Our daughter Maggie, who is 32 years old and intellectually disabled, participates in Easter Seals programs on each weekday. Easter Seals provides a safe, secure, and loving environment for Maggie and other participants in this program. Each weekday, Maggie visits Easter Seals and Easter Seals sends Maggie into the community to provide volunteer services at nearby churches or take field trips into the community for tours and other entertaining activities. Maggie is not very independent and she is unable to communicate; she needs supervision. As caretakers for Maggie, my wife and I appreciate the relief that is provided to us through the Easter Seals programs. Our "compensation" is an intangible, i.e., the joy that is associated with the freedom to pursue our activities during the day without the need to stay with Maggie. The current movement to classify "inadequate compensation" and "institutional" settings as inappropriate for people with intellectual disabilities is absurd. The zealots behind this movement have not, obviously, spent much time with people with disabilities. It would be ludicrous to repeal Section 14-C, which permits employers to pay individuals with disabilities a specialized wage based on their ability to perform the job. If this Section were repealed, it would have a deleterious impact upon caregivers and the intellectually disabled. Please vote "no" to repeal. Tom C.
Idea No. 243