Senior Disability Advocacy Specialist
As part of the Employment Team, Cheryl Bates-Harris is responsible for training and implementation of the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security program, a program designed to assist social security beneficiaries achieve maximum economic self-sufficiency. She has extensive experience and expertise in Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and the Client Assistance Program (CAP), return-to-work issues (including job placement, supported and customized employment, reasonable job accommodations, and basic employment law), and Social Security programs and work incentives. She was appointed by President George Bush to serve on the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel. Cheryl has also worked in coalition with national groups on issues around Workforce Investment and the development of ‘One-Stops,’ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Welfare to Work, and other employment-related initiatives.
After losing a job due to an accident, Cheryl dedicated her career to helping other people who can work but may need assistance or accommodations to be successful. Cheryl now has over thirty years of experience working with people with disabilities and has conducted nationwide trainings for P&As, CAPs, and community organizations on substantive CAP/VR, sheltered workshop and subminimum wage issues, and Social Security return to work. She is adamant that work is the only route out of poverty and everyone should be able to find real work in the community at real wages.