Feds Inch Closer To Disability Hiring Goal

The federal government added people with disabilities to its payroll at a higher rate last year than at any other time in the last three decades.

More than 16,000 people with disabilities were hired by the U.S. government during fiscal year 2013, according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management. That brought the total number of federal workers with disabilities to 234,395.

“This success has led to more people with disabilities (on board) in federal service, both in real terms and by percentage than at any time in the past 33 years,” wrote Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management in her report to President Barack Obama.

By September 2013, people with disabilities accounted for 12.8 percent of federal employees, an increase of nearly 1 percent over the prior year, the report said.

At the same time, the number of workers with targeted disabilities — including intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, deafness, blindness, paralysis, missing extremities, dwarfism and psychiatric disabilities — also ticked up slightly to 18,665, federal officials said.

The increased hiring comes after Obama issued an executive order in 2010 calling on the federal government, as the nation’s largest employer, to hire 100,000 people with disabilities within five years.

Archuleta said the nation is on its way toward achieving that threshold, with 57,491 permanent employees with disabilities added during the first three years since the executive order took effect.

However, advocates say that the federal government ought to do more.

“While the last few years have seen some modest increases in the numbers of people with disabilities employed by the federal government, The Arc remains deeply concerned that many people with the most significant disabilities, including jobseekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, are being left behind,” said Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc.

Copyright © 2014 Disability Scoop, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This article was shared from Disability Scoop
by Shaun Heasley posted on December 15, 2014
http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/12/15/feds-inch-hiring-goal/19917/

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Why I Give to UCP – Helen Malone (Age 10)

This week’s blog was written by Helen Malone, a 10-year-old girl who has competed as part of Team UCP at the Cleveland Triathlon for the past two years. Not only does she raise awareness for UCP of Greater Cleveland by doing this, but she has also raised over $2,500 to support the vital programming provided by UCP for children and adults with disabilities.

IMG_8466For the past two years, I have competed in the Cleveland Triathlon and raised money for UCP. I am a typical 10 year old girl, living life in the easy lane. I have friends with CP and I want to help them. We are all the same inside no matter what we are like on the outside. I have watched my friends with CP struggle with daily activities. By doing the triathlon, I am pushing myself to swim, bike and run farther and faster than I ever have before. My friends with CP have to push themselves like that every day. At the triathlon, I have seen people like me and people with CP both working towards the same goal — to raise money and awareness for people with CP.

 
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Continuing Education Opportunity – March 27, 2015

The following is an announcement from the Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare:

Are you interested and passionate about connecting with the social services community? Participate in the Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare! Please join us at the 5th annual conference, held on March 27th 2015, from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, at Cleveland State University Student Center. This year’s theme is, “Is Social Work Addressing Human Needs?” Come as a participant or submit a proposal to run your own workshop, to educate and advocate with other social workers! Six CEU’s available for licensed social workers.

For more information and to submit a workshop proposal, check out: www.naswoh.org/cccosw

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What Your Dollars Do for UCP

Thank you to everyone who has already given to UCP of Greater Cleveland this year. We are truly grateful to have such a strong base of supporters who raise funds and awareness for the 1,200 people supported by UCP’s programming. The amounts listed below are examples of how your dollars make a difference in our organization. Click here to donate today!

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$5,000 – Sponsors Steps to Independence Intensive Therapy for a child

$2,500 – Supports an adult in finding and retaining employment

$1,000 – Buys a walker to help a child to take his or her first steps

$500 – Purchases assistive technology for a child or adult

$250 – Provides training for adults to increase their work skills

$100 – Pays for an adult group activity in the community

$50 – Funds Serial Casting supplies to increase a child’s range of motion

$25 – Purchases therapeutic Kinesio tape for a child

 

 

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House Approves Tax-Free Disability Savings Accounts

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to approve a bill that would establish a new way for people with disabilities to save money without risking their government benefits.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act passed by a vote of 404 to 17 on Wednesday. The measure will now move to the Senate.

Under current rules, many individuals with disabilities can have no more than $2,000 in assets in order to qualify for needed government benefits. The ABLE Act would dramatically alter that scenario, allowing people with disabilities to establish special accounts at any financial institution where they could save up to $14,000 annually under current gift-tax limitations.

The accounts could accrue $100,000 without jeopardizing eligibility for Social Security and other government programs. Meanwhile, the legislation ensures that those with disabilities can retain Medicaid coverage no matter their ABLE account balance.

Funds deposited in the proposed accounts could be used to pay for education, health care, transportation, housing and other expenses. Much like 529 college savings plans, interest earned on savings in the accounts would be tax-free.

Speaking on the House floor ahead of the vote, the bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., said it’s only fair that people with disabilities get an opportunity to save tax-free much like most Americans can already do in order to pay for college, health care and retirement.

“What this does is simply give individuals with disabilities a chance at the American dream,” Crenshaw said. “They have hopes and dreams just like we all do and this will give them the tool to open the door to a brighter future, the way to realize their full potential.”

With significant bipartisan support, the bill is being called the broadest legislation centering on people with disabilities to move forward since passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act a quarter-century ago.

Though widely supported in the disability community, a provision limiting eligibility for ABLE accounts to individuals with conditions occurring before the age of 26 has led to misgivings from some groups including the National Council on Independent Living, the National Disability Rights Network and United Cerebral Palsy.

Meanwhile, some members of the House objected to the bill over concerns that it will be paid for in part through tweaks to Medicare.

Copyright © 2014 Disability Scoop, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This article was shared from Disability Scoop
by Michelle Diament posted on December 4, 2014
http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/12/04/house-approves-accounts/19891/

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