All posts by Stephanie

More Choices: Let Your Voice Be Heard

We’ve talked about sub-minimum wages and the debate surrounding so called “sheltered workshops” several times. We settled on a position that acknowledges the needs of adults with Down syndrome and their caregivers:

More Choices

The good news is that there is a new online information gathering tool sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.

It’s called the Section 14(c) National Online Dialogue.

The website includes basic information about the rule that allows some employers to pay sum-minimum wages.

Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act

Since 1938, Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act has authorized employers, after receiving a certificate from WHD, to pay wages that are less than the Federal minimum wage to workers who have disabilities for the work being performed.

Employers must have an authorizing certificate from the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor and pay is based on individual productivity.

The site is open to all stakeholders including “individuals with disabilities, their families, providers, disability organizations, employers, researchers, and other(s).

“The goal of this online dialogue is to capture perspectives about Section 14(c) based on individual input from those “on the ground.”

Once you have registered you can give feedback in one or all of the three topics.

  • Use of Section 14(c) certificates and observed trends
  • Experiences transitioning from the use of Section 14(c) certificates
  • Vision for the future of work and workplaces; the landscape over the next five to ten years

We hope all families who have experience with this type of employment will step up and let their voices be heard about the benefit of having more choices when it comes to employment.

Visit the online dialog at

The site opened Monday, May 20th. We’d love to hear about your experience with the site!

#MoreChoices #UseYourVoice #BeHeard


I Can Be a Father (With Down Syndrome)

Has your son who’s 5’ 4” (or shorter) told you that he’s going to be an NBA player? Has your beautiful daughter who has weak ankles and knees spoken to you about her dream of becoming a prima ballerina? Does your son who has absolutely NO rhythm and can’t carry a tune in a bucket proclaimed himself to be a bona fide rock star?

That last one is mine. My son has identified himself as a rock star since he was a toddler. I’ve decided to go along with the dream even though I cringe a little every time he sings. That’s what moms are for – to help their children do whatever it takes, within reason, to achieve their goals. He’s also demanded at different times that he’s going to be president, the King of bowling, and a WWE superstar. I agree enough to give him self-confidence but we both know none of those things are likely to happen.

It’s one thing when the dreams children dream aren’t feasible because their bodies just aren’t built that way. Not everyone can be a professional athlete or leader of the free world. [Not going there but wouldn’t it be nice if someone with Down syndrome ruled the world.]

But what about when the dream is physically possible, but not “socially acceptable?” Continue reading I Can Be a Father (With Down Syndrome)

All About Dental Care: Death, Research and Advocacy

The news story

A terrible story hit the news recently. It involved a young man who had Down syndrome who died after receiving dental care. The family of the man has been waiting for justice for four years.

We see too many stories like these: ones involving innocents who die at the hands of people in power who we trust with our loved ones. These stories make us wonder if we are doing all we can to protect our loved ones and the rest of our community. Continue reading All About Dental Care: Death, Research and Advocacy