(October 18, 2007 – New York, NY) October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month -- a time to reflect on the thousands of individuals living with disabilities who remain economically reliant on a broken system that punishes those attempting to break out of the cycle of poverty and become productive members of society. According to the 2000 National Health Interview Survey, which narrowly defined disability on activity-limitation, 20.1 % of all people living in poverty have disabilities.
“The Federation and our member CDCUs recognized the incredible challenges faced on a daily basis by this largely impoverished segment of the population. We understood that as community development institutions we needed to do something to change the way things are,” explained Federation Executive Director, Cliff Rosenthal.
“We’re partnering with some of the leading organizations in the disability movement, including the World Institute on Disability (WID) and the National Disability Institute (NDI), to coordinate CDCU outreach to people living with disabilities. Together with our partners, we developed curricula to advance credit union service to people living with disabilities, and more recently we’ve developed a new risk-sharing deposit product to help credit unions provide loans to members in need of assistive technologies,” he added.
The Federation’s Disability Initiatives includes four primary programs:
- Asset Accumulation and Tax Policy Project (AATPP) – AATPP unites organizations serving persons with disabilities with credit unions and other financial institutions to produce groundbreaking research on barriers and opportunities of tax and public policies.
- The Disability Outreach Offering Resources through Services (DOORS) program - DOORS connects people with disabilities, and particularly veterans with disabilities, with volunteering opportunities and asset building resources.
- Each One, Teach Many, Disability Outreach – part of the Federation’s signature “Train-the-trainer” financial literacy program, the Disability Outreach project seeks to train credit unions and other organizations interested in working with people with disabilities how to conduct financial education workshops appropriate for this specialized community.
- *NEW* Assistive Technology PRIDETM – The Assistive Technology PRIDE is a new low-interest, non-member deposit for low-income designated credit unions wishing to serve this segment of their membership by making loans for special equipment. PRIDEs help credit unions that have established, or are planning to establish, anti-predatory lending programs to combat abusive lending practices in their communities.
The Federation will make Assistive Technology PRIDEs of up to $100,000, as non-member deposits in member CDCUs. These carry an introductory Rate of 4.0%*, with terms of up to four years, and the Federation will collateralize (risk-share) 25 to 40 percent of these special loans made to the CDCUs’ members (on a per-loan basis).
Potential loan uses include purchase of hearing aids; adaptive transportation and other mobility equipment; building/home modifications; computer equipment; visual aids; communication devices; and other medical equipment.
For more information on the Federation’s national disability initiatives, contact Valerie Harrison at (800) 437-8711, x 218, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information about Assistive Technology PRIDEsTM, please contact Ken Tiongson at x 211, or email@example.com.
© 2007 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.
* Effective through January 31, 2007; 4.75% thereafter.