DEI Initiative Creates Successful Employment Outcomes for Youth and Adults with Disabilities
The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is the first U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) initiative to incorporate key strategies within the workforce system, such as asset development and Employment Network operations, under Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Ticket to Work program, to enhance the economic self-sufficiency of youth and adults with disabilities. As a result of the DEI state projects implementing Workforce ENs, grantees have recognized the importance of providing SSA disability benefits and Work Incentive counseling to facilitate successful employment outcomes. Since 2010, more than half of the DEI-funded projects have certified some or all of their DRCs with seven of the projects making this commitment in 2014 (about 75 DRCs/local project staff in total!).
The LEAD Center Builds Key Partnerships between CILs and AJCs
The LEAD Center worked with five Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to improve the employment of individuals with disabilities by building partnerships between the CIL and their local American Job Center (AJC). The individuals supported by the participating CILs overcame multiple barriers to employment to secure both full-time and part-time jobs in a range of fields. To learn more about its work, visit the LEAD Center website.
Taxes and Tax Preparation
MyFreeTaxes Assists More Than 200,000 Tax Filers in 2014
The MyFreeTaxes Partnership is a collaborative national initiative of Goodwill Industries International, United Way Worldwide and NDI, sponsored by the Walmart Foundation, that has helped millions of Americans increase their economic self-sufficiency by providing access to free online and in-person federal and state tax preparation and filing. In 2013, the MyFreeTaxes Partnership saved more than 1.6 million households - 13% persons with disabilities and 16% from the military community - an estimated $340 million in tax preparation and filing fees and more than $622 million in tax credits. Partners interested in learning more about how to become involved in marketing and outreach of the initiative may register on the MyFreeTaxes website.
More than 200 Professionals Trained in NDI Financial Literacy Curriculum
This year more than 200 professionals, representing the disability and financial services communities, were trained on how to use NDI’s curriculum, “Building Assets & Promoting Choice and Community Participation for People with Disabilities.” The six module curriculum introduced professionals on how to advance the economic self-sufficiency of clients they support by incorporating key strategies into their programs: financial literacy, free tax preparation, work supports and asset development strategies.
NDI Hosts Five Asset Development Summits in Florida
In collaboration with five American Job Centers in the state of Florida, NDI hosted five community summits in 2014 to advance the economic self-sufficiency of persons with disabilities in Winter Haven, Palm Beach, Panama City, St. Petersburg and Ft. Lauderdale. The summits brought together 220 representatives from the disability and asset building/financial services communities; key findings included the need for increased networking opportunities to strengthen collaboration, resource mapping tools and funding opportunities that provide financial capability services to clients with and without disabilities. To learn more about the outcomes of the community summits, contact Michael Roush at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready, Willing and ABLE
Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 is groundbreaking legislation that will help improve the financial security of individuals with disabilities and their families. With overwhelming bipartisan support, the Act was passed by Congress this week and is expected to be signed into law by President Obama in the coming days. The Act amends the Internal Revenue Service code to establish tax-exempt savings accounts—called ABLE Accounts—to assist an individual with a disability, or a family raising a child with a disability, in building an account to pay for qualified expenses such as those related to higher education, housing, transportation, employment, health and wellness, technology and other personal support services.
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