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Choose Work Blog Archives

Money Mondays: Three Things to Ease Concerns about Job Accommodations

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Job accommodations are changes made to a job or work place. These changes allow someone with a disability to do their job duties. Accommodations may include supports such as assistive technology, changes to work settings, or adjusted work schedules.

A common concern is that job accommodations are costly. Read on to learn three things that can ease concerns of people with disabilities and employers.

  1. Data collected by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) suggests that more than half of all job accommodations cost nothing. A recent study run by JAN showed 57% of accommodations cost nothing at all, while the rest often cost only $500.
  1. Job accommodations have also been found to help employers. For example, the above study showed accommodations helped keep valuable employees, improve productivity and morale, improve company diversity – and even report financial gains.
  1. Tax incentives are available to help employers make workplace accommodations. Funds are also offered through a number of organizations.  Read JAN’s guidance on Tax Incentives and visit its funding links for further tips for employers and people with disabilities. 

For more information on speaking to your employer about workplace accommodations, visit the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

If you or someone you know is a Social Security disability beneficiary who wants to work, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V); 1-866-833-2967 (TTY), or visit www.socialsecurity.gov/work to learn more.

Read money saving tips at #MoneyMondays!

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Countdown to ADA's 25th: Take the Pledge

Preparations are already underway for the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, the ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Divided into five sections (employment, state and local government, public accommodations, telecommunications, and miscellaneous provisions), the ADA promotes the improvement of various aspects of public life for people with disabilities.

In preparation for the celebration, the ADA National Network and the ten regional ADA Centers located throughout the United States set a goal of 25,000 signatures for the 25th Anniversary through their “PLEDGE-ON to the ADA” campaign. The theme of the campaign is to have “People Leading and Ensuring Diversity, Gaining Experience and Opportunities Now… and beyond” by encouraging people and organizations to commit to expanding these opportunities for another 25 years and beyond.

Ticket to Work is proud to take part in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the ADA.

For more ADA information, guidance and training, contact your ADA Center in the ADA National Network at 1-800-949-4232 (voice/TTY).

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Mentoring Matters: Career Development for the 21st Century

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Observed each October as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) promotes career exploration for students and job seekers with disabilities. DMD offers hands-on career exploration, on-sight job shadowing, and ongoing mentoring that can lead to internship and employment opportunities.

The American Association of People with Disabilities started Disability Mentoring Day in 1999 with fewer than three-dozen participants. Today, DMD connects nearly 20,000 job-seekers with employers and mentors who help students and job-seekers each year.

Along with the benefits for people with disabilities, disability mentoring also helps employers gain an increased awareness of a unique talent pool. As the need for innovation continues to grow in today’s economy, savvy employers realize that people with disabilities can be assets and diversity can be good for business.

With the recent changes to Section 503 regulations, federal contractors and subcontractors now face a national goal to increase workforce participation of persons with disabilities. As these companies are taking to steps to seek-out and hire qualified individuals with disabilities and support those already in their workforce, mentoring programs for people with disabilities can be another way to make workplaces more open, accessible and productive. 

If you, someone you know, or the company you work for would like to get involved in disability mentoring, email DMD@aapd.com to find out more and get connected to resources in your area.

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The Ticket to Work Team Raises Program Awareness

Social Security’s Ticket to Work team was busy this summer at conferences nationwide talking with current and potential beneficiaries, people interested in exploring their work options, parents and disability employment professionals about the Ticket to Work program.

In July, the team attended the 25th annual Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) National Conference in Long Beach, CA. APSE has advanced employment and self-sufficiency for people with disabilities through advocacy and education for 25 years, as it offers the only national conference focused solely on the advancement of integrated employment. The team presented, “Using Your Ticket to Work: Help on Your Journey to Financial Independence.” This covered TTW basics including eligibility and services available to Social security beneficiaries. Attendees also met “Ben,” the Beneficiary received a demo of our Find Help Tool, and heard an inspirational Success Story from Megan Riggs.

The team’s next stop was at the 8th Annual Project SEARCH conference in Omaha, NE. Since 1996, Project SEARCH has aimed to secure employment for people with disabilities, especially youth in transition. Joined by a Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project and Employment Network (EN) representative from Nebraska Easter Seals, they offered information on Ticket to Work program and Work Incentives. Many attendees expressed interest in getting to know more about the Work Incentive PASS (Plan to Achieve Self Support). PASS plans are for people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and offer them an opportunity to set money aside for a work-related goal. Many beneficiaries, like Michele Boardman, have used PASS Plans to set aside money to purchase a car or pursue training or certifications. Learn more about the PASS plan, and talk to a service provider about the process for creating one.

In September, the team attended the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) conference in Washington, DC. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by a mental illness. The team answered more than a hundred questions between the exhibit booth and presentation session. Many people asked questions including “how long can I work while keeping my benefits?” and “what will happen to my child’s healthcare?” If you or a family member have these same questions, learn about common Work Incentives, which are special Social Security rules that enable people to explore work while still receiving health care and cash benefits.

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Today is World Mental Health Day

Did you know October 10th marks World Mental Health Day? Mental health issues are common, and without the right services, they can impact your ability to work. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

Image of the World Health Day logo

  • One in four adults – approximately 61.5 million Americans – experience mental illness each year.
  • One in 17 – about 13.6 million – live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Approximately 60 percent of adults, and almost one-half of youth ages 8 to 15 with a mental illness received no mental health services in the previous year.
  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.

Sponsored by the World Federation for Mental Health and observed by the World Health Organization, World Mental Health Day champions global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. Each October thousands of supporters and many mental health organizations celebrate this awareness day to bring attention to mental illness and its effects on peoples’ lives worldwide.

On this 22rd World Mental Health Day, talk about mental health and explore support services for you or someone you know. It could be the first step to a healthier life and a fulfilling career

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Help Yourself, Help Others: Get Screened for National Depression Screening Day

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Image: Courtesy of Screening for Mental Health

Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness. In addition to affecting your everyday life, depression can impair your abilities on the job search or at work. Unfortunately, stigma and lack of awareness make it hard for many people to seek help.

That’s why October 9th is National Depression Screening Day (NDSD). Organizations across the country will participate in NDSD, which is a part of Mental Illness Awareness Week. Talking about mental health issues like depression reduces stigma and increases awareness of help that is available for people who need it.

Thousands of organizations nationwide host a NDSD event each year. The organizations, from hospitals and community organizations to government organizations and military installations, provide information about mood and anxiety disorders and offer screenings—in-person or online—to their community. After completing a screening, those who receive a positive score are given referral information to local agencies that offer further evaluation and treatment if needed.

Raising awareness of depression symptoms and spreading access to free screenings can help at-risk individuals find the mental health help they may need. Locate a screening site near you, or take a free, anonymous screening online.

Get screened today and spread the word. Stay informed about your mental health to feel your best at home, and be your best at work.

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Register Now! National Work Incentives Seminar Event, Wednesday October 22

National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar Ticket to Work: Support Services for People Who Have a Disability and Are Ready to Work

October 22 WISE webinar banner:woman sitting infront of a laptop

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 3:00 PM, EDT 

If you are a Social Security disability beneficiary and want to make more money through work, Ticket to Work can provide the support you need to transition to financial independence.

The October 22 national WISE webinar will present information about special Social Security programs and rules that may apply to you! Disability benefits experts will teach you about:

  • Ticket to Work & Work Incentives
  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the value of mentorship
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and where to find more information

Register online or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

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Be Disaster Aware: Take Action to Prepare

Emergencies can happen at any time. Your ability to recover from an emergency tomorrow may depend on the planning and preparation you do today. Will you be prepared?

Each September, Ready.gov sponsors National Preparedness Month, an awareness campaign to help Americans take steps to keep themselves safe. This year’s theme was "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.”

There’s no time like the present to take action to prepare for an emergency. Taking a few important steps can help you to be prepared if disaster strikes:

 

  1. Get Informed: Know what types of emergencies are likely to affect your area.
  2. Make a Plan: How will you connect with family? Will you stay put or relocate to a safer place? It’s important to know the answers to questions like these.
  3. Build a Kit: If you aren’t able to leave your home or work, you will need food, water, and supplies.

Preparing for an emergency is important for everyone, but for people with disabilities, older Americans and others with access or functional needs, having a plan even more crucial. Visit Disability.gov’s Guide to Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Recovery  for information specifically for people with disabilities.

This year, resolve to be ready. Take action to prepare!

 

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