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LEAD Activities During Financial Capability Month in April

June 28, 2018

To commemorate Financial Capability Month, and learn more about the challenges and opportunities to address the needs of Americans with disabilities to become more financially capable, the LEAD Center, Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), and National Disability Institute (NDI) partnered on a webinar event on Advancing Financial Literacy for Individuals with Disabilities.

Two panels, one of federal agency representatives and the other of disability community leaders, discussed the challenges and opportunities to improve financial capability and inclusion for individuals across the spectrum of disabilities.

Participants learned about the consumer protections provided by MSRB rules for ABLE tax-advantaged savings accounts; new materials from the FDIC to build financial capability for adults with disabilities; favorable tax benefits for people with disabilities from the IRS; and financial literacy requirements in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

Speakers from ODEP included Patrick Mannix, Senior Advisor and Andy Arias, Policy Advisor.

National Financial Capability Month, held during the month of April each year, is a time for public and private sector organizations to work together to improve the knowledge and skills of all Americans with and without disabilities to make more informed financial decisions, better manage their financial lives, set financial goals, build and preserve assets, reduce economic vulnerability, and improve economic security.

Captioned videos of the event can be viewed using the following links: Video 1 and Video 2.

In addition, to recognize Financial Capability Month, the Office of Financial Empowerment at Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Resilience and Community Services in Louisville, KY, contributed the blog: Building Credit and Community: A Look Inside Louisville’s LABS Pilot Program. The blog discussed its LADDER (Louisville Alliance for Development through Diversity Empowerment and Resources) program. In 2016, LADDER implemented the LABS (LADDER Asset Building Strategies) pilot, which was designed to increase the overall financial well-being of individuals with disabilities through small dollar loan and matched savings opportunities.

LEAD Center also updated and released the paper: Integrating Financial Capability and Asset Building Strategies into the Public Workforce Development System. The paper focuses on how the development of financial capability strategies related to personal savings, asset building, managing credit, and individual budgeting, which are critical for sustaining financial security. This security, in turn, helps individuals achieve employment outcomes. In addition, the paper describes some of the replicable models that American Job Centers (AJCs) have established to provide financial capability services.

Finally, LEAD Center conducted The Money Matters Online Dialogue from April 18th through May 4th. For this dialogue, the LEAD Center invited workforce professionals, financial services partners and the disability community to submit accomplishments, strategies, barriers, and potential partnerships that support the design and delivery of financial literacy education activities to youth and adults with disabilities served by American Job Centers and/or other employment services providers.

WIOA supports activities that build the financial literacy of job seekers, as defined in the final rule (Section 20CFR681.500). Financial literacy education activities are identified as one of 14 mandated services that must be available to youth participants and can be made available to adult job seekers. A central focus of the LEAD Center’s mission, in addition to promoting employment outcomes, is to increase the financial literacy and financial capability of people with disabilities. Employment produces income; financial literacy empowers people to achieve their life goals with that income.