On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, National Disability Institute (NDI) Executive Director, Thomas Foley, J.D., provided testimony for the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion entitled, “Diversity Includes Disability: Exploring Inequities in Financial Services for Persons with Disabilities, Including Those Newly Disabled Due to Long-Term COVID.”
Read Thomas Foley’s testimony.
The hearing examined current barriers for persons with disabilities in experiencing full economic inclusion, including accessing employment opportunities and affordable and accessible housing, as well as legislative solutions to address such barriers, including best practices for creating a more inclusive work environment, especially in the financial services industry, as well as solutions to address such barriers. The subcommittee is chaired by Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH).
Additional panelists included:
• Alison Cannington, Senior Manager, Advocacy and Organizing, The Kelsey
• Cynthia DiBartolo, Founder and CEO, Tigress Financial Partners
• Vilissa Thompson, Fellow, The Century Foundation & Co-director, Disability Economic Justice
• Caroline Sullivan, Executive Director, North Carolina Business Committee for Education,
Office of the Governor
According to NDI research, persons with disabilities experience greater levels of poverty and lower levels of wealth than persons without disabilities. Persons with disabilities who are Black, Indigenous, or Latinx have higher poverty rates (36 percent, 34 percent, and 28 percent, respectively) than persons with disabilities who are White (23 percent). Households with an adult with a work disability require, on average, 28 percent more income or an additional $17,690 a year to obtain the same standard of living of a household without a disability. Economic insecurity can be both a consequence of having a disability and an accelerant because poverty and economic instability can reduce access to health care and/or increase the chance a person with a disability lives and works in an unsafe environment.