National Disability Institute Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary
In 2005, a small group of parents, family members and individuals with disabilities joined together with leading thinkers and practitioners in the disability and asset building community to launch National Disability Institute (NDI). The founders had a dream that people with disabilities and their families should have the same opportunities to build a secure financial future as individuals without disabilities. Unified by these common values and a vision to build together greater financial independence and freedom for all persons with disabilities and their families, NDI was incorporated and approved as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
In the decade since, while NDI has grown beyond “brown bag lunch meetings” in the basement of the National Cooperative Bank, the focus and determination of those first forward-thinkers remains the lifeblood of our mission today. As we reflect on and celebrate a decade of making a real economic impact in the lives of Americans with disabilities, we invite you to join us and the groundswell of individuals with disabilities, their families and friends, advocates, thought leaders and scores of like-minded people dedicated to ensuring each and every American has the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Below, please find information highlighting the collective impact of our first 10 years’ worth of work.
10 Facts About National Disability Institute
- National Disability Institute (NDI) is the first and preeminent national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to improving the financial health and future of all persons with disabilities.
- Since NDI was established, we have generated more than one billion traditional and social media impressions featuring NDI and our efforts to advance a better economic future for individuals with disabilities and their families.
- NDI's Real Economic Impact Network includes more than 4,500 members and partner organizations in all 50 states committed to advancing economic self-sufficiency and financial independence for all people across the spectrum of disability.
- In 2013, NDI had the honor of seeing it's name in lights in Times Square as part of a Bank of America campaign honoring some of its nonprofit partners.
- In 2014, NDI released the groundbreaking report, The Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities. The report’s findings served as a call to action to government and the financial industry to develop new strategies and solutions to improve the financial knowledge and skills of individuals with disabilities. This year, NDI released our latest report, The Banking Status and Financial Behavior of Adults with Disabilities. Among the report's eye-opening findings, the report determined almost half of all households headed by persons with disabilities were unbanked or underbanked.
- For the past 10 years, NDI has worked with the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to provide training and technical assistance to 26 states and the workforce development system through the Disability Employment Initiative.
- Since 2004, NDI and IRS have helped more than 2.8 million people with disabilities with free tax return preparation resulting in more than $2.7 billion in tax refunds.
- NDI played a leadership role in securing passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act and in the addition of financial literacy requirements to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
- Over the last decade, NDI has led more than 50 Asset Development Summits in 23 states. NDI’s Asset Development Summits bring together diverse public and private stakeholders to create sustainable pathways to the economic mainstream for people with disabilities.
- Since 2005, NDI staff has grown nearly tenfold!
Question of the Week
As we celebrate our first decade of making a real economic impact in the lives of Americans with disabilities, it is important we also turn our focus to the next 10 years of work. In that spirit, each week, during our November Anniversary celebration, we will be asking for your input on how to carve new pathways out of poverty and secure greater financial opportunities for all persons across the spectrum of disability. Help us improve the financial health and future for all Americans. Be sure to share your answers with us online using #NDIatTen or submit them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to check this page each week in November to see the next Question of the Week.
- (November 8 - 14): How can we cut the disability-poverty rate in half by 2025?
- (November 5 - 21): What are the biggest barriers between Americans with disabilities and a better financial future?
- (November 22 - 28): 2015 was a banner year for the disability community, what are you most thankful for this year?
What Others Are Saying About Us
“NDI and NACDD have long had a very collaborative relationship and approach to supporting individuals with I/DD and their families. NDI has a great depth of experience in critical issues such as financial literacy and has partnered beautifully with NACDD in an effort to support DD Councils nationwide helping people gain knowledge on understanding and managing their finances. Through collaborations and one-on-one work we have seen what a valuable entity NDI has become and applaud them on their 10th Anniversary.”
- Donna Meltzer, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD)
"Happy 10th Anniversary, NDI! Congratulations on 10 years of creating real economic impact for the disability community. The AFCPE Team appreciates your partnership to deliver professional development opportunities to our financial counselors, educators and coaches. The tools and education you provide ensure that our financial professionals are better equipped to support the economic well-being of people with disabilities. Like you, AFCPE firmly believes that all individuals and families deserve equal opportunity to achieve financial stability and independence, and we look forward to working with you on the path to achieving this goal!”
- Rebecca Wiggins, Executive Director, Association for Financial Counseling, Planning, Education (AFCPE)
"Credit Builders Alliance (CBA) values our partnership with NDI, since our mission of “helping organizations move people from poverty to prosperity through credit building” perfectly aligns with the goals of NDI. So many of the clients that NDI’s network serve are hampered by the lack of a credit score or the existence of a subprime one. Through credit building, persons with disabilities can start to improve their credit score and leverage this increase to benefit their lives."
- Dara Duguay, Executive Director, Credit Builders Alliance
"It is an honor to join the National Disability Institute in celebrating their 10th anniversary. Over the course of the last decade, IRS has worked with NDI and other organizations to make significant inroads into improving tax assistance for people with disabilities. IRS has supported NDI's Real Economic Impact Tour, which reaches into disability communities in cities throughout the nation. Both IRS and NDI are devoted to building a better economic future for millions of taxpayers with disabilities by providing tax education, free tax preparation services and asset building opportunities."
- Debra Holland, Wage and Investment Commissioner, IRS
"NDI's creative and timely approaches to economic inclusion have greatly benefited North Carolinians with disabilities. They are a trusted resource for accurate information in a quickly evolving field."
- Donna Gallagher, Executive Director, The Collaborative
"National Disability Institute is always responsive to the needs of the people of Florida and the Florida Development Disabilities Council. The quality and professionalism of their training and resources is phenomenal; they are a leader in Florida and are truly committed to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities. We are proud to join NDI in celebrating their ten year anniversary."
- Debra Dowds, Executive Director, Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
"Our friends at NDI embody what it means to truly be a great partner. In ways big and small, they've had a tremendous influence on the way we understand how the opportunity economy we envision can be more inclusive of people with disabilities. Our field certainly wouldn't be the same without NDI's partnership."
- Fran Rosebush, Deputy Director, CFED