Social Security Announces New
Initiatives to Promote
Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security, announced several
new initiatives to assist people with disabilities who want to go
to work. The initiatives, announced at the New Freedom Initiative
Celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, include
the Disability Program Navigator, a new position formed jointly
with the Department of Labor, and "Ticket to Hire," a specialized
referral network linking employers to job-seekers with disabilities.
Also announced at the celebration was a new website--www.disabilityinfo.gov--an
online resource for Americans with disabilities.
"Under President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative, the Social Security
Administration is providing greater opportunities for people with
disabilities to stay connected to the workforce," said Commissioner
Barnhart. "SSA is committed to making positive changes in the lives
of millions of Americans."
The Navigators will link people with disabilities who visit the
Department of Labor’s One-Stop Career Centers with employers and
benefit planning assistance and outreach organizations. The Navigators,
who will work in the One-Stops, also will provide information on
Social Security’s work incentives, employment networks and the Ticket
to Work program.
The Ticket to Work program, currently available in 13 states, will
be available in 20 additional states starting in November. The Ticket
program provides Social Security and Supplemental Security Income
beneficiaries with more choices and expanded opportunities to help
them go to work. Upon receiving a Ticket from Social Security, individuals
may give it to an employment network to obtain free vocational rehabilitation,
job training, and other support services. The Ticket program, launched
in February 2002, will be available nationwide by January of 2004.
As an offshoot of Ticket to Work, a new service has been developed
with the Department of Labor to help employers locate and recruit
skilled employment candidates with disabilities. The service, "Ticket
to Hire," is a free, national referral service for employers to
recruit workers from the Ticket to Work program. "Ticket to Hire"
specialists, available at 1-866-TTW-HIRE (1-866-889-4473), will
answer questions about the Ticket to Work program. Go to www.ssa.gov/work/Ticket/TicketHire.html
to find out more about Ticket to Hire.
Please visit www.ssa.gov for more information
about Social Security’s new disability initiatives, the Ticket to
Work program and more.
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