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Employment Goes Hand in Hand with Good Health: Honoring National Minority Health Month

This month health and wellness take the spotlight! In addition to being Public Health Month, April is also National Minority Health Month, an annual observance sponsored by the Office of Minority Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since health and wellness are important components of being successful in the workplace, organizations serving people with disabilities have an important role to play in building healthier communities.

The goal of Minority Health Month is to raise awareness of health disparities facing minority populations, highlight efforts underway to address them, and provide information and resources to empower individuals and communities to improve their health. This year’s theme is “Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity.”

People with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, and other underserved groups disproportionately face barriers to good health, including higher rates of diabetes. However, numerous efforts are underway to correct these disparities. A range of public health agencies are involved, including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Your Questions Answered! March 26th Facebook Questions & Answers (Q&A) Transcript

Following our March 26th WISE Webinar, “You Ask, We Answer,” we took to our Facebook page to answer your disability employment-related questions. We addressed a variety of questions about the Ticket to Work program, Work Incentives and the path to financial independence. Thank you to all who participated, and we hope to see the rest of you next time! Follow us on Facebook ( to receive announcements of future events! If you are interested in work and would like to discuss your situation now, speak with a Ticket to Work representative at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) or find a service provider using our Find Help tool.

Check out the transcripts of the March 26th Facebook Q&A below:

Note: Questions are listed first in each section. Responses from the Ticket to Work experts are labeled “Expert Response.” Additional comments from fans are labeled “Fan Comment (or Fan Response).” Comments from the moderator are labeled “Moderator Comment.” This transcript was recorded from the chat itself and to preserve authenticity, only egregious spelling errors were corrected and some responses were rearranged to group by question. Please excuse any additional grammar or spelling errors.

Below are acronyms used throughout the chat:

EN: Employment Network

SSI: Supplemental Security Income

SSDI: Social Security Disability Insurance

TTW: Ticket to Work

VR: Vocational Rehabilitation Agency

WISE (webinar): Work Incentives Seminar Event


Celebrating National Siblings Day

Today is National Siblings Day, an occasion where – like Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day – we celebrate relationships with some of our closest family members: our siblings.

Siblings are often our first playmates, our friends, and our role models. A relationship with a brother or sister can be very influential in anyone’s life. For individuals with disabilities, the role of siblings can be even more significant. No matter how young or old you and your sibling are, today is an occasion to appreciate each other.

Everyone’s personal situation is unique, but siblings can support their siblings with disabilities by helping them to achieve their goals, including employment. If you are interested in the topic of siblings and disabilities, we encourage you to look into The Arc's National Sibling Council and the Sibling Leadership Network. Here are some of their resources:


It's National Public Health Week!

National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 7-13, seeks to help people learn more about how the profession of public health encourages healthy communities through educational programs, policies, services, and research.

Public health takes a broader view of health, helping people throughout our society live lives that are longer and better. While your doctor takes care of your personal health, public health organizations aim to take care of the health of our entire community.

Public health focuses on the communities and environments in which we live and work, playing a major role in securing the quality of air and water, the availability of healthy food, and the safety of neighborhoods while encouraging healthy behaviors in everyone who lives in our society. Public health advocates are working to make sure public health services and programs are available to people with disabilities.


Start Your Job Search Today at a Career Fair!

Throughout the month, in-person and virtual career fairs (when available) are taking place around the country. If you are looking for work, a career fair gives you an opportunity to get connected with employers who are currently hiring and talk directly with their recruiters. Additionally, virtual career fairs offer a unique opportunity for you to engage in real time from wherever you are with employers who are ready to hire!

Careers and the disABLED Magazine's Career Expo for People with Disabilities (In-person)

Careers and the disABLED Magazine will host career events specifically for people with disabilities. This is an opportunity to meet in-person with employers from across the country.


Women's History Month: Overcoming Obstacles on the Road to Employment and Success

March is Women’s History Month. In recognition of this celebration, we are sharing the inspirational story of Ever Lee Hairston, a woman who calls herself “black, blind, and successful!”

Ever Lee grew up picking cotton in the segregated south where she told herself, “There has to be a better way of life for me.” College provided Ever Lee hope and a path forward. While a student, Ever Lee became involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, attending a sit-in with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to protest the refusal of companies to hire black workers. When she began to lose her sight in her early twenties, she found it hard to envision a successful future.

“I was devastated, felt sorry for myself,” Ever Lee said when she became fully blind. But after hearing about services that could help her, she decided to call a National Federation of the Blind resource center. The services she received there helped her learn braille, develop new skills, and gain confidence to become independent and achieve her goals. Overcoming stereotypes, Ever Lee found employment at the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services and worked her way up the ladder. She eventually became involved with the low vision and blindness community and created the Garden State Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey. Today, Ever Lee is an influential leader in low vision and blindness, and advocates for disability rights around the country.


Register Now! Social Security's Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar: March 26, 2014: You Ask, We Answer

Do you have questions about how work will affect your benefits? Would you like to learn more about services Employment Networks can provide? If you have questions, join us March 26 at 3:00 p.m. EDT for our popular WISE webinar, “You Asked, We Answer.”

We will be answering questions we have received from people on previous webinars, as well as through emails, and our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We will also be hosting a live Question & Answer session on our Facebook wall, immediately following the webinar!

A WISE webinar is a free, fully accessible, online event especially for beneficiaries and their families, community partners, and service providers to learn more about the Ticket to Work program and available Work Incentives. WISE webinars typically occur the fourth Wednesday of each month from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., EDT.

At each webinar, Ticket to Work and Work Incentives experts present information on the program for an hour then conclude with a live question and answer session.


Recognizing Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

In 1987 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month,” and called upon Americans to provide the “encouragement and opportunities” necessary for people with intellectual and development disabilities (I/DD) to reach their potential.

“For many of these people with developmental disabilities there is now the prospect of a brighter future and greater opportunity,” the proclamation states, adding, “Americans are becoming increasingly aware that such disabilities need not keep individuals from realizing their full potential in school, at work or at home, as members of their families and of their communities.”


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