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July 24, 2000

Catherine Noe, Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

Social Security Online


Work Incentives Advisory Panel Is Appointed, Begins Discussions July 24

The Work Incentives Advisory Panel designed to advise the President, the Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on issues related to work incentives for people with disabilities will hold its first public meeting July 24-25 at the Sheraton Crystal City Arlington, Virginia. Kenneth S. Apfel, Commissioner of Social Security will swear-in the panel members. The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, signed by President Clinton last December, mandated the creation of the panel.

"All Americans should have the opportunity to contribute their talent and energy to the workforce," commented Commissioner Apfel. "The disability experts on the advisory panel will look for ways in which job opportunities can be made available to the three out of four workers with disabilities who don't have jobs."

By law, the advisory panel will meet quarterly and is composed of 12 members, with four members appointed by the President, four by the Senate and four by the House of Representatives. The panel is required to submit a final report to the President and the Congress no later than December 2007 with detailed findings and conclusions as well as legislative and administrative recommendations.

President Clinton has appointed Sarah Wiggins Mitchell, President and Executive Director of the New Jersey Protection and Advocacy, Inc., the designated protection and advocacy system for the State, to chair the panel. She is a member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Bars and has a background in nursing and social work.

Other panel members include:

· Richard Burkhauser, Ph.D., Professor of Policy Analysis and Chair, Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. He is also active as a consultant, writer, and researcher, focusing on various economic and social issues relating to persons with disabilities.

· Thomas P. Golden, faculty member of Cornell University's Program on Employment and Disability in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Ithaca, NY. He is currently project director for numerous projects focusing on activities relating to work incentives for people with disabilities.

· Frances Gracechild, Executive Director, Resources for Independent Living, Inc., Sacramento, CA and instructor at California State University at Sacramento. She is president of Health Access America and serves as a commissioner for the California Attorney General's Commission on Disability.

· Christine M. Griffin, Executive Director, Disability Law Center, Boston, MA. She is a Trustee for the Paralyzed Veterans of America Spinal Cord Research Foundation and is a member of the Massachusetts and the Washington, DC Bar.

· Larry D. Henderson, Executive Director, Independent Resources, Inc., Wilmington, DE and chair of the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council of Delaware. Prior to his current position he was associated with the Salvation Army's Family Service Department.

· Jerome Kleckley, MSW, CSW, Director, Hospital Services, Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, Jackson Heights, NY and advocate for veterans with disabilities. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and has been actively involved in veteran's issues.

· Stephanie Smith Lee, Governmental Affairs Representative, National Down Syndrome Society, Oakton, VA. She has played a key role in the passage of federal disability legislation and has led successful grass roots advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels.

· Bryon R. MacDonald, public policy advocate with the World Institute on Disability, Oakland, CA. He is a member of the National Council on Independent Living and is chair of that organization's Social Security Subcommittee. For many years he has served as a consultant to several advisory committees on employment support for persons with disabilities.

· Stephen L. Start, founder and President/Chief Executive Officer, Start & Associates, Spokane, WA, a company that provides professional management, rehabilitation, and residential services for people with disabilities, seniors, and economically disadvantaged individuals. He is a member of numerous national and regional residential and rehabilitation boards.

· Susan Webb, President/Chief Executive Officer, Webb Transitions, Inc., Phoenix, AZ. A former Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiary, she used work incentives and vocational rehabilitation services to return to work. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Independent Living for three consecutive years, serving as its Social Security Subcommittee chair.

The panel meetings are open to the public.

For more information about the Work Incentives Advisory Panel, please visit

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