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Thursday, 22 December, 2011

National Disability Institute Releases Top Ten 2011 Accomplishments

December 21, 2011 – What a year it's been for National Disability Institute. NDI's Senior Management Team released today the organization's annual list of Top 10 Accomplishments for NDI in 2011. NDI's education, service and advocacy initiatives help advance financial independence and economic self-sufficiency for all persons with disabilities across the country. "As we discuss our economic future from Capitol Hill to communities across America, changing the financial future for the 1 in 3 Americans with disabilities living in poverty is an essential and vital part of that conversation. A poverty rate for persons with disabilities that is double our nation's poverty rate that hit a 20-year high this year is not acceptable," said Michael Morris, National Disability Institute's Executive Director. "National Disability Institute continued to chart new courses for a better economic future for Americans with disabilities and their families. We are proud of our progress and look forward to a new economic era for millions of Americans with disabilities."

  1. Reached a new milestone of impact with the Real Economic Impact Tour in 100 cities nationwide. The cumulative results over seven years of assisting low income individuals with preparing their tax returns and accessing beneficial tax provisions now totals over one million individuals with disabilities and more than one billion dollars with tax refunds. In 2011, with special events and education activities, and with the support of corporate sponsors Bank of America, Wal-Mart, AT&T, and Acorda Therapeutics, the Real Economic Impact Tour raised expectations about the possibilities of a better economic future for millions of individuals with disabilities and their families.

  2. Promoted a second annual American Dream Video Contest which resulted in the selection of Moira Rossi from Jacksonville, Florida. She wants to be a professional actress and will be mentored by RJ Mitte of the TV show "Breaking Bad".

  3. Convened a second annual Public Policy Forum on Capitol Hill to advance work, saving, and asset building for people with disabilities in collaboration with the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination (CPSD) and successfully secured reintroduction of the Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in the House and Senate with bipartisan support.

  4. Convened a successful sixth annual Mayor's Leadership Academy in collaboration with the IRS and hosted by the Boston Federal Reserve with representatives from asset building coalitions from 40 cities.

  5. Led national technical assistance for the US Department of Labor for the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) which has now been funded in 16 states to advance improved cross-system collaboration that results in enhanced employment and economic self-sufficiency for job seekers with disabilities. Through webinars, on site, and online TA, the NDI TA team is improving effective and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in the workforce investment system.

  6. Developed and facilitated a multipart webinar series on financial wellness in collaboration with MSAA customized for the MS community with support from Acorda Therapeutics.

  7. Completed the development of a Social Security Benefits Workbook in partnership with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council to help individuals with disabilities and their families better understand eligibility requirements and utilization of work incentives to advance a better economic future. Continued to work with the Social Security Administration and Maximus to build and expand the number of Employment Networks to benefit Ticket holders with disabilities.

  8. Developed an effective BEST Interns model to train individuals with disabilities to become employed in credit unions in New Jersey with support from the Kessler Foundation and in collaboration with the Federation for Community Development Credit Unions and Allies, Inc. Model is now being considered for replication in other states.

  9. Created a disability awareness training for VITA volunteers that is being utilized by tax coalitions across the country to better serve taxpayers with disabilities.

  10. Began development of educating teachers in multiple states on effective strategies for delivering financial education for students with disabilities. Began a Building Economic Success Together (BEST) student club at University of North Florida.



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