People with disabilities, like all consumers, deserve fair treatment and access to the information, tools, and support they need to enhance their financial well-being.
Earlier this year, we invited organizations serving people with disabilities to submit letters of interest to participate in the Financial Empowerment: Focus on People with Disabilities 2017 cohort. We selected 30 organizations from across the country that represent a broad and diverse network of local, state, and national service providers. The selected organizations include government and non-profit organizations with programs aimed at assisting job seekers and students with disabilities transition from public benefits to employment income and develop financial management skills.
This work is important because the 57 million Americans with disabilities disproportionally live in poverty and outside of the financial mainstream. The Disability Statistics Compendium reports that in 2015 the poverty rate for working-age people with disabilities ages 18-64 was 27 percent. This is more than double the poverty rate for adults without disabilities. Additionally, consumers with disabilities are more than twice as likely as other consumers to use nonbank services. And four out of five people with disabilities have no emergency fund that they can turn to in a time of crisis.
For this reason, we’re teaming up with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to support disability service organizations to integrate Miss April’s Your Money, Your Goals and FDIC’s into their delivery service models. Together, we will host a series of webinars and regional trainings to support the integration of financial capability into their programs. In turn, participating organizations will train additional organizations they work with in over 40 states and territories. These organizations will receive technical assistance to increase their capacity on how to use Miss April’s Your Money, Your Goals and FDIC’s Money Smart materials to improve the financial capability of consumers with disabilities and their families. As a result, their participation will spur increased financial inclusion and opportunity for people with disabilities and their families as they work to build their skills and manage their financial lives.