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Working Towards Independence: Employment of Persons with Disabilities

Broadcast Date: September 20, 2007
(2 hours)

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Handouts/Resources

State of Alabama Independent Living Services (5 pages)
Understanding Social Security (7 pages)
Personal Assistance Services (9 pages)
MOCCE Manual (18 pages)
SAIL Staff List 2007 (1 page)

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Program Overview

According to the 2000 Census report, Alabama has 4.6 million persons residing in the state. Of that number, 945,705 persons age five and older have a disability. As the employment opportunities increase within the state and the labor force remains limited, Alabama will need to utilize some of its untapped resources to meet the demands of the labor market. The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation plays a vital role in the development of the labor market by placing persons with disabilities into the workforce. As a part of the Department, the State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) division has three different programs designed to offer support to persons with the severest of disabilities within the state. Although its primary mission is to aid Alabamians with the severest of disabilities to remain independent within homes and communities, it also offers services to support employment for this population.

Through the Olmstead Decision and President Bush’s New Freedom Initiatives, federal grants have been offered to states to explore systems changes that would allow persons with disabilities certain freedoms; especially regarding employment. SAIL has been involved with three different grants intended to increase employment outcomes for persons with disabilities.

Research indicates that when people with disabilities go to work, the benefits, both direct and indirect, are great. Self-esteem increases and medical problems decrease. Incomes increase as the person with a disability becomes a taxpayer. This program is a required in-service for Waiver Case Managers employed by the Alabama Department of Public Health, and as such will address state specific policies and procedures. Colleagues from other states are invited to participate as well.

Faculty

Karen Coffey
Coordinator
State of Alabama Independent Living Program
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

Julia Spree
Regional Coordinator
Ticket To Work (Medicaid Infrastructure Grant)
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

Joseph Lambert
Senior Benefits Planning
Work Incentives Coordinator
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

Donna Bowden
Social Security Disability Programs Specialist
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

Target Audience

Waiver Case Managers employed by the Alabama Department of Public Health. This is a required In-service for 2007.

Contact Hours

None for this program

Contact for Technical Assistance

334-206-5618 or email ALPHTN

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