since she was 15 years old. Erin testified, “The rhetoric that people don’t want to work anymore is simply untrue. People want to work, they just want to be treated and paid what they deserve. I have always said that if you change one life you change the world. By passing the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act you will be changing countless lives.”

Watch the full hearing here.