Work Without Limits Named to New Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities

Commonwealth Medicine is now ForHealth Consulting at UMass Chan Medical School. More information available here. This content has not been updated with the new name.

Commonwealth Medicine’s program Work Without Limits has been chosen to participate in Massachusetts’ new Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities. This honor is the result of contributions the Work Without Limits team, led by Director Kathy Petkauskos, has made in partnership with Representative Josh Cutler’s (Plymouth District) WorkAbility Subcommittee of the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.

Work Without Limits is dedicated to increasing the employment of people with disabilities by promoting disability-inclusive hiring practices. “We are excited Work Without Limits will be part of the new Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities,” said Petkauskos. “We are proud to support Representative Cutler and the subcommittee in eliminating barriers to employment.”

“Kathy and the Work Without Limits team are a tremendous resource for Massachusetts,” commented Lisa M. Colombo, DNP, MHA, RN, executive vice chancellor, Commonwealth Medicine. “This is well-deserved recognition for their work and advocacy in expanding disability-inclusive hiring practices.”

The establishment of the new Commission was among several recommendations presented in a recently released report from Representative Cutler’s WorkAbility Subcommittee. The report was created following a series of meetings over the past two years. During that time, Work Without Limits facilitated conversations with several disability-inclusive private sector employers who are members of the Work Without Limits employer network. This “Business Partners Roundtable” featured employers who shared their successes and challenges in disability-inclusive hiring, providing a rich source of information to the subcommittee.

The Work Without Limits benefits counseling service is also identified in the subcommittee’s report as a resource to help residents with disabilities understand the impact of increased wages on the public benefits they currently receive. Work Without Limits has a team of community work incentive counselors who work with individuals to identify the state and federal work incentive programs they can leverage to assist with their transition from receiving public benefits to work and self-sufficiency.

The report also recommends expanding Regional Employment Collaboratives. These collaboratives were initially established by the Work Without Limits program and later spun off as self-standing entities.