Skip to main content
Accessibility|Contact|Privacy|Terms of Service

Bridging the Economic Divide for Americans with Disability

  • Published: 2016-10-25 (Revised/Updated 2016-11-10) : Author: National Disability Institute : Contact:
  • Synopsis: Summit addressed financial knowledge and skill gaps of Americans with disabilities and barriers that prevent their full participation in the economic mainstream.

Main Document

"Twenty-six years after the signing into law of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there remain persistent barriers to economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities..."

Today, National Disability Institute (NDI) assembled policymakers, stakeholders and thought leaders at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago for a first of its kind Financial Inclusion Summit. The Summit addressed the financial knowledge and skill gaps of Americans with disabilities and the barriers that prevent their full participation in the economic mainstream.

"Twenty-six years after the signing into law of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there remain persistent barriers to economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities," Michael Morris, Executive Director, National Disability Institute, said. "Equal opportunity must include options to build the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed financial decisions, access to financial education and coaching, affordable and accessible financial services and products, inclusion in career pathways and the ability to save and build assets. The Chicago Financial Inclusion Summit deepens our understanding and commitment to sustainable change and collective action at an individual, family, organization and community level."

"Chicago is proud to be the host city for NDI's Financial Inclusion Summit," Karen Tamley, Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), said. "This is an important platform to discuss and address the financial barriers facing people with disabilities in their quest for full community inclusion."

Collaborating organizations for the event included the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, Office of the City Treasurer, FDIC, Access Living, Resources for Community Living and Woodstock Institute.

As the nation's first nonprofit dedicated exclusively to improving the financial health and future of all people across the spectrum of disability, NDI has long documented the unique financial challenges and hurdles individuals with disabilities face. Two NDI reports, The Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities and The Banking Status and Financial Behaviors of Adults with Disabilities, provided critical data and research which served as catalysts for today's presentation and group discussions.

Findings from the reports include:

The overflow crowd at the Summit heard from a diverse set of speakers representing both public and private interests and the nonprofit sector. Special guests included: Michael W. Frerichs, State Treasurer; Glen Brewer, Community Affairs Specialist, FDIC; Karen Tamley, Commissioner of MOPD; Norma Borcherding, Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase; Carleda Johnson, Financial Stability Coordinator, Access Living; Erick Lopez, Disability Specialist, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities; Chasse Rehwinkel, Director of Policy, State Treasurer's Office; Drew Beres, General Counsel, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Office of City Treasurer; and Dory Rand President, Woodstock Institute. Each speaker highlighted their own and/or organization's work to help Americans with disabilities build a more financially secure and independent life.

During the morning session, Summit attendees formed working groups to identify pathways to create better economic futures for all individuals with disabilities. The goal was to develop and refine strategies to fulfill the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act "to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities." Following an afternoon break, the working groups gave their reports and recommendations to advance financial inclusion for Americans with disabilities.

As part of the day's program, a proclamation from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was presented by Commissioner Tamley announcing October 25, 2016 as Economic Empowerment Day. A video from Mayor Emanuel kicked off the event.

National Disability Institute and Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities

National Disability Institute (NDI) - A national nonprofit 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, NDI affects change through public education, policy development, training, technical assistance and innovative initiatives. NDI and its Real Economic Impact (REI) Network have helped more than 2.3 million people with disabilities receive nearly $2.3 billion in tax refunds and credits. To learn more, Engage with NDI on Facebook:RealEconImpact or follow NDI on Twitter:@RealEconImpact

The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) - Promotes total access, full participation and equal opportunity for people with disabilities of all ages in all aspects of life. It seeks to accomplish this mission through a multi-faceted approach that includes systemic change, education and training, advocacy and direct services. The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities works to meet the diverse needs of the more than 600,000 individuals with disabilities who live and work in Chicago. MOPD's goal is to make Chicago the most accessible city in the nation. For more information, visit

Similar Topics

1 : Disability Information and Statistics for Central America and Mexico : Disabled World.
2 : Urging Congress to Alter Federal Policies that Disadvantage People with Disabilities : National Council on Disability.
3 : Airport Security Experts, Disability Rights Advocates Call for Emergency Preparedness Training at Key Airports : SEIU Communications.
4 : State Revenue Declines Lead to Cuts in Child Medicaid Benefits and Education Spending : Rice University.
5 : Majority of Americans Still Suffer From Trump Election Results Anxiety : CareDash.
From our USA and Americas section - Full List (76 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.

1 : Telemedicine Helps Overcome Healthcare Gender Based Barriers
2 : Screen Reader Plus Keyboard Helps Blind, Low-Vision Users Browse Modern Webpages
3 : Our Digital Remains Should be Treated with Same Care and Respect as Physical Remains
4 : Tungsten: Concern Over Possible Health Risk by Human Exposure to Tungsten
5 : Student Loan Discharge Process for Disabled Veterans Made Easier
6 : Growing Bone and Cartilage Tissues for Humans from Flaxseed Like Particles
7 : Throat Reflexes Differ in People with Tetraplegia and Sleep Apnea
8 : UTA Grant to Help Minority Students Link Assistive Technology with Disability Studies

Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™