Organized by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), each October National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and provides education about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. DOL has a number of helpful resources to organize your own disability employment awareness event. We also encourage you to use employment resources from the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center to help start conversations about working while receiving SSA disability benefits.
SOAR providers can help promote NDEAM through their SOAR initiative in the following ways:
- Host a Lunch and Learn at your organization or at your SOAR Workgroup about employment and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI)/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
- Provide a brief overview of SSA work incentives—remember that you don’t need to be an expert on these programs to demonstrate that work is possible while receiving SSI/SSDI!
- Create a plan for distributing resources about employment and SSA disability benefits, such as the SOAR Yes, You can Work! flyer to local program participants and service providers.
- Learn more about workplace accommodations and disability employment issues through The Job Accommodation Network.
- Commit to speaking with one new person each week about how it is possible to work while receiving SSI/SSDI.
- Use the SOAR Employment Conversation Guide to talk with a program participant about their employment goals.
- Walk through how employment income may affect SSI or SSDI with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ New Income and Benefits Calculator.
- Make a list of your community-based employment resources.
- Identify your local SSA Ticket to Work service providers, including Vocational Rehabilitation.
- Learn more about American Job Centers (AJC) services and find your local AJC.
- Share this list with other local service providers and make a plan to update it regularly!
We look forward to hearing about your local NDEAM and SOAR events! Share updates and pictures with us for our eNewsletter!