Jewish Disability Awareness Month shines light on the work of JF&CS and local agencies

As part of ongoing efforts for people with special needs and/or disabilities and their families, Jewish Family & Children’s Service and Jewish Residential Services (JRS) will co-present the upcoming program, “Can You Work While Receiving SSI or SSDI Benefits? Yes You Can!” as part of the educational series AIM: Support for Families of Individuals with Special Needs. The presentation will be held Monday, January 26 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the JF&CS offices located at 5743 Bartlett Street in Squirrel Hill.

Keynote speaker Anthony Bibbo, Certified Work Incentive Coordinator, serves as part of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program. Bibbo will discuss how social security beneficiaries can transition from total dependence on public benefits to paid employment and greater economic self-sufficiency.

The presentation is free and open to the community and includes a light kosher meal at 6 p.m. Registration is required. For more information or to register, email Linda Marino at lmarino@jfcspgh.org or call 412-422-7200.

A unique set of life challenges exist for many individuals and families managing special needs and/or disabilities, which may range from physical disabilities that impair mobility to behavioral and emotional disabilities such as attention difficulties and autism. At JF&CS, we are committed to ensuring that children, teens and adults with special needs receive access to all benefits, services and programs to which they are entitled. We work with families by providing information and referral services, counseling and support groups, advocacy, community outreach programming and more.

This February will mark Pittsburgh’s seventh Jewish Disability Awareness Month, part of an annual nationwide campaign dedicated to raising awareness and fostering inclusion of individuals with disabilities in all facets of Jewish life. Jewish agencies, organizations and congregations use this month to break down barriers, educate communities on accessibility and inclusion and reach out to Jewish individuals with disabilities and their families.

Pittsburgh-area Jewish agencies and organizations, including JF&CS, JRS, the Agency for Jewish Learning (AJL), Friendship Circle, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the Jewish Community Center (JCC) and many others work on a local level to provide ongoing programs, services and support to address the needs, strengths, opportunities and challenges of people with disabilities in our communities.

At JF&CS, our goal is to advance the quality of life, dignity, equality and freedom of choice of people with disabilities and special needs through ongoing advocacy, community education, counseling, support groups and extensive information and referral services. Jewish Disability Awareness Month is a special time of recognition and commitment to the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. It gives us an opportunity to shine a light on the ongoing work of JF&CS and our partners to ensure those with disabilities and special needs are provided with support and practical help from infancy through adulthood every day of the year.

If you are seeking information, resources, services or support for yourself or a loved one, please contact JF&CS at 412-422-7200 or visit our website at www.jfcspgh.org to find out how we can help.

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