National Disability Institute's New Board Poised to Advance Organization's Commitment to Bolstering the Financial Health of People with Disabilities

NDI's Board of Directors recently elected new leadership. John Nelson, Managing Partner of the Wall Street Without Walls initiative, was elected President, and Alexandra McArthur, with the Taproot Foundation, was selected as Vice President.

Nelson is the managing partner of Wall Street Without Walls (WSWW), an initiative which connects capital market institutions and financial products with organizations engaged in economic development in low- and moderate-income communities.

At the Taproot Foundation, McArthur is a senior associate consultant on the Advisory Services Team, responsible for helping corporations develop and implement pro-bono programs for communities in need.

For more information, please read the full press release.

Resources for Real Economic Impact


Resources and SSA Disability Benefits

Social Security administers two primary disability benefit programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). There is no asset limit for individuals that receive, or apply to become eligible for, SSDI benefits. SSI is a different matter; there is a $2,000 asset limit for single individuals and $3,000 for married couples. Despite this limitation, there are a number of ways to develop assets while eligible for SSI. For example, did you know an SSI recipient can own the home they live in without it counting as a resource? To examine other excludable resources for SSI, see:


Starbucks' Inclusion Academy

Starbucks worked with Nevada’s workforce agency to provide on-the-job and soft-skills practice for individuals with disabilities at their largest distribution plant in Carson Valley. It proved to be a win-win for all involved along with management noting that, “Supervisors and partners look past disabilities and realize we all have different abilities in the workplace.” Learn more about Starbucks' Inclusion Academy and their collaboration with Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Taxes and Tax Preparation 

Resources to Expand Tax Preparation to Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Taxpayers

The IRS now offers an expanded library of videos explaining a variety of tax information, terms and tips in American Sign Language - ASL. Also this year, the IRS is supporting at least 15 cities across the country to engage in activities that expand free tax preparation to the deaf/hard-of-hearing community. These activities range from offering more frequent ASL tax days throughout the tax season with interpreters available at tax sites to increased partnership between the city’s tax coalition and deaf/hard-of-hearing community. For more information, ask your region’s IRS SPEC representative if your city is participating this year. If not, work with your IRS SPEC representative to find out how you may participate in the future.

Financial Education 

Tools to Promote Savings within Your Organization

America Saves Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. This year, America Saves Week is February 23rd to 28th, and is coordinated by America Saves and the American Saving Education Council. Organizations can sign-up for free to receive news and updates on America Saves Week, and also access materials to promote the importance of savings to the individuals you serve. To learn more about America Saves Week go to

Asset Development 

Save as You Earn

Many employers offer the opportunity for individuals to save as they earn and receive extra money in the form of matched contributions through 401k or 403b plans. Those who are self-employed can save in Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Arrangement (SEP-IRA) accounts. These accounts (401k, 403b, and SEP-IRA) are promoted as retirement accounts providing multiple benefits including: 1) an easy and convenient way to pay yourself first; 2) when matched, an opportunity to secure additional savings from your employer; and 3) account savings may reduce income tax owed now and/or in the future. Individuals can discuss these options with their employer, tax preparer and bank/credit union. The IRS provides a wealth of tax information for Retirement Plans.

Public Policy 

NDI Participates in Congressional Briefing on Disability Pay Gap

At a time when people with disabilities earn 63 cents for every dollar earned by people without disabilities, NDI Deputy Director Elizabeth Jennings joined a panel of leading experts to examine the pay gap between workers with and without disabilities. Jennings’ presentation focused on the many misconceptions people with disabilities, their families and society as a whole have toward working and living with a disability. The Congressional briefing coincided with American Institute for Research (AIR)’s release of the report, “An Uneven Playing Field: The Lack of Equal Pay for People with Disabilities.”

Read more about the Congressional briefing.

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Issue 13 - Feb 2015 

In This Issue

National Disability Institute's New Board Poised to Advance Organization's Commitment to Bolstering the Financial Health of People with Disabilities

Benefits: Resources and SSA Disability Benefits

Employment: Starbucks' Inclusion Academy

Tax Preparation: Resources to Expand Tax Preparation to Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Taxpayers

Financial Education: Tools to Promote Savings within Your Organization

Asset Development: Save as You Earn

Public Policy: NDI Participates in Congressional Briefing on Disability Pay Gap

Program Spotlight:  Upwards to Financial Stability

Upcoming Events

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Program Spotlight 

Upwards to Financial Stability

In October of 2014, NDI was awarded a grant from the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities titled “Upwards to Financial Stability.” This three-year project will allow NDI and The Collaborative, a statewide nonprofit whose mission is to implement and promote strategies to build economic security for North Carolina families, to increase the awareness of financial stability strategies for persons with disabilities in North Carolina. The project will also provide NDI the opportunity to update and train a variety of stakeholders in North Carolina on how to embed the Building Assets, Promoting Choice and Community Participation curriculum in to their delivery of services. Later this year, NDI and The Collaborative will co-host a Statewide Asset Development Summit that will bring together members of the asset building and the disability communities together to begin the dialogue on how the two communities can work together to build the financial well-being of persons with developmental disabilities.

Learn more about The Collaborative
Learn more about the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities

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Upcoming Events 

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