Thursday, January 28, 2010

Promoting Employment of Adults with AD/HD to the SSA

I am pleased to share a message from public policy specialist Cindy Smith on CHADD’s efforts to promote employment for adults with AD/HD. My 19-year-old son is in a post-high school program. He is struggling with getting to class and obligations on time, bringing all the materials necessary to learn and participate, and effectively organizing his time. Many young adults have these challenges. But if the daily and weekly challenges continue—even with supports—there is a disability factor involved. My son has had these substantial challenges his entire life.

Three CHADD volunteers—a young woman with AD/HD, an educator teaching adults in a community college setting, and a physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of AD/HD—recently testified to the Social Security Administration on accommodations needed by some adults with AD/HD in order to become and remain meaningfully employed. Chronic and substantial inattention and executive functioning challenges can be disabling and should be so recognized by the SSA. I am proud to share Cindy’s summary of CHADD’s advocacy efforts with the SSA.


CHADD Provides Comments to Social Security Administration Advisory Panel
On January 20 and 21, 2010, three members of CHADD’s public policy committee provided public comment to supplement CHADD’s written recommendations at the quarterly meeting of the Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel (OIDAP). In addition to discussing their personal and family experiences with AD/HD, they explained how executive functioning skills, including the ability to sustain attention, can impact the ability to be gainfully employed. This is the first time CHADD has provided comment to an advisory panel convened by the Social Security Administration.

A subset of adults with AD/HD is unable to be gainfully employed because of the chronic, substantial inattention and executive functioning challenges caused by the disorder. CHADD is working to have the SSA recognize AD/HD as a disability that can inhibit the ability to work, and to ensure that reasonable job accommodations and supports are available for individuals who cannot engage in substantial and meaningful employment without them.

The OIDAP was formed on December 9, 2008, and charged with providing “independent advice and recommendations on plans and activities to replace the Dictionary of Occupational Titles currently used in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability determination process.” The OIDAP has been working on meeting its charge, and recently published a summary of its work and recommendations in a report titled Content Model and Classification Recommendations for the Social Security Administration Occupational Information System (PDF).

Visit CHADD’s public policy webpage to see what CHADD is doing to advocate for adults with AD/HD and how you can help.

You can read this blog and others like it at the HealthCentral website.

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