NDEAM Poster reading Inclusion drives InnovationOctober is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)! Celebrate this year's theme, Inclusion Drives Innovation, and learn how the Ticket to Work program works to support your employment goals in today's blog post.

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2017

Oct 5, 2017

NDEAM Poster reading Inclusion drives InnovationFor more than 70 years, October has marked the celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This year's NDEAM theme, Inclusion Drives Innovation, recognizes the important role that differences play in the workforce. With several million people with disabilities receiving Social Security disability benefits (SSI and SSDI) each month — many of whom want to work — some businesses are accessing this untapped market through the Ticket to Work (Ticket) program.

Join us this month to celebrate NDEAM and start on your path toward employment and financial independence.

Ticket to Work: a product of innovative thinking

In the 1990s, only half of 1 percent of people receiving disability benefits were leaving the disability rolls due to work and earnings. Concerns over this, along with a growing interest that many community-based service providers had in helping beneficiaries return to work, led to the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999.

Today, the Ticket program helps to create a more inclusive workforce by supporting career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The program helps beneficiaries move toward financial independence through employment.

Read about individuals' journeys in our Ticket to Work success stories. In these stories, you'll meet individuals who found the support they needed through Ticket program service providers. Their service providers helped them learn more about Social Security Work Incentives, find job training, build and strengthen their resumes, and  find job opportunities. Through their stories, you can learn how the Ticket program can help guide you along your path to employment and financial independence.

Inclusion drives innovation

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In addition to the benefits that work offers you – financial independence, a sense of community, learning and using new skills and talents – inclusive workplaces also benefit employers. Larger pools of employees, diversity, unique experiences and perspectives, and insights can lead to better problem solving.

Employers and employees have found that reasonable accommodations can help make the workplace a more inclusive and productive environment. And while accommodations can have a high impact, employers have found that most accommodations come with low costs. While most reasonable accommodations cost nothing, employers have found that providing accommodations helps them keep valuable employees, increase productivity, and improve company morale.

As you consider and look for work, learn more about reasonable accommodations and how to request them.

Helpful tips along the way

Whether you're planning to return to work or trying work for the first time, our blog posts and social media can help you learn about:

You can also join us each month for our monthly Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) webinars! Each webinar features a different topic and expert advice on Work Incentives and other employment topics.

Learn more

If you are thinking about returning to work or working for the first time, you can get started today. Visit www.ssa.gov/work to learn more about the Ticket program. You can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

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