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Financial Capability System Innovation Brief: Building a LADDER to Financial Empowerment in Louisville

LEAD Center | May 2019 | Report/Brief

Since 2014, LEAD Center has worked with Bank On Louisville, in collaboration with the Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services, to identify opportunities for universally designed services and supports that advance financial capability and improve positive financial behavior for individuals with disabilities. There are more than half a million individuals in Kentucky with a disability. Further, more than 26 percent of all Kentucky households with a member with a disability live in income poverty.

The motivation of these Louisville partners to improve the prospects of Kentuckians with disabilities aligned with LEAD Center’s mission, which is to advance sustainable individual and systems-level change that results in improved, competitive, integrated employment and economic self-sufficiency outcomes for individuals across the spectrum of disability. To support these efforts, the Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services created a coalition of agency partners and community-based organizations from the disability, employment, financial services, workforce, and asset development communities, which they named LADDER (Louisville Alliance for Development through Diversity Empowerment and Resources). During their five-year partnership with LEAD Center, LADDER allies worked to integrate financial empowerment strategies into the workforce development system and, through its partners, improve employment outcomes and financial behaviors for people with disabilities, including establishing a community-wide culture of inclusiveness and accessibility.  

This brief highlights the work of the five-year partnership between the LEAD Center and LADDER and their many joint accomplishments.