May 1 – June 19, 2015

An online crowdsourcing challenge to identify the best ideas for making improvements to access to quality services and supports for working-age persons with disabilities.

How do we improve access to quality services and supports for working-age persons with disabilities? How do we ensure they can join or stay in the workforce? There are many potential answers. How do we identify the best ones?

Working Together is a National Academy of Social Insurance initiative to improve services and supports for working-age persons with disabilities by harnessing the collective knowledge of an interdisciplinary community of disability, health, and social insurance experts.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security, and the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Academy’s goal is to help identify and highlight research areas, new approaches, and/or proven ideas for policymakers and other leaders to prioritize, especially amidst renewed efforts to boost employment among working-age persons with disabilities.

The Challenges for Research, Policy Development, and Implementation: Our knowledge of the needs of working-age individuals with disabilities and how to better serve them remains inadequate, despite existing data on disability and chronic health conditions. We need more information on promising programs, policies and models of support. We also need data on the changing needs of people with disabilities over time to improve the effectiveness of different strategies for promoting health and wellness, independence, and workforce participation. Furthermore, proposals to better serve the needs of working age individuals with disabilities should reflect an understanding of ongoing efforts to innovate in Medicaid, Medicare, and the healthcare system overall.

Throughout 2015, the National Academy of Social Insurance is commemorating the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid with a series of special activities, including this Working Together Challenge. Working with a variety of partners, the Academy is committed to providing the public and the policy community with a platform for educational dialogue around the history and future of these two vital programs. The Academy’s Medicare and Medicaid at 50 and Beyond Celebration Program is made possible thanks to support from

and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation.