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Boston, Massachusetts


  
Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization, are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact Mimi Turchinetz, Campaign Director of the Boston EITC Coalition, at [email protected]

Please contact Colleen Buckley at [email protected] with any questions regarding IRS/SPEC partnership with the Disability Initiative in Boston.


  
Disability Initiative Workgroup - 2010 Activities

The Boston EITC Coalition’s Disability Workgroup is made up of leaders from various sectors of the disability community, community based organizations, and municipal agencies, as well as IRS/SPEC. Partners include Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Mass Rehabilitation Commission, the Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services, the Boston Housing Authority, Bank of America’s Disability Affinity Group, Community Work Services, DEAF, Inc., and the Epilepsy Foundation of Mass and Rhode Island. The goal of the Disability Working Group is to promote the financial well being of Boston residents with disabilities through free tax preparation and asset building services, and to ensure that all Coalition sites and services are accessible to people with disabilities.

The Disability Workgroup began these goals through a mobile tax preparation service that served people whose various disabilities prevented them from participating in standard tax preparation services. During the 2008 and 2009 tax seasons, a Coalition AmeriCorps VISTA trained in disability sensitivity and in special tax issues for people with disabilities visited various vocational sites for persons with disabilities to prepare tax returns for the community. At times the VISTA was joined by a Disability Ambassador – a member of the disability (and veterans) community who had also worked for the Coalition in other advocacy capacities. Taxes were prepared on an appointment-based schedule to better serve clients’ individual needs.

During the 2010 tax season, the Disability Workgroup opened a VITA site with its longstanding partner Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries. This site has already greatly improved the Coalition’s capacity to serve the disability community by allowing volunteers to become directly involved in tax preparation for persons with disabilities. In order to continue existing relationships with previous mobile site hosts and their clientele, the Workgroup collaborated with a number of local disability agencies to transport their members to Goodwill for tax preparation. The site has also benefited from the assistance of a new Disability Ambassador, who works as Disability Access and Public Relations Program Manager at Boston’s Museum of Science. The Disability Workgroup plans to increase the capacity at the Goodwill VITA site in 2011 by further developing the network of disability agencies collaborating on marketing efforts and serving the clientele and consumers of more partner agencies.

In addition to expanding its emphasis upon providing sensitivity training for all Coalition volunteers this year through curriculum developed for on-site volunteer orientations, the EITC Coalition also worked with Work Incorporated during tax season 2010, to facilitate the first year of their VITA site operations. As a new site run by an AmeriCorps member, Work Inc. primarily served AbilityOne employees. Work Inc. is tentatively planning to expand its capacity to serve the disability community for tax season 2011 by initiating its own mobile outreach services.

 

2010 Events:

July 20th -  REI Tour Asset Development Summit
Hosted at Bank of America, 100 Federal Street, Boston MA 02110
 
March 11th - REI Tour Workgroup Meeting
Hosted at Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, 1010 Harrison Avenue, Boston MA 02116