It’s no secret that financial education is important for everyone, but for people with disabilities, it can be particularly challenging. Blind people , for example, may need to approach finances from a different vantage point, considering not just our earning potential, but also transportation, accessibility, and other medical needs.
This is why initiatives like Penny Forward are so important. I founded Penny Forward to offer accessible financial wellness education and counseling programs to people who are blind or disabled. Through self-paced online courses, members can learn tools and techniques to navigate the complicated landscape of personal finance.
In addition to educational resources, members also have access to exclusive member-only Zoom chats, one-to-one sessions, and other practical tools to help them manage their finances. Penny Forward even offers early access to all of our podcast episodes, a members-only newsletter, and bonus content created exclusively for our members.
We’re not stopping there, though. We’re continuing to add online courses, looking for ways to help more people who are blind and disabled, and even looking for ways to create accessible jobs in the financial services industry.
While Penny Forward cannot advocate for specific government policies, some people have suggested that blind people should receive a non-means tested, non-taxable $60,000 a year from the age of 18 onwards. The goal would be to provide individuals with the resources they need to invest in capital when they’re younger, and draw down on that capital as they age and need more assistance.
While this proposal may be controversial, it highlights the importance of financial stability for people with disabilities. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to the resources they need to live comfortably and invest in their future. For people with disabilities, financial education and practical support can make a world of difference. There are countless accounts of very poor people making it big after finding the right opportunity. There are also countless accounts of blind people finding ways to succeed in nearly any profession you can imagine. There is an element of luck to all of these stories, but they also feature people who taught valuable lessons and worked along side those with less experience until they gained the confidence to strike out on their own.
In my opinion, financial education and mentoring is valuable now, but it will be even more valuable if blind people are able to successfully advocate to fix the very broken system we have available to us today.
So let’s keep the conversation going, and continue to support organizations like Penny Forward that are working to make financial wellness a reality for all.
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