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The Business Case

The Business Case

Why Target People with Disabilities?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 50 million people are living with a disability. This under-tapped market has an aggregate annual income of more than $1 trillion and $220 billion in discretionary spending power. Worldwide, there are 750 million to 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide, making them the single largest minority group.

Of the estimated 55 million people in the United States with disabilities, 73% are heads of households, 58% own homes and 48% are principal shoppers controlling over $220 billion in discretionary income. A 2006 survey commissioned by the American Association of People with Disabilities and conducted by Public Opinion Research Inc., revealed that more than 70% of the associations members choose to shop with retailers that demonstrate their support for people with disabilities.

Even individuals with disabilities who are underemployed, unemployed and living in poverty provide an untapped market for mainstream financial services and other asset-building partners. Currently there are over 1.8 million individuals with disabilities who receive social security payments but do not have an account with an insured bank or credit union. In fact, Thirty percent of working age adults with disabilities do not have either checking or savings accounts. Adults with disabilities are also less likely to have any retirement account or own a home and more likely to be asset poor which is defined as not having enough to live on for three months at the Federal poverty level.

Through research, education and training, and the activities of the Real Economic Impact Tour, NDI's signature initiative, we reached over 2 million individuals and their families last year. With the help of IRS, FDIC and over 500 community-based groups, NDI has secured over $250 million in tax refunds for over 300,000 low-income workers with disabilities.

NDI aligns itself with leading-edge organizations working on "out of poverty" issues for all low-income workers. Through training and technical assistance, both formal and informal, NDI strengthens these non-disability specific corporations and organizations (federal, state and local) to integrate outreach and support to the disability community as an underrepresented group.