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Financial Literacy for Workers with Disabilities

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COVID-19 has affected more dimensions of people's lives than just health. The work world has been re-invented due to the measures taken to decrease the spread. Working from home is much more common now. Also, the "Great Resignation" has opened opportunities in a lot of sectors. This has resulted in an unprecedented increase in competitive, integrated jobs for people who live with disability.
In 2021, 19.1 percent of persons with a disability were employed, up from 17.9 percent in 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in February of 2022.
With some of the traditional barriers removed — like having to go to work in person, finding transportation, and getting accommodations — people with disabilities are taking advantage of expanded work opportunities. Along with these opportunities comes increased income and additional financial security. The people you serve who are experiencing this increase in income may have questions about how to best manage their money.

Answering Financial Questions

When someone gets a job, there are a lot of financial decisions that need to be made. It's a good idea to equip yourself with the knowledge and resources that job seekers might need when having to manage money for the first time or adjust to increased income. A good way to help your clients out is to give them information from trustworthy sources.

Help from the Department of Labor

The Department of Labor has created a toolkit that gives information and practical strategies that VR counselors can use to coach clients on finances throughout the different phases of the career lifecycle.

The website states that, "We all need clear and accurate information to secure our financial well-being.” This toolkit provides a map to navigating money matters, starting wherever someone is in their employment journey. The information is broken down based on the lifecycle of a person’s career.

Topic areas include:

Promising (Financial) Practices

Following are more resources to help increase the financial literacy of the people you serve. These resources were gathered from the Promising Practices website.

Your Money, Your Goals

This is a training resource from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that VR counselors can use to help the new hire make financial goals and smart choices. There's a toolkit, training videos, companion guides, booklets to help you talk about money. Another resource is Financial Literacy for High Schoolers - which includes a full curriculum module that can be used both by VR counselors and schools. Learn more at Your Money, Your Goals.

Practical Money Skills

Although the Practical Money Skills website provides financial education for anyone, they have a series of lessons for people with disabilities called Financial Lessons for Special Needs Students. These modules show how to navigate different financial situations, like budgeting, shopping, independent living, banking, and protecting their money. Each of the lessons includes a teacher's guide, student activities, PowerPoints, and presentations. Find out more at Practical Money Skills.

Consumer Credit Money Tools

The American Consumer Credit Counseling organization features a variety of resources for financial education. Their website states, "When it comes to money matters, knowledge is power. Financial literacy – understanding how personal finances work – is the first step toward taking control of your financial situation. And accessing all the resources available to you is the key to improving your financial future.”

Designed to help people to gain information about managing their money, their free financial education resources can guide new hires in many aspects of financial literacy. Check out the wide variety of resources at ConsumerCredit.com.

Do you have a favorite resource for helping your clients navigate finances after having been hired? Post them in the comments below.

Have a suggestion? Leave us a comment.

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