Leaving Social Security Benefits behind for a fortune 500 job through vocational rehabilitation:

The Marvin Whitfield story.

Marvin Whitfield on VR Workforce Studio Podcast episode 70
SHOW NOTES

Rick Sizemore Twitter @Rickwwrc or email, rick.sizemore@WWRC.virginia.gov

Anne Hudlow’s email is Annehudlow@comcast.net

Cherie Takemoto, PhD Project Director/Senior Research Analyst ctakemoto@neweditions.net, on Twitter @RSA_NCRTM Phone: 703-356-8035 ext. 107   National Clearinghouse for Rehabilitation Training Materials

Vicki Varner Twitter @86Vicki or e-mail vickivarner11@gmail.com

Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center Twitter @wwrc

National Rehabilitation Association Twitter @nationalRehab

Council of State Administrators for Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) “Check out CSAVR’s In Focus Newsletter”   Send “In Focus” your success story.  Twitter @csavr

National Clearinghouse Resources

Financial Empowerment

Below are links from the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materialscontaining links from Cherie’s updates along with a couple mentioned by David Leon. The August newsletter New from NCRTM will feature additional financial empowerment resources from the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities (E3TC).

RSA-Funded Technical Assistance Centers

Youth Technical Assistance Center (Y-TAC)

Policy Brief: Building State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Benefits Planning Capacities. This policy brief describes how State VR agencies are using and can use benefits planning services, as a VR agency-funded service, to help SSDI and SSI beneficiaries address concerns and fears about the potential loss of cash benefits and healthcare benefits (i.e., Medicaid and/or Medicare) as they move into jobs paying substantial wages.

VR Toolkit for SSI Youth: Tips, Checklists, and Tools to Support Successful Work Outcomes for SSI Youth. As you prepare youth to join the workforce of tomorrow, access to reliable and accessible information about benefits and earnings is essential—as is access to qualified benefits and work incentive planners. That’s what the Vocational Rehabilitation Practitioner’s Just-in-Time Toolkit is about. Each of the ten tools are based on information most essential to assist you in supporting youth who receive disability benefits and their families in navigating a path toward successful employment and includes specific knowledge needed to support a youth, and takes about five to ten minutes. If you choose, each tool also contains other links to test your knowledge, print out a one-page sheet of reminders or pursue further resources.

Additional tools and resources from the National Clearinghouse are included following the transcript.

Transcript

Speaker 1:(singing)

Announcer:VR Workforce Studio: inspiration, education, and affirmation at work. Welcome to another episode as we open up the VR workforce studio to champion the courageous stories of vocational rehabilitation from individuals with disabilities.

Male:Listen to our amazing stories.

Male:feel the joy and share in our inspiration.

Announcer:We’ll also meet the champions of business and industry.

Speaker 5:I can say beyond the shadow of the doubt that some of our best employees have disabilities.

Announcer:… and hear from the VR professionals who have dedicated their lives and careers to helping individuals with disabilities go to work. Now, here’s the host of the VR workforce studio, Rick Sizemore.

Automated Voice:Begin countdown. Three, two, one.

Rick Sizemore:Welcome to episode 70 of the VR Workforce Studio Podcast, Marvin Whitfield, standing by for the big inspiration showcase interviews. We welcome this wheelchair, Virginia Vicki Lee Varnerto the podcast as our guest commentator. Welcome Vicki.

Vicki Varner:Thank you. It’s really great to be here again. I absolutely love being a part of this podcast and it fits right into my role of advocating for people with disabilities as this Wheelchair for Virginia. So I’m just super excited to be here and listen to the wonderful stories.

Rick Sizemore:Later on the show. We’ll hear all about your trip down to Arkansas and the Miss Wheelchair America event, but Vicki, I’m just crazy with excitement about the dimensions you bring to the show as a person with a disability. So we’re gonna just get started by asking you to imagine a person goes through vocational rehabilitation, gets there, WIOA recognized workforce credentials and gets a job at a Fortune 500 company.

Rick Sizemore:Now, Vicki, keep in mind one of the motivations for working in many cases is that people want to leave behind their social security benefits, because in the careers like we’re talking about today, you can make a lot more money working for a Fortune 500 company than you can on social security, but imagine you go through all that. You get the job, you’re ready to come off of social security just to be told that, no, we can’t let you off of social security because of some complications. How would that make you feel?

Vicki Varner:Man, Rick, I tell you, when it rains, it pours in our disability community. We can work so hard to achieve something and then a dark cloud can just overcome us. I imagine that I would feel extremely overwhelmed like many times living with a disability.

Automated Voice:(singing)

Anne Hudlow:Well let’s meet Marvin and hear is unbelievable story of ER, him going to work and how he had to fight to get off social security.

Automated Voice:(singing)

Rick Sizemore:Marvin, welcome to the podcast.

Marvin Whitfield:Hello. Good morning everyone.

Rick Sizemore:You do hear a female voice, Angela Baughan is interpreting for Marvin. Tell us about your job at Hershey.

Marvin Whitfield:It feels like I’m at home at Hershey. I love the path that I’m on towards my future. They have provided me lots of opportunities to participate in ways to grow in my career. They’ve trained me in a lot of things. They communicate well with me. I feel very involved and they don’t leave me out and I love my job. They’re at Hershey.

Rick Sizemore:So describe if you would, what it’s like working in manufacturing even though you’re deaf.

Marvin Whitfield:I feel like there’s no difference whether you can hear or you’re deaf in manufacturing. You are focused on what you’re doing. You’re not talking with everybody. You need to be focused on your job, and there’s so many other things that I’ve learned, but really, it doesn’t matter if you can hear or if you’re deaf. One thing I’ve noticed though, when you’re deaf you have maybe you can’t hear that there’s a problem going on with the machine if the machine sounds funny, but my coworkers, they’ll definitely point it out that you know something’s going on with the machine, so communication is key and communication goes really well at Hershey.

Rick Sizemore:Hershey is a phenomenal organization, and one of the things that we’ve heard from them over and over, they don’t focus on the disability. They focus on, can you do the job? Has that played itself out at Hershey where people really don’t focus on the fact you have a disability, they’re focused on are you able to get the job done? What? What’s it like working in an environment where that’s the attitude and the ideas about disability?

Marvin Whitfield:That is right. They do not focus on the disability. That is definitely right. Working in that type of environment, even though I have a disability and the others around me don’t, I don’t even feel like I’m apart from them. So, it’s really important that I don’t feel set apart.

Rick Sizemore:You’re part of the team.

Marvin Whitfield:That is right. We all cooperate together and teamwork and we help each other out, disability or not. We all work together and everybody has respect for each other and it’s a great work environment.

Rick Sizemore:Wow. Tell us about what it was like training here at Wilson in the MTT program.

Marvin Whitfield:To be honest with you, the MTT program and the support that I had here and the teamwork, it’s almost the same concept I feel like we have at Hershey, like I got prepped here in, in MTT and it feels like apply a lot of the same concepts that I learned here at my work at Hershey, which is great.

Rick Sizemore:So you were able to move from the training environment to the floor in a manufacturing facility without any real adjustment difficulties. You were ready when you got to work there.

Marvin Whitfield:That is exactly right. I was completely ready to work.

Rick Sizemore:Yeah. What credentials did you earn through Wilson’s MTT program?

Marvin Whitfield:I got four or five different certificates while I was here. Let’s see, I got my MS, MT1 …

Rick Sizemore:Oh, that’s the big one.

Marvin Whitfield:Yeah, that’s the big one. Most important was the MS and the MT1. The other ones were important too. I got my forklift certification. I’m a CRC, OSHA 10, that’s right. So all those together, all five certifications, that helped me be prepared for work.

Rick Sizemore:Yeah. What manufacturers are saying, those certifications really help them understand that someone who’s coming through the door really knows what they’re doing and it seems like in this case you’re living proof of that. What would you say to someone about your readiness to walk through that door and Hershey on day one, ready to go?

Marvin Whitfield:I would tell someone, your effort proves everything. You know, everything you go through, everything you work hard for. You have to prove that you have your certifications, you’re ready to work, you show your effort and nothing’s going to stop you. You will be successful.

Rick Sizemore:That’s so awesome. That that is just wonderful to hear that story. Now you are also in college. Tell us about that. Tell us about that.

Marvin Whitfield:Here at WWRC in the MTT program, our certifications can help transfer over into the mechatronics program at Blueridge in electrician, mechanics, everything altogether. They call that mechatronics. So I’m taking mechatronics classes at Blueridge Community College, and when I’m finished with the program I can start the mechanics apprenticeship at Hershey.

Rick Sizemore:Yeah. How will the classes at Blueridge that you got into through MTT, how will that help at Hershey? What kind of jobs can you do at Hershey with that training?

Marvin Whitfield:Electrician or a mechanic at Hershey to work on the machinery through the mechatronics program at Blueridge

Rick Sizemore:Those jobs pay well as I understand it.

Marvin Whitfield:Oh yeah. Might make more than you, Rick.

Rick Sizemore:That might not be hard to do, but I’m excited for you about the earnings potential in your future out at out at Hershey. That is just fantastic. Now, are you currently an apprentice, an industrial manufacturing technician apprentice?

Marvin Whitfield:Operations and production right now, and they know I’m taking the program at Blueridge. As long as I’m doing well in my program at Blueridge, they will hire me on as an apprentice. I think I’ve made a great choice on this path to go for the apprenticeship because I want to show that I’m determined instead of just settling for just any old job. When I went through the MTT program, that gave me the push and the motivation just to go for it, to follow my dreams and my goals and my choices to be successful. I believe it’ll help my future and my career.

Rick Sizemore:Well, I know this: all around Wilson and in the manufacturing community, you are recognized as a highly motivated person who’s really moving along a track and showing everyone what a motivated and talented young man that you are. That’s exciting within the disability community for us to share your story so others know, there’s a pathway forward for people who want to apply themselves and take advantage of all the great training that’s out there right now. So, congratulations. There was a point when you were on social security, and it’s like a light bulb went off and you said, I need to get myself off of social security if I’m going to earn the kind of wages that I feel like I need to sustain my family. Tell us about that moment when you decided you needed to come off social security.

Marvin Whitfield:That’s a fact. I feel like being dependent on social security income, you’re depending on that money to live on. That’s really not enough, but if I provide for my family, I feel more satisfaction and I feel like I’m a better role model for my son when he’s growing up, and not only my son, but the deaf community. I want to show that you can work hard and have a successful life when you’re working and you’re motivated.

Rick Sizemore:There were some unusual things that seemed to happen with social security in your life when you said, hey, I’m going to move into full time competitive integrated employment, I’m getting off social security. You got some news that there were some fees that you had to pay back that were gonna be sort of a challenge. Tell us about how you resolved all of that.

Marvin Whitfield:In the moment when I thought everything was fine, everything was going smoothly, I was still receiving some my social security income when I got the job. So, I was earning that, still receiving my social security income. But I’m telling them, Hey, I’m working now and I was still receiving my checks so they had penalize me for overpayment and I became concerned. So Trina here at WWRC helped me through this process, discussed with me the different forms to fill out and help me fill out these forms. Every time I got my paycheck I would copy and send it to them, showing them how much I was earning. So there wouldn’t be any fraud. It took about eight to 10 months for them to forgive the overpayment. So, that’s been a huge relief and I have a lot to thank Trina for, helping me through that process.

Marvin Whitfield:Yes, it feels amazing and I feel so blessed. It’s almost heavenly. You feel like you’ve made it and it just puts a smile on my face. I feel like family and the cooperation you have a disability, you work hard and learn and if you have enthusiasm and motivation, what you learn here at WWRC, and you can bring to work at Hershey, but nothing can stop you as long as you have the motivation.

Rick Sizemore:Well, thank you so much for being here today. You are a phenomenal success story.

Marvin Whitfield:Yeah, you’re welcome.

Rick Sizemore:Marvin Whitfield works at the Hershey plant in Stuart’s Draft Virginia.

Rick Sizemore:Miss Wheelchair, Virginia, Vicky Lee Varner.

Vicki Varner:Rick, that is an amazing story. All I can say is, go Marvin, now working at Hershey and getting it done for his family. When it comes right down to it, that is what people with disabilities really want to live a normal life, go to work and make a living without all of the complications.

Rick Sizemore:Vicki, tell us about Miss Wheelchair America.

Vicki Varner:It was an amazing time. It was in Little Rock, Arkansas this year and I had the opportunity to meet all the 22 contestants from different parts of the nation, which is amazing because you’re talking the best of the best advocates from almost every single state, and when you get 23 women together that have passion and just extreme drive, it can really rock the house. So, that experience in itself was amazing just to be surrounded by so many other girls in wheelchairs who are advocates and strong women, and then you add in the piece of workshops, which is we had many workshops throughout the week of learning how to become better advocates, learning how to stand up for ourselves as well as others and just the ADA in general. You’re adding in an educational aspect as well. So, when you have the passion and the advocacy and then you add the education, it really brings an unstoppable force, so even though I didn’t roll away with the crown, I rolled away with an amazing experience and so many things that I didn’t know before to be a better advocate than I am today.

Rick Sizemore:Thanks Vicki for being our guest commentator today. We hope to have you back on the podcast really soon. All the best as you carry out your duties as Miss Wheelchair, Virginia. All of Vicki’s contact information is in the show notes at vrworkforcestudio.com and keep an eye out for her YouTube channel coming soon. Thanks Vickie.

Vicki Varner:Thank you.

Rick Sizemore:As we continue our conversation on financial literacy, welcome to the podcast, David.

David Leon:Thank you very much, Rick. I’m excited to be here.

Rick Sizemore:Such a pleasure to have you. Let’s dive right in. Why does VR put emphasis on financial literacy and why do they provide the type of programming for consumers that helps them better understand money?

David Leon:Frankly, it’s a necessity for everyone, whether or not you have a disabling condition, and part of what we’ve learned over the years with VR services is that a lack of planning for financial issues or situations, A, brings clients back in our doors repeatedly, and we don’t give individuals the skills to plan and save for those recurring expenses they’ll have later. It’s popular to hear that you need three to six months of savings in an emergency account, and that’s what we’ve always been led to believe, and it’s a great goal, but most emergencies that may curtail someone to ability to maintain a job might be a $50 tire replacement.

David Leon:Why aren’t we making sure that as we train individuals with disabilities to be successful on the job, that they are also have the skills needed to manage those interruptions in day to day life in a way that they won’t lose that job we’ve spent a lot of time and energy to help someone get?

Rick Sizemore:So, a blown tire that can’t be replaced because you don’t have the extra 50 in the drawer means you couldn’t get the work and you lost your job over $50.

David Leon:Sure, or a prescription goes up, your copay goes up by $20 and that changes your ability to pay another bill.

Rick Sizemore:Yeah. Wow.

David Leon:Also, through a 2013 SHRMs report, 47% of employers do a credit check as part of the conditions of employment. So, our clients not only have to address their barriers that may be related to disability, but they may have issues on their credit that are keeping them from a job that is what they want and what they would be great at doing.

Rick Sizemore:So this is fundamental to the whole employment conversation.

David Leon:Absolutely, and you can see that with some of the initiatives that bigger employers now have. Someone may go to a payday lender and get into a cycle of debt that they can’t get out of. I believe Walmart and maybe Amazon are moving to having in house ways of getting your pay earlier so you don’t have to get into those predatory situations, and it’s not just good for, for our clients, it’s good for our businesses. So, we are creating employees who are going to be more stable and have those wraparound supports and skills needed to be successful because they have financial literacy.

Rick Sizemore:Wow. So let’s get into this a little deeper. What are some of the programs that we offer consumers to help them become more financially aware?

David Leon:Well, in part thanks to the leadership of Commissioner Hayfield, we have worked with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and trained over 260 individuals around the state in the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit.

David Leon:We have partnered with the FDC and are utilizing their program Money Smart with our preemployment transition folks. We’re also using next gen personal finance tools and we’ve done a lot of work with the National Disability Institute in this space, and the tools we really focus on are a financial health assessment, which is now something we are asking counselors to work with clients on before the IPE is developed. So, we want to know at the beginning of the process where someone’s at related to their understanding of financial components, where they might get money from, what they might do in an emergency. Because having that knowledge for a counselor helps with planning the IEP and counseling and guidance throughout the process.

Rick Sizemore:That’s just awesome. So do you have any big picture perspectives on, is it working?

David Leon:So we do see that it’s working, and we see that in a lot of ways. What we hear is we are creating greater informed choice for many of the individuals who go through some of these pieces.

David Leon:They’re better able to get through the month and pay their bills. They’re making better decisions that fit with their job choices related to how they spend money, but also what they’re going for in terms of their goals, and we’ve seen it in other ways. We have our Targeted Communities grant and we had an individual whose spouse went through the Getting Ahead and the Getting by World program, and that individual said that going through that program changed their family and how they operate on a daily basis, and combined with the other VR services, made a difference in that individual’s life that will last a lifetime, teaching skills that stay.

Rick Sizemore:An extraordinary difference. The story actually showed up here in the podcast. So, if you’ve not heard that check out episode 66, the Shane Padgett story, At the Crossroads of Disability and Poverty, you get a great perspective on just what kinds of changes happened as a result of that programming. So, kudos to you and the whole team for the the work that you’re doing.

David Leon:I wanted to also add, there’s a misconception that partly due to a social security benefits, individuals with disabilities can’t have money or don’t need to learn about this, because in many cases there are resource limits if you are on SSI for example, and just because are limits doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be ensuring that the clients we work with understand their money to make informed choices about when they may want to choose to try to work their way off of those benefits, and that’s another key piece to why this is so important.

Rick Sizemore:What was your perspective on Marvin’s story? We just heard Marvin talk about getting off of social security and his job. You have a reaction to that?

David Leon:I think it speaks to the complexities and the amount of different wraparound services needed to make those decisions.

David Leon:You not only have to be in a position where you are able to see a career path and an employment situation that is stable, predictable and at a high enough wage, but you have to have someone there walking you through those other complexities to put it in understandable language so the choices are clear and make sense.

Rick Sizemore:David, I want to play you a short segment from an interview we recorded with Trina Gray. Now Trina is a work incentives specialist advocate at (WISA) who works at Wilson Workforce. Here’s what she had to say about working with Marvin and helping him through these complications.

Trina Gray:Marvin, at first he was very overwhelmed with all of the reporting that needed to be done and that’s where I stepped in, because at the time Marvin was figuring out his income. He has a child, he has an apartment that he was transitioning to. He was working third shift. He’s in school full time. So, all of that he was handling well, but on a weekly basis I would get a text from him and he would say to me, I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I’m like, Marvin, you’re already doing it. So, that’s not even an issue. How do you eat an elephant? You take one bite at a time, and that’s what I would tell him. I felt at that point it was my responsibility to him to just keep walking him through it, letting him know what social security was requiring of us, which was reporting his income.

Trina Gray:Obviously the weight on his shoulders was an overpayment. There’s an application process process that you have to go through for that. You have to justify why you feel that you’re not responsible for that balance.

Trina Gray:Like I said, I had that file in front of me and I could see the reasons why it was necessary for him to have that overpayment waived. After several interviews, there were a couple of nights that we stayed late and just filled out all the paperwork, just giving him reassurance that this is a long process and we will bird-dog it and we will get it done.

Rick Sizemore:And you did.

Trina Gray:And we did. In fact Ray Cebula who is one of the, one of the instructors with the Cornell Institute where I took my WISA Training, I contacted him. I had some previous knowledge. I’ve worked for a social security attorney a long time ago in disability services. I knew that there was a point that you could request to have charges, not charges, but the amount reduced. You could request like 20 cents on the dollar, but after speaking with Ray, he had had some experience with social security as an attorney having over payments waived. And I thought, you know what? This is a case where where I really feel this is warranted.

Rick Sizemore:if there’s ever been a case where a young man threw himself into training, got all of his credentials, got himself into an apprenticeable job, is in school working hard, wanting to be off social security, if there’s ever been a guy who we should work with, it’s Marvin.

Trina Gray:He is it. He is the epitome, yes.

Rick Sizemore:David, any final thoughts on vocational rehabilitation and financial literacy?

David Leon:I think it’s important to put this in context of WIOA and what we are looking at on a bigger level, and I believe financial literacy, financial empowerment strategies are one of those building blocks for successful outcomes for our clients that aren’t just about where they are today, but allow for continued growth and increases in career earnings over a lifetime through a greater understanding of financial information and making better choices related to that through a lifetime.

Rick Sizemore:We’ve been talking with David Leon, who is the deputy director for workforce programs for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. David, thank you for being on the podcast today.

David Leon:My pleasure. Happy to.

Rick Sizemore:Time for our National Clearinghouse update with Cherie Takemoto. Welcome Cherie.

Cherie Takemoto:Hi Rick, and I’m so happy you’re covering this topic today because it’s so important. Just like Marvin benefited from benefits counseling, my son has benefited from benefits counseling and if it weren’t for that, he would not be receiving SSDI today based on his own work history and he would not be receiving the Medicaid waiver benefits and the housing benefits that he needs to survive outside of my house.

Rick Sizemore:That’s awesome.

Cherie Takemoto:So to start, I have some resources from the Youth Technical Assistant Center and one is a policy brief on state VR agencies and and how they can use these benefits planning. The other is a VR toolkit for counselors with SSI youth tips, checklists and tools to support successful work outcomes for SSI youth, and that’s a 10 part series with all kinds of information, fact sheets and things that counselors can use to help their youth.

Cherie Takemoto:Next, I have a whole webinar series that the Targeted Communities TA Center has been putting on. They’re In the middle and toward the end of this, but the great news for counselors is that there are CRCs available for these, whether you attend it live or you or you attend one of the archived webinars. So, if you’re looking for a CRC credit, these targeted community TA Center series on SSI and benefits is terrific and finally, the Florida Department of Financial Services has a whole series for people with disabilities on My Money and lessons that are individualized for that as well as another one called Your Money by the Consumer Financial Protection Board with the focus for people with disabilities and that’s it.

Rick Sizemore:Cherie, we appreciate everything you and the staff at the Clearinghouse do for VR. Thank you and we’ll see you next month. You can find all of Cherie’s contact information in the show notes at VR Workforce Studio along with links to resources from the National Clearinghouse for rehabilitation training materials.

Anne Hudlow:The WWRC Foundation is grateful for the continued assistance that we receive in support of the center. Additionally, we extend our gratitude to our wonderful partners in podcasting who made this episode possible, Aladdin Foods …

Rick Sizemore:Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities …

Anne Hudlow:Community Foundation of the Central Blueridge …

Rick Sizemore:The Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation …

Anne Hudlow:CVS Health, Dominion Energy.

Rick Sizemore:Certainly can’t forget our friends at the Global Impact Today Radio network with Deb Rue and her team.

Anne Hudlow:That’s right, and we have Hershey Chocolate Company, Jessie Ball DuPont Fund, United Bank, Valley to Virginia Grant, Virginia Manufacturers Association.

Rick Sizemore:And we are always appreciative of our partners at the Virginia Voicing Broadcast on these episodes.

Anne Hudlow:That’s right, and last but not least, Wells Fargo.

Rick Sizemore:The one thing I know you would like is that if our listeners would sign up for your newsletter.

Anne Hudlow:That’s right. We do have a newsletter. We’d love to have you all involved. So please, join us by signing up at our website at wwrcf.org.

Rick Sizemore:Well, until next time, I’m Rick Sizemore.

Anne Hudlow:and I’m Anne Hudlow

Rick Sizemore:With the courageous stories of vocational rehabilitation.

Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities (E3TC)

This webinar series explains Social Security Work Incentives. Below are upcoming or archived webinars that also offer CRC credits.

Financial Empowerment Resources

My Money. The Florida Department of Financial Services created the My Money Program to provide educational lessons for individuals with developmental disabilities and important resources for family members and caregivers. Individuals can learn and practice financial skills at their own pace, using interactive games, activities and educational videos. Lessons focus on money basics, banks and credit unions, accounts, budgeting, government benefit programs and ways to find and keep employment. Parents, guardians and support providers of individuals with developmental disabilities can also access important information on teaching financial skills, government programs and information on the different ways to save and invest money.

Your Money, Your Goals: Focus on People with Disabilities. The Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) developed this companion guide to their Your Money, Your Goals financial empowerment toolkit that’s based on the idea that everyone has a right to control their own money and make their own financial decisions. Your Money, Your Goals consists of a set of modules that organizations may integrate into their daily work with the people they serve.

Money Smart – A Financial Education Program. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) FDIC’s Money Smart financial education program can help people of all ages enhance their financial skills and create positive banking relationships. Learn here about Money Smart tools and strategies that you can use to teach others, as well as tools you can use to learn on your own. This curriculum is currently being used for some individuals with disabilities and is mentioned by David Leon in the podcast.

Financial Empowerment. The National Disability Institute (NDI) provides training and technical assistance to improve the financial wellness of people across the spectrum of disability. Tools and resources include financial education curricula, financial education toolkits, quick reference guides and connections to experts in the field and NDI at this website. Guest David Leon from the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services mentions the curriculum in his segment.