LEADOn! Article

Financial Toolkit in Action

April 2024 | The Power of Financial Literacy Education

Secure Your Financial Future: A Toolkit for Individuals with Disabilities” helps people with disabilities and others make employment-related decisions based on their financial situation or goals. This comprehensive toolkit provides critical financial literacy resources to all users, regardless of where they are in the work life cycle. Importantly, the toolkit allows youth and adults with disabilities to take financial literacy education into their own hands from the moment they start looking for a job all the way through retirement. To better show the toolkit in action, the LEAD Center spoke with four people with disabilities:

  • After a spinal cord injury, Edward Mitchell became passionate about educating people with disabilities about resources that could help them plan their financial future, including tools like ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts and the “Secure Your Financial Future” toolkit. Edward’s employment journey began as he prepared for work before his injury and continued through the considerations, questions, and setbacks he faced along the way to his current career. Read Edward’s full story on the LEAD website.
  • Timothy Elliott, a disabled U.S. Navy veteran, did not return to work for 10 years after his disability for fear of losing his benefits. With support and tools like the “Secure Your Financial Future” toolkit, he has successfully balanced working and receiving benefits for 20 years. Read Timothy’s full story on the LEAD website.
  • Vander Cherry, a young professional with cerebral palsy, loves his current job, which he gained through a program called Project SEARCH when he was 19. He looks forward to continually growing his hard skills and soft skills, as well as his career, by using programs and tools like the toolkit. Read Vander’s full story on the LEAD website.
  • Proof that it is never too early to start financial planning, Kenley, a teenager with Down syndrome, is excited to make her own employment and financial decisions as she gets older. Kenley and her mother, Jennifer Casselman, often use digital tools like the “Secure Your Financial Future” toolkit to understand the interplay of Kenley’s benefits, her ABLE account, and employment. Read Kenley’s full story on the LEAD website.