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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Tell Senator Reid to Withdraw the Nomination of Robert Brown to the National Council on Disability!

NCIL Members,

We need you to tell Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) that we have a problem with his decision to nominate Mr. Robert Brown of Nevada to the National Council on Disability (NCD).


NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) transitions NCD from 15 members appointed by the President to nine members. The President shall appoint five members with the other four members appointed by Congress, two from the House and two from the Senate leaderships.

Senator Reid has chosen Mr. Robert Brown, a man who does not support the ADA Guiding Principles of equal opportunity, full inclusion, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.

Mr. Brown has publicly stated in an editorial in the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Some utopian academics would like to eliminate Section 14(c). They believe people with severe disabilities are being unfairly exploited and that all workers should be paid at least the minimum wage. On the surface, this position seems reasonable. Upon rational examination, it is nonsense.” Read the editorial.

The NCD has proactively worked on a phase-out plan to end Section 14(c) and subminimum wage practices. NCIL has been a leader in the dismantling of segregated living as well as segregated employment. As the lead disability rights organization that assisted in crafting the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, NCIL took a strong position and supported the Section 511 provision. This provision works to end the use of subminimum wage employment for people with disabilities. WIOA also provided a legislative definition for Competitive Integrated Employment and made Customized Employment a part of federal statute within the Rehabilitation Act. None of these things are supported by Mr. Robert Brown of Nevada!

Take Action

We need to send letters telling Senator Reid that his choice is offensive and against everything the disability community and the Independent Living Movement stand for.

Please use our sample letter, fill in your organization’s information, and send it to Senator Reid this week.

  • FAX your letter to: 202-224-7327
  • To email your letter, go to and click the envelope at the bottom of the page.

Stay tuned for further information.

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