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Current course:  SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) Online Course: Adult Curriculum

SOAR Values

SOAR is about people, not forms. Success comes from compassion, persistence, and confidence in using SOAR and the tools it offers. You do NOT need to become an expert in SSA regulations or have all the answers.

The SOAR program is value-based and people-focused.  This article outlines the core values that underlie the entire program and our approach to assisting individuals in the disability benefits application process.  These include, but are not limited to, respect, choice, hope, person-first language, and elimination of prejudice and discrimination.
 

Respect

  • A fundamental right that all persons deserve
  • Revealing personal information to a case manager in the application process requires a level of trust
  • Trust requires mutual respect

Choice

  • People experiencing homelessness, mental illness, substance use disorders, trauma, and criminal justice involvement often have had few opportunities for choice
  • Offering choice is one way to demonstrate respect

Recovery is possible

  • Often, family, friends, and even service providers have lost sight of this fact
  • Take every opportunity to offer and encourage hope for recovery
  • Access to benefits is only one of the first stepping stones to recovery
  • Encourage work and other personal goals

Hope

  • Always offer the hope for recovery
  • Maintain an awareness of the many struggles that diminish hope
  • Emphasize a person’s strength and resilience, even as you go about documenting challenges in functioning

Person-first language

  • Use the words “persons” or “people” first
  • People with mental illness (not “the mentally ill”)
  • People who have schizophrenia (not “schizophrenics”)
  • People who are experiencing homelessness (“not homeless person” or “the homeless”)
  • People with disabilities (not “the disabled”)

Celebrate diversity

  • Show respect for cultural diversity
  • Seek to better understand the culture of people served to help ensure access to appropriate treatment and services

Abolish prejudice and discrimination

  • Work to eliminate prejudice and discrimination 
  • Our society often perpetuates prejudice and discrimination against people who have experienced
    • Mental illness
    • Substance abuse
    • Trauma
    • Justice involvement
    • Homelessness
  • Correct misconceptions and dispel myths
  • Promote respect for individuals and understanding of the many challenges they face