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Wednesday May 31, 2000

Catherine Noe, Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

Social Security Administration

SOCIAL SECURITY

Social Security Administration Launches
High Tech Web Site To Promote
Return to Work Activities

William J. Clinton, President of the United States announced today the launching of a new web site-The Work Site-which contains important information and support for disability beneficiaries, employers, service providers, advocates and others whose goal is to help those persons with disabilities work.

Persons with disabilities face serious challenges when attempting to enter the workforce. Assistance programs are often complex and poorly coordinated, forcing individuals to piece together information and to develop work strategies on their own. They often find that employers are reluctant to hire persons with disabilities, which can discourage them from looking for work. Young people with disabilities, especially those who are leaving school and preparing to work, lack role models and mentors to guide them. The Work Site, developed by the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) Office of Employment Support Programs is designed to be an important information source.

"Across America, employers are looking for new workers, and Americans with disabilities are looking for jobs," commented President Clinton. "To help bring the two together, the Social Security Administration is launching a new web site. Go to www.ssa.gov/work and you'll find information on everything from training programs for people with disabilities to tax incentives for employers who hire them. We all win when all Americans have a chance to work."

The web site is fully accessible to people with disabilities. This is significant since fewer than 5 percent of all Internet sites are accessible to people who are visually impaired or hearing impaired or have limited dexterity. The Work Site is built to serve the information needs of its five principal customers and provides the information in easy to understand terms.

"The Work Site puts important, but often hard-to-find information in one easy-to-access location," noted Kenneth S. Apfel, Commissioner of Social Security. "Social Security beneficiaries who want to work and those who want to help them will benefit from this new service."

The five principal customers are:

Social Security Disability Beneficiaries who will find basic information about the agency's return-to-work programs, including an explanation about Social Security work incentives such as the PASS program (Plan to Achieve Self Support) and information on State vocational rehabilitation agencies and programs and the availability of employment services from private organizations. In addition, the site provides links to other Federal web sites that contain useful information that could influence an individual's decision to work. Beneficiaries can link directly to Internet job search sites such as "America's Job Bank" (Department of Labor) and "USA Jobs" (Office of Personnel Management);

Employers who will be able to read about tax incentives for hiring people with disabilities, learn about employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and get useful information about work-site accommodations. Employers will also have access to Project Able, the SSA resume bank for people with disabilities who are looking for jobs;

Advocates who will be able to take advantage of the site's information services that list state partnerships, research activities, obtain current information about SSA contracts and grants, and post information about events that would be of interest to the disability community.

Service Providers who will have access to information about participating in SSA's vocational rehabilitation programs and becoming business partners through the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program; and

Youth with Disabilities who will find information tailored to them and their parents. A "Celebrity Gallery" section will feature profiles of youth and adult Social Security beneficiaries who want to share their accomplishments and messages of success.

"The Social Security Administration is committed to bridging the Digital Divide for our beneficiaries with disabilities," commented William Halter, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security. "We must all pool our information and resources to empower individuals with disabilities who want to contribute their talents to the workforce."

Go to www.ssa.gov/work to take a look at The Work Site.

Note: Copies of most SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security information and statistics,
are available at SSA’s Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.ssa.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSA’s
free electronic newsletter, Social Security e-news.

SSA Press Office 4-H-9 West High Rise 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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