Mission: Our Mission is to provide education and advocacy for people with psychiatric and/or developmental disabilities, with or without physical disabilities, so that they can achieve equal opportunities in all aspects of life.
Results: Highly successful representation on appeals for SSI/SSDI initial claims and terminations; free consultations on ADA (reasonable accommodations in employment, options when faced with negative employment actions); free consultations on SSA’s work incentive programs; free seminars/workshops; free referrals; training materials (see Online Store); guest speaking on relevant topics; training by request
Target demographics: disabled, low-income, children, people in the San Francisco bay area
Direct beneficiaries per year: 500-1000
Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area Counties: San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Solano
Programs: Due to the profound stigma often associated with mental illness, PWDF pays particular attention to people with psychiatric disabilities. We have two major program components: 1. Education/Public Awareness ? PWDF produces training videos and other educational materials to promote better understanding of psychiatric disabilities in the workplace, which are available on www.pwdf.org/media/index.html. PWDF offers public seminars, guest speaking, and workshops on the psychiatric disorders on issues relating to employment, Social Security, education, housing, health care, multiculturalism, etc. We have provided guest speakers at governmental and/or nonprofit program events relating to discrimination under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, health care, Social Security benefits, etc. 2. Advocacy - Legal representation and/or consultation for qualified disabled individuals before/against the Social Security Administration, in federal court, on issues of disability rights, including benefits, work incentives, and ADA-compliance in matters such as employment, health care, education, and/or housing. Currently, direct advocacy services are provided on a sliding fee schedule in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Marin, Solano, Napa, and Sonoma, and no one is declined due to their inability to pay. Nationally, we are seeking to redress loopholes in the federal statutes. Social Security?s own statistics show that they are disproportionately terminating benefits for those with mental disabilities as opposed to those with other disabilities, and PWDF is taking action through litigation and proposed legislative changes.