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A celebration of America's greatest advocate for the disabled

She could not hear, but the words she spoke helped change America for the better. She could not see, but her vision helped create an activist community for people with disabilities. This Friday we celebrate the remarkable life and achievements of Helen Keller.

The worldwide organization Helen Keller International notes on its website that it has screened thousands of New Jersey students, including here in Newark, helping about one out of every five to receive the corrective eyewear they need. Keller would undoubtedly be proud of the organization, as well as of Social Security Disability, our government’s effort to help people who lose their ability to work to illness or injury.

A recent newspaper article on Keller and SSDI noted that Social Security reaches out to people with various forms of communication so that everyone can get needed information about its programs and services. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has taken care to make sure its website pages at www.socialsecurity.gov are accessible for those with disabilities.

Publications are available in streaming audio, PDF format, in Braille, on audio CDs and cassette tapes and also in enlarged print.

One of the administration’s recent efforts to help serve people with disabilities is its new Center for Section 504 Compliance. As you might know, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act forbids federal departments and programs from discrimination against those with disabilities. The center has a toll-free number (1-844-881-9061) to call to ensure that everyone has meaningful access to the SSA.

For those denied access to Social Security Disability benefits, the administration has an appeals process in place in which claimants can make use of an SSDI attorney.  

Source: Las Cruces Sun-News, "Social Security: Helen Keller would appreciate Social Security's efforts," Ray Vigil, June 9, 2014

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