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Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work


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Choose Work Blog Archives

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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Webinar Spotlight: Alliance Professional Services and Arizona Bridge to Independent Living!

Section 503

Join us on July 30, 2014, for a national WISE webinar: More Jobs for People with Disabilities: What New Regulations Can Mean for You!

The national WISE webinar will present information about Social Security programs and rules that may apply to you, including details about Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 503 requires federal contractors and subcontractors to take action to recruit, hire, train, promote, and retain people with disabilities.

Our presenters for this webinar represent two Employment Networks (EN): Susan Webb from ABIL Employment Services (AES) and Pam Walker from Alliance Professional Services. ENs can work with you to discuss Section 503, including job opportunities, self-identification and reasonable accommodations.

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New Revised Regulations Create a Brighter Future for You

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In our latest Ticket Talk episode, we share information about an updated law, Section 503, which can support you on your journey to financial independence.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 has supported people with disabilities for more than 40 years by offering services, promoting awareness, and providing fair opportunities for people with disabilities. The newly revised Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against people with disabilities and requires employers to take affirmative action in recruiting, hiring, training, promoting and retaining people with disabilities.

These new rules are expected to create more employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Are you wondering how these changes can affect you?  In our Ticket Talk podcast, we’ve highlighted a few facts about the new regulations that every Social Security disability beneficiary who is exploring their work options should know. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript to learn what you need to know regarding these changes in Section 503.

Subscribe to Ticket Talk Podcasts for interviews with program and disability experts, success stories from real beneficiaries, and program news and updates!

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What You Should Know about Section 503

Section 503

*This blog post was originally published on Disability.Blog, the official blog of Disability.gov.*

By Guest Blogger David Weaver, Associate Commissioner, Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support, Social Security Administration

As we turn our attention to the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this month, it’s important to note that recently regulations were issued to provide people with disabilities greater opportunities for meaningful employment. This update to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 offers advantages to people with disabilities, including those who are eligible to receive free employment services through Social Security’s Ticket to Work program.

Section 503 requires that federal contractors and subcontractors – companies doing business with the federal government – take affirmative action to recruit, employ, train and promote qualified individuals with disabilities (IWDs). The changes, which went into effect March 24, 2014, strengthen the affirmative action provisions of the regulations to aid contractors in their efforts to recruit and hire IWDs.

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Register Now! Social Security's Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar: July 30, 2014: More Jobs for People with Disabilities: What New Regulations Can Mean for You

Section 503

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 July 30, 2014, national WISE webinar will present information about Social Security programs and rules that may apply to you, including details about Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 503 is a regulation that prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against people with disabilities and requires these employers to take action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these people with disabilities. The presentation will include information on:  

  • What the changes to Section 503 mean for Social Security disability beneficiaries
  • Tips for self-identification during the application and hiring process
  • How to find and prepare for Section 503 opportunities

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New Rules Equal Greater Equal Employment Opportunities for You!

By David A. Weaver, Associate Commissioner for the Social Security Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support

I am pleased to share with you some exciting updates to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that may greatly benefit you on your journey to financial independence!

For more than 40 years, the Rehabilitation Act has advanced employment opportunities, offered extensive services, and promoted accessibility for people with disabilities around the country. The law works to provide a fair shot for all to live the American dream, and to break down barriers to equality. This week, changes to this law went into effect that will greatly enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that federal contractors – companies doing business with the federal government – take affirmative action to recruit, hire, employ, promote, train and retain employees with disabilities. Updates to the Section 503 rules that went into effect on March 24th include:

  • Setting a goal for federal contractors to strive to ensure at least 7% of their job groups, or workforce depending on the size of the employer, consist of employees with disabilities over coming years.
  • Requiring federal contractors to invite job applicants and new and current employers to voluntarily self-identify as having a disability so contractors can assess their outreach and recruitment efforts, and their progress toward the aspirational utilization goal.
  • Requiring federal contractors to provide individuals with disabilities with reasonable accommodations needed to perform a job.
  • Extending protections to individuals with disabilities that have long been required to promote workplace equality for women and minorities.
  • Issuing new regulations that establish similar workplace protections for veterans, including those with disabilities, also have taken effect.
  • These rules are important because, as a group, federal contractors employ more than one out of every five workers in the U.S., are located in every state, and offer career employment in most fields and professions.

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