Opportunities for People with Disabilities
A major passion of ours is advocacy for employment and other opportunities for people with disabilities. With family members and friends with disabilities, we realize the importance of maximizing everyone's independence and self-sufficiency with appropriate supports.
- Disability employment research. We have experience conducing research related to the employment of people with severe disabilities. We have analyzed Social Security, census, and other employment data on incentives and barriers to work and have written policy papers for the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel.
- Policy and program improvements. We understand disability employment programs and the barriers faced by people with disabilities who want to work, yet are afraid of losing their benefits, supports, and healthcare. We have planned and facilitated meetings focused on legislative advocacy.
- Enabling Voices for Change. We planned and facilitated the first ever Beneficiary Summit for Social Security disability beneficiaries from every state and territory of the U.S. We facilitated a series of in-person and teleconference planning meetings with a committee of Federal staff and beneficiaries, designing and developing background white papers and read-ahead materials, designing agendas, coordinating conference calls to prepare participants. In this three day summit, we facilitated six concurrent session tracks and out-briefs to the full group. We developed a report of summit results that was presented to the President, Congress, and the Commissioner of SSA. The final report, "Voices for Change: Beneficiaries Paving the Way to Work, A Roadmap to Program Improvement", is available here: Beneficiary Summit Report with Photos.
- Nonprofit funding mechanisms. We are familiar with the challenges faced by nonprofit organizations in identifying, capturing, and applying funding streams to support their programs and implement practices that result in a quality work environment.
- We researched and compiled sources of funding including Federal, state / local, and private / foundation funding that could potentially be available to fund employment supports and services for people with disabilities. Quality Work Environment (QWE).
- We supported development of a clearinghouse of good practices for a quality work environment for people with disabilities, and supported development of the QWE Implementation Plan and the QWE Guidebook for the AbilityOne Program. Information systems.
- We have worked with nonprofit organizations across the country to develop requirements for and support development of the Employee Research System (ERS), to provide employee-level data on outcomes for employment of people with disabilities, and are now supporting system deployment. Collaborative websites.
- We developed the website for the Institute for Economic Empowerment, a research institute focused on employment of people with disabilities, and the website for the Alliance for Full Participation, a partnership of leading developmental disabilities organizations.