Module 1 - Warm-Up and Introduction

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Module 1 - Warm-Up and Introduction

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Module 1 - Warm-Up and Introduction

Asset Development Strategies for Persons with Disabilities


Module 1

Welcome to our training program

Asset Development Strategies for Persons with Disabilities.

There will be four sessions. Each session will last about two hours.

The purposes of the training is to help you learn more about and use tools and strategies that will help you make good decisions about working, saving, and building assets.

We will help you understand what asset building is and why it is important for people with disabilities.

Each training session will help you learn about a different strategy that will complement each other to advance your self-sufficiency, promote choice and community participation.



To get started, let’s go around the room and have each person introduce himself or herself.

Tell us your name,

If you are currently working, and

Something you like to do. For examples, go to the movies, shopping, visit with friends.



We will get to know each other better during the next six weeks as we learn together about a new way of thinking and action.


Module 1 - Overview, Purpose, and Expected Outcomes

Asset Development Strategies for Persons with Disabilities


Module 1

This training program has been developed by the National Disability Institute.

The National Disability Institute is a national research and development organization with the mission to promote income preservation and asset development for persons with disabilities and to build healthy financial futures for Americans with disabilities.


Setting a framework for Asset Development Strategies


of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 brought new hope and expectations about the possibilities of full participation in the workplace and community life for millions of individuals with disabilities and their families


The ADA law says clearly the nation’s proper goals regarding individuals with disabilities are to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.


Setting a framework for Asset Development Strategies

Seventeen years later, great efforts have been made to advance opportunities related to employment and independent living. However, we have not really focused on “economic self-sufficiency.”


Module 1

What does the term

economic self-sufficiency

mean to you?


Economic Self-sufficiency


self-sufficiency is about making good decisions about working and saving and managing a budget.


is setting goals to advance employment and economic status.


is about building assets


This training program will introduce you to new strategies to advance your economic independence and become less dependent on government benefits.


Let’s Begin

Today we will learn more about what are assets and different kinds of asset building programs.

The next three sessions will look more closely at specific asset building strategies and provide an understanding of how these programs work in our community and how they could benefit you.


Asset Development

The next three sessions will focus on:

Financial Literacy: Access to Financial Services

Earned Income Tax Credit: Free Tax Preparation Assistance

Individual Development Accounts


Module 1: Introduction and Next StepsAll the training sessions are based on the principles of self-determination.Module 2: Financial Literacy and Access to Financial ServicesAbility to make informed decisions about producing income, savings, and asset building.Access to mainstream banks and credit unions can save you money.

Asset Development Strategies


Module 3: Earned Income Tax Credit: Free Tax Preparation AssistanceTax refunds even with no tax liability if you are a low-income workerFree tax preparation assistanceModule 4: Individual Development AccountsMatched savings plansSetting an asset goal

Asset Development Strategies


Module 5: Microenterprise Development and Home OwnershipChoice of self-employmentHome ownership as an asset building strategyModule 6: Social Security Work IncentivesPlans for Achieving Self-SupportCombining strategies for a better economic future

Asset Development Strategies




person has the


to dream, to make his or her own decisions and plan his or her own life


A person has the


to control how money is spent for his or her supports


A person has the


needed from friends, family, and other people whom that person chooses


A person takes


to do what he or she says he or she will do



– the recognition that individuals themselves are a major part of the design of their long-term services and supports.


The information being provided to you through each training session will help you make informed decisions about saving and asset building. Good decisions are the result of good planning.At the end of four sessions, you will have gained new knowledge to plan and make decisions about a better economic future, a better quality of life, and more independence.

Asset Development Strategies


Module 1 - Main Presentation

Asset Development Strategies


What do we know about people with disabilities and poverty?

One out of every three adults with disabilities live in very low income households as opposed to one of every eight non-disabled adults (NCD 1996 Report)

Lack of money is a serious problem among 68% of people with disabilities:

39% of people with disabilities say that the lack of financial resources is the most serious problem they face. (NOD/Harris Survey 2000)


What do we know about people with disabilities and poverty?

Even when people with disabilities are employed, they earn substantially less than their non-disabled peers, roughly 72


to the dollar (NCD 1996 Report)

Public assistance represents 59% of the total income of people with significant disabilities and only 8% of the total income of people who have no disability. (Harris Survey 2002)

Less than 10% of people with disabilities own their own homes compared with 70% of Americans with no disabilities



Asset Poverty Varies Significantly by Race and Gender

33% of all American households have

no assets or are in debt.

54% of Hispanic households have a similar status.

60% of African American households have no net assets.

80% of persons with disabilities have no net assets.


Whether it is access to


A quality education

Effective transition from school to work

Needed transportation, housing, technology or long-term supports

Enduring poverty and lack of economic empowerment will diminish choices and quality of life within communities and

Singularly diminish freedom, opportunity, and self-determination.


What is Asset Development?

Asset Development is a series of strategies that has the potential to help people with disabilities improve their economic status, expand opportunities for community participation, and positively impact the quality of life experience.


Which of these are considered assets?


What are Assets?

Money you have in the bankCash on handSecurities (shares) (retirement accounts, other investments)Property you ownOwner equity in a home or business

Furniture and appliances

Miscellaneous items (jewelry, cars, etc.)

Whatever is owed to you

Education level and work experience


What Prevents People with Significant Disabilities from Controlling Assets?

Eligibility for many public benefits requires individuals with disabilities to not develop assets. You have to stay poor to remain eligible.

Examples: Social Security Benefits; Medicaid


Why is Asset Development Important to Persons with Disabilities?

Assets provide greater financial security and independence

Assets improve community participation and quality of life


Why is Income Preservation and Asset Development Important?

To persons with disabilities, saving money and developing assets will produce choices that directly impact quality of life, especially regarding:

mental and physical health

positive self-concept and level of community participation

expectations and status with other community stakeholders


To design a roadmap out of poverty for individuals with disabilities, there will need to be a change in public attitudes, new expectations in the disability community, and new partnerships that support savings and asset building.


Change Public Attitudes – Three Myths


with disabilities are unable to work

. -

Work produces income which is the first step towards saving and building assets


People with disabilities have all their needs met by their special programs.

People with disabilities want to reduce their reliance on government benefits and have more freedom and independence


People with disabilities can’t be expected to save and build assets.

People with disabilities want a better economic future. They are starting businesses and becoming homeowners.


Assets can improve economic stability

and independence.


Change Expectations in the Disability Community

Social Security and Medicaid prevent individuals with disabilities from increasing their income and assets in order to remain eligible for public benefits.

This training program will share with you tools and strategies that can help you overcome these policy barriers.


There is no single strategy or simple solution that can provide a roadmap out of poverty and overcome common misconceptions.

However, through this series of training, “Building Assets and Promoting Choice:” you will learn about new options to advance your economic status and promote greater self-sufficiency.


There are new partnerships to be formed with community-based groups. There are new choices to be made that reinforce new expectations about working and building assets.

We will learn about six complimentary strategies that could change your quality of life.


Module 1 - American Dream Exercise

Asset Development Strategies for Persons with Disabilities


American Dream

For millions of people in this country, the American Dream is owning a home, or starting and owning a business, or saving income from work to retire with a positive quality of life.


American Dream

If you were to improve your quality of life and achieve the American Dream, what would it be?

What prevents achievement of your goal?


American Dream

Although there is no single strategy or solution to overcome these multiple barriers, there are new opportunities that we will learn about together to advance greater self-sufficiency and quality of life.


Introduction to New Tools and Strategies


the past 15 years, tools and strategies have been developed to help people of low income save and grow assets


Disability-specific tools and strategies created by federal policy that underutilized


During the next sessions we will learn about both kinds of tools and strategies that can be leveraged and expanded to benefit persons with disabilities.


Three Complimentary Strategies


Education and Access to Financial


Utilization of The Earned Income Tax


Individual Development



Next Steps

Each session ends with homework assignments.

You need to believe that the more you learn and the more you gain knowledge, the better informed you will be to make decisions about a better economic future.


Making Connections in Your Community

The next session will be on Financial Education and Access to Financial Services.


Checking Account

A checking account will help you manage your spending and reduce your need to pay cash.


Savings Account

A savings account is a starting point for planning for the future. For many individuals, saving is fun. The American culture is about spending. We spend very little time thinking about saving and putting money aside for building assets and a better quality of life in the future.


Steps to Financial Independence


many of us, we have not been educated about a stepped approach to financial independence.

Step One

: A job that produces income.

Step Two

: Planning to increase income and build savings


Step Three

: Set asset goals and gain and sustain assets for a better quality of life and greater independence.

Step Four

: Review goals and make adjustments to advance a better economic future.


There are strategies we will learn about that will help achieve financial stability, security, and greater self-sufficiency.

Managing money and credit are critical skills to advancing self-sufficiency. We will talk more about these topics at our next session as well as the importance of access to financial services.

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