March 18, 2010: Dr. Hartnett shared to an audience of 300 people her personal journey over the past 27 years after the loss of her family in 1983. Social integration and quality of life after loss included going back to school and graduating at age 50 with her Doctorate in Education. Over the past 10 years Dr. Hartnett has been instrumental in developing new opportunities and research for people with disabilities as part of the economic mainstream through her work with the National Disability Institute. She agreed that social inclusion is not just about access and participation in community life but an ongoing process of redefining one's spiritual, physical and emotional goals.
In addition to the brief luncheon address, Dr. Hartnett and Richard Keeling, IRS lead for the disability initiative, conducted two workshops on building real economic impact through free tax preparation and other asset building strategies for taxpayers with disabilities. Over 80 people attended the sessions that demonstrated the power of social inclusion and access to the financial mainstream through the Real Economic Impact Tour now in 100 cities nationwide and research that NDI and IRS have conducted on taxpayers with disabilities. The Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey and the Institute for Wellness and Recovery provide mini loans, free tax preparation and financial education already and are leading the national conversation on how to better serve taxpayers in recovery.