WORD Power & Self-Sufficiency

Organization Name
Positive Solutions Benefits & Resource Center
Mission Statement

To empower people with disabilites with the tools to enable self-sufficiency

City & State
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: 1. Early on we saw a recurring problem for our Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs); that is the time it took to write up the Benefit Analysis for each client. Everyone was reinventing the wheel for each client’s Benefit Analysis. It was an important part of the job, but it ate up the CWIC’s time that could be spent counseling a client. Our CWIC’s are dedicated professionals who want to take advantage of each minute available to them to conduct workshops, or to meet one-on-one with clients, or to offer a community presentation. A Benefit Analysis could take an hour or two, depending on the benefit programs, etc, to write.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: 3. Microsoft Word enabled us to create templates which we designed for specific benefits. We created an SSI template, an SSDI template, and a concurrent template. Now instead of our CWICs recreating a benefit analysis each and every time, they could use a template. Using the templates makes doing the benefit analysis quick and easy. Additionally, each and every client is receiving information in a concise format that clearly outlines their benefits. It is a win-win solution for that specific problem.

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: 4. A key to using Microsoft Word is that you do not have to be a computer whiz to effectively use the program. We, here, at Positive Solutions probably would rate pretty low on the technological IQ test, but guess what; we don’t have to be all that savvy. WORD has allowed us to create a great letterhead, templates of all kinds, as well as tables and other educational materials to explain SSA’s work incentives. Our clients benefit through receiving not only verbal instruction, but visual instruction by illustrating concepts with Microsoft tables and charts which make learning much more accessible for our clients.

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: 5. Before Joe suffered a traumatic brain injury he was a carpenter. Joe had to relearn everything. He spent four years in therapy which taught him language, concepts, and the requirements of daily living. When I met Joe he wanted to return to his old Job, but he was worried about losing his benefits, especially medical. He wanted to be self-sufficient, but he needed the right tools to understand his benefits and how working would affect them. Working one-on-one using materials created in Microsoft Word Joe learned about the work incentives available to him that would let him keep his benefits as he eased back into his old job. What's more, he learned how to chart and report earnings through monthly activities using templates created in Microsoft Word.

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