NCRA is proud to report that a delegation of NCRA members including Mark Beard, Kristy Brinson, Judy Gustafson, Phil Protz, Jaimie Sechrist and Vickie Winters attended the 2019 Disability Employment Summit hosted by the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA) in Alexandria, Virginia. The summit opened with presentations and updates from representatives of NRA, officials of various federal departments including Education and Labor among others. The highlight of our summit experience was our visits to our North Carolina representatives and senators. During the visits members advocated for support of key pieces of legislation that have implications for persons with disabilities not only in North Carolina but across the United States.
Visits were made to:
Senator Thom Tillis with special thanks to Andrew Nam
Senator Richard Burr with special thanks to Chris Toppings, Legislative Director
Congressman George Holding (2nd District) with special thanks to Sarah Gilbert, Legislative Assistant
Congressman David Price (4th District) with special thanks to Sean K. Maxwell, Legislative Director
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (5th District) with special thanks to David Voorman, Legislative Assistant & Brad Thomas, Senior Education Policy Advisor
Congressman Mark Walker (6th District) with special thanks to Sruthi Prabhu, Legislative Assistant
Congressman David Rouzer (7th District)
Congressman Richard Hudson (8th District) with special thanks to Sophia Steele, Legislative Assistant
Congressman Patrick McHenry (10th District) with special thanks to Chris Worrell, Legislative Assistant
Congressman Mark Meadows (11th District)
Congresswoman Alma Adams (12th District) with special thanks to Kichelle Webster
Congressman Ted Budd (13th District) with special thanks to Alex Vargo, Legislative Director
Another bill designed to phase out subminimum wage payments and also provide states with much needed funding to support individuals with disabilities in the transition to competitive integrated employment.
Would increase the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to $5,000 from the current $2500; the Disability Access Expenditure Tax Credit from $5000 to $10000 and the Architectural and Transportation Barrier Tax Credit from $15000 to $30000.
Additionally, NCRA members advocated for amending the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to restore the provision requiring rehabilitation counselors to have master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or a similar field. This is to ensure that states maintain the highest level of professionalism in the provision of services to individuals with disabilities.
Finally, NCRA communicated to all representative and senators a desire to not open the WIOA regulatory definitions to revise the definition of competitive, integrated employment. Our position is that changing definitions “mid-stream” would only lead to confusion. Any changes should be considered when the Act is reauthorized.
During the visit members also had the opportunity to provide updates on NC DVRS and its sister agencies. We were pleased to share the results of our past fiscal year with regard to client services and the collaboration between DVRS, DSB and NCATP that produced over 5,000 successful outcomes for consumers of vocational rehabilitation services in North Carolina for FY 2018.