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Financial Literacy: Improving the Numbers for People with Disabilities — Assistant Secretary Martinez’s Blog

Assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez examined the issue of financial literacy for people with disabilities in her August 13 post on the DOL blog. “Many of us with disabilities, especially those born with them, are simply not expected to work and have money to manage,” said Martinez. She discussed a report issued by the National Disability Institute on the financial capability of adults with disabilities that showed, among other findings, that many people with disabilities have poor financial literacy and don’t have access to mainstream financial services. Martinez explained the agreement ODEP has signed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to increase access to services, asset-building strategies and consumer protection information for people with disabilities, and described a joint memorandum the two organizations have recently disseminated to provide information about federal resources and assistance about financial literacy that are available to people with disabilities.

ODEP and NOND Release Proceedings Report of the Alliance Roundtable Discussion

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) held an all-day ODEP NOND Alliance Roundtable Discussion on March 18, 2014. The proceedings report, titled “Health Care Professionals with Disabilities Career Trends, Best Practices and Call-to-Action Policy Roundtable,” has been released. Discussion focused on barriers that impact the ability of people with disabilities, including veterans, to enroll in healthcare careers and obtain employment and necessary accommodations for an aging healthcare workforce.

Job Accommodation Network Service Dog Webcast Featured in the Huffington Post

The Job Accommodation Network’s webcast “Best Practices — Employment and Service Dogs: Perspectives from Assistance Dog Experts” was highlighted in the Huffington Post in a report on service dogs on August 6, 2014. As part of International Assistance Dog Week, JAN’s webcast featured two experts in the field of service dogs in the workplace. Discussion included how use of a service animal as a job accommodation may help a person with a disability enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment, perform job tasks, and access facilities. In addition, practical strategies to enable a smooth transition when welcoming a service animal and their human partner to the workplace were presented.

Department of Education Accepting Applications for Assistive Technology Alternative Financing Program

The Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has published a funding opportunity under the Assistive Technology (AT) Alternative Financing Program (AFP) with the anticipation of making two to four awards. The Department of Education funds high-quality AT AFPs that meet rigorous standards in order to enable individuals with disabilities to access and acquire assistive technology devices and services necessary to achieve education, community living, and employment goals. AFP supports programs that provide for the purchase of AT devices, such as a low-interest loan fund, an interest buy-down program, a revolving loan fund, a loan guarantee, or an insurance program. State agencies and community-based disability organizations that are directed by and operated for individuals with disabilities are eligible to compete. The deadline for transmittal of applications is September 15, 2014.