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Friday, 22 September, 2017

Report Finds Adults of Color with Disabilities Remain Below the Bottom Rung of the Economic Ladder

Today, National Disability Institute (NDI) released the new report, Financial Inequality: Disability, Race and Poverty in America, during a breakout session at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 2017 Annual Legislative Conference. This groundbreaking report explores the prevalence of disability by race, the changing rate of disability by age and race and the impact of race and disability on educational attainment, employment, banking status, health insurance, medical debt and food insecurity.

“Twenty-seven years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, too many working-age adults across the spectrum of disabilities remain challenged and below the bottom rung of the economic ladder. These challenges are further compounded by the intersectionality of disability and race,” Michael Morris, Executive Director, National Disability Institute, said. “Our goal, with this report, is to attract long overdue attention to the needs of people of color with disabilities. Together, we can build a roadmap to greater financial inclusion and capability.”

“While we’ve known for a while that people with disabilities experience economic hardship at rates far above the national average, the data analysis in this report shows us that this challenge is significantly greater for African Americans,” Naomi Camper, Managing Director, Office of Nonprofit Engagement, JPMorgan Chase , said. “At JPMorgan Chase, we believe that the private sector has both a responsibility and an essential role to play in solving societal challenges, but doing so requires understanding the true scope and scale of a problem, which is we why are proud to support this groundbreaking research.”

Report highlights include:

  • African Americans are more likely to have a disability than any other demographic group (14 percent);
  • Nearly 40 percent of African Americans with disabilities live in poverty, as compared with 24 percent of non-Hispanic Whites;
  • African Americans with a disability are more than two times more likely to not have graduated high school than African Americans without disabilities (25 percent v 11 percent);
  • Only one in four African Americans with disabilities are employed, as compared to African Americans without disabilities who are employed (25 percent v 70 percent); and
  • Two-thirds of African American families with a disability are unbanked or underbanked.

A distinguished panel discussed the findings of the report and gave recommendations. Panelists included Kelvin Boston, Author and Financial Journalist, Moneywise Foundation; Tawara Goode, Assistant Professor and Director, National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University Medical Center; Marvin Owens, Jr., Senior Director, NAACP Economic Department; Elaine Hungenberg, Senior Vice President, Office of Innovation, Research and Assessment, Operation HOPE; and Kareem Dale, Director and Senior Counsel, Discover Financial Services, Former Special Assistant to President Obama and Associate Director of Office of Public Engagement.

A digital copy of Financial Inequality: Disability, Race and Poverty in America is available for download in the Resources section of the NDI website. Photographs of the event are available upon request.

The research and report were made possible through the generous support of JPMorgan Chase.



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