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Disability Awareness Day October 2010

Posted on in Social Security Disability

October is National Disability Awareness month and as part of a long tradition of annual celebrations, the City of Law Vegas Adaptive Recreation, Southern Nevada Center for Independent Living (SNCIL),and several other government agencies and non-profit organizations sponsored the 19th Annual Disability Awareness Day in Las Vegas, Nevada. The day was filled with entertainment, free snacks, and speeches by leading officials in their respective areas of expertise, most of which centered in furthering research and aid to the disabled community.

I was more than honored to have been asked to speak at Disability Awareness Day by the Executive Director of SNCIL (the video will be posted on my firm's website shortly). One of the main reasons why I was asked to speak was because of an article I had published over a year ago entitled, "Don't Forget Your Ticket to Work." I originally wrote the article because I had personally witnessed hundreds of individuals afraid to apply for Social Security disability benefits because of a fear that they could never work again or pursue any of their career related dreams. However, Ticket to Work is a government program that (barring certain income restrictions) helps individuals who receive Social Security disability benefits get back on their feet and get jobs that they are hopefully interested in pursuing.

After seeing Ticket to Work help so many people land jobs relevant to their previous job training, I wanted to spread the word about the program. I knew that by spreading the word A) more people who should be receiving Social Security disability benefits would apply and B) more individuals would find and sustain meaningful employment. The second reason was what I decided to focus on at the podium. Coincidentally, a representative from the Ticket to Work program spoke a few minutes before I did and mentioned something in particular on that note that stuck in my mind. "There is a large amount of data that shows that an individual who has a job and is able to work has more of a reason to get up in the morning, and tends to be happier." I could not agree with her more. I cannot stress enough how many people that I have talked to that are suffering from different diseases and would want nothing more than to find even a part-time job to integrate into their daily living.

Overall, Disability Awareness Day was a major success. There were over 60 different organizations that came to display their unique support for the disabled community and hundreds of individuals were in attendance. After personally having a wonderful weekend, I promised several people that I would continue to spread the word about Ticket to Work and other resources once I got back to my office. Pursuant to that promise, this blog is the first thing I had to do.

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