SOURCE: National Disability Institute

August 27, 2014 14:55 ET

NDI and AFCPE Join Forces to Bolster the Financial Health of People With Disabilities

Partnership Will Improve the Financial Knowledge, Education, Wellness and Know-How Within the Disability Community

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - August 27, 2014) - Today, National Disability Institute (NDI), the first national non-profit dedicated exclusively to building a better economic future for people with disabilities, and the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®), a non-profit professional membership organization committed to improving personal financial management education, training and certification of financial counselors, educators and other related practitioners, announced the creation of a new, three-part webinar series designed to equip financial counselors with the needed tools to address the unique financial challenges of people with disabilities and instill lifelong financial best practices.

"At a time when there are more than 54 million Americans with disabilities, of which nearly 1 in 3 live in poverty, it is imperative financial counselors and other service providers have the financial expertise to help individuals with disabilities manage their finances, save and plan for the future," said NDI Executive Director Michael Morris. "We believe working hand-in-hand with ACFPE will go a long way toward meeting this objective."

A new report released by National Disability Institute in July 2014 on the financial capability of people with disabilities underscored the need for this training, with 78 percent of people with disabilities reporting they had difficulty making ends meet, as compared with 56 percent of people without disabilities. The report also found only 35 percent of people with disabilities have met with a financial advisor in the last five years as compared to 51 percent of people without disabilities.

The webinars will be held on the first Wednesday of October, November and December beginning at 3:00 PM (EDT). Webinars are free and open to the entire financial community, governmental agencies, consumers and anyone who may benefit from this cutting-edge content. In addition, continuing education credit will be available to AFCPE affiliated counselors including Accredited Financial Counselors (AFC®), Accredited Credit Counselors (ACCsm) and Certified Housing Counselors (CHC®).

"AFCPE is proud to partner with NDI, a champion for the disability community and an organization focused on ensuring people with disabilities have equal opportunity to achieve financial stability and independence," said AFCPE Executive Director Rebecca Wiggins. "AFCPE is dedicated to supporting our professionals and continuing to set the standards in the field of financial counseling and education. We want to ensure that our financial counselors are equipped with the best education and tools to support the economic wellbeing of all individuals and families, including people with disabilities. We believe financial counseling is not prescriptive, which is why our professionals are equipped to effectively analyze each client as an individual to achieve lasting financial behavior change."

Webinar registration is open. Click on the titles of the webinar topics below to register:

Providing Financial Counseling, Coaching and Education to People with Disabilities ­- Oct.1, 2014 - 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET. This webinar will provide an overview of the disability community, the need for financial counseling and the importance of self-determination and person-centered planning. Attendees will learn about disability sensitivity and effective communication tips when communicating with clients that may have sensory disabilities. 

An Overview of Public Benefits and Work Supports - Nov. 5, 2014 - 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. ET. This webinar will provide a basic overview of the different types of public benefits like Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that an individual with a disability might receive. Attendees will learn about work supports that individuals can access who are receiving SSI and/or SSDI. This webinar will also provide a list of community resources that can help clients with more in-depth information on the public benefits they are receiving.

Partnering with the Disability Community - Dec. 3, 2014 - 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET. There are a variety of organizations that support people with disabilities. This webinar will provide an overview of the disability service system and disability organizations that you can connect your clients with in your local community. Attendees will learn about strategies on how to increase outreach to the disability community and learn about best practices on how to build the collaboration between financial counseling/coaching programs and the disability community.

For more information regarding the webinar series, please visit AFCPE's Continuing Education Library or the NDI website.

About National Disability Institute

National Disability Institute (NDI) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to building a better economic future for people with disabilities. The first national organization committed exclusively to championing economic empowerment, financial education, asset development and financial stability for all persons with disabilities, National Disability Institute effects change through public education, policy development, training, technical assistance and innovative initiatives. National Disability Institute and its Real Economic Impact (REI) Network have helped nearly 2 million people with disabilities receive more than $1.8 billion in tax refunds and credits. To learn more, visit www.realeconomicimpact.org. Engage with National Disability Institute on Facebook: RealEconImpact or follow NDI on Twitter: @RealEconImpact

About Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®)

The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) is a non-profit, international, professional membership organization dedicated to improving personal financial management education, training, and certification of financial counselors, educators, and other related practitioners. We are uniquely built upon decades of extensive field research, out of which our nationally recognized certification programs were created: Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) and Certified Housing Counselor (CHC®). AFCPE's certification marks represent the highest standards of excellence in the field of financial counseling and education.

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