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Federal Forum on Ticket to Work

Wednesday, April 3, 2002
MSG 2002-024
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
Kay Coles James, Director
Federal Forum on Ticket to Work

In President Bush's New Freedom Initiative, he has called upon us to increase opportunities for people with disabilities in all areas. In particular, he looks to Federal agencies to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities as we work to achieve a well-qualified, diverse work force.

To help in this effort, the Office of Personnel Management and the Social Security Administration are sponsoring a Forum on April 18th to educate Federal employers about an innovative program called the Ticket to Work.

Under the Ticket to Work Program, Social Security disability beneficiaries receive a Ticket they can use to obtain vocational rehabilitation, job training, and other support services from participating public and private providers. Initially, Tickets are being mailed to beneficiaries in 13 states, and the Program will expand to cover the entire country by January of 2004.

The Program represents a novel approach to helping people with disabilities re-enter the workforce and contains incentives for both beneficiaries and employers. It embodies the spirit of the President's New Freedom Initiative and provides an excellent resource to help Federal agencies achieve the President's objectives.

The Forum will be held on April 18, 2002, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th floor, Washington, DC. Participation is free of charge. Agencies may register for the forum by calling Jennifer Zaniewski on 202-463-3764, or by email at

Ticket to Work Agenda
SSA Letter

cc: Directors of Human Resources
       Directors of Equal Employment Opportunity

Special Information Session for the Federal Government

Date: Thursday, April 18, 2002
Time: 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location: The National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC
Contact: Jennifer Zaniewski, Phone: (202) 463-3764 Email:

An image of the OPM Seal with an active link to the OPM home page. Hosted By:
The Office of Personnel Management
The Social Security Administration
 An image of the Social Security Administration logo with an active link to the SSA home page.

Agenda at a Glance:

8:30 - 9:00 am Registration, continental breakfast

9:00 - 9:15 am Opening Remarks
                                   Miguel A. Torrado, Associate Commissioner for Personnel, SSA

9:15 - 9:30 am Federal Partnerships to Support Disability Hiring
                                   Dan Blair, Deputy Director, Office of Personnel Management

9:30 - 10:15 am "Meet the Ticket to Work"
                                      Ken McGill, Associate Commissioner,
                                     Office of Employment Support Programs, SSA

10:15 - 10:30 am Break

10:30 - 11:15 am White House Domestic Policy and the New Freedom Initiative
                                        Jennifer Sheehy, Policy Advisor,
                                       White House Domestic Policy Council

11:15 - 11:45 am Employment Networks
                                       Mary Satterfield, MAXIMUS, Inc

11:45 - 12:15 pm Implementing the Ticket to Work from an Employers'
                                       Perspective/Employer Feedback

12:15 - 12:30 pm Wrap-up and Adjourn

Mr. Richard A. Whitford
Acting Associate Director
Office of Employment Services
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
1900 E. St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20415

Dear Mr. Whitford:

As you know, SSA is in the process of implementing the Ticket to Work Program, which is a novel approach to assist people on our disability roles to enter or return to the workforce. Tickets are now being mailed to beneficiaries in 13 states and we will phase in an additional 20 states by year's end. The balance of beneficiaries will receive tickets in 2003. The Ticket toWork Program has a number of key incentives for beneficiaries and employers alike. The Ticket embodies the spirit of the New Freedom Initiative by empowering people with disabilities to participate in the workforce.

As part of our strategy to educate employers about opportunities to recruit a qualified, diverse workforce through the Ticket to Work Program, we have planned a special forum for Federal Agencies on April 18th at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. OPM has played a leadership role in helping to transform the Federal government, the nation's largest employer, into a model for providing access and integration into the workforce for persons with disabilities. Your participation in this event would send a clear message to our Federal partners that the Ticket to Work Program is the type of innovative resource they should use.

We are excited to be talking to this audience about the Ticket. To make this forum as effective as possible, we welcome OPM's assistance in helping to promote the Ticket among Federal Human Resource Executives. It would be most helpful if OPM would agree to mail this letter and the attached flyer to the appropriate Human Resource Executives and to encourage their attendance. I would also be pleased if you would join me at the forum and say a few words about OPM's role in ensuring the success of the President's New Freedom Initiative, particularly as it applies to expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

I would be happy to discuss the Ticket to Work with you further as well as your participation in the Forum. Please feel free to call me at your earliest convenience. I can be reached at 410-965-3988. Thank you in advance for your attention to this request. I look forward to talking with you.

(signed Feb. 13, 2002)

Ken McGill
Associate Commissioner
Office of Employment Support Programs