NDSS is advocating for the passage of financial literacy bills at the state level, such as the one passed in Florida in January 2016. The Florida bill (CS/HB 7003) created the Financial Literacy Program for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. The program aims to promote economic independence and successful employment of individuals with developmental disabilities by providing information and outreach to individuals and employers. For individuals with developmental disabilities, information and outreach is provided in areas:
Identification of available financial and health benefit programs and services
Job training programs and employment opportunities
The impact of earnings and assets on eligibility for federal and state financial and health benefit programs
For employers, the program offers strategies to make program information and educational materials available to their employees with developmental disabilities.
In addition to creating the Financial Literacy Program, the Florida bill also:
Modified the state’s equal employment policy to provide enhanced executive agency employment opportunities for individuals who have a disabilities
Created the Employment First Act, which requires certain state agencies and organizations to develop an interagency cooperative agreement to ensure a long-term commitment to improving employment outcomes for individuals who have a disability
Created the Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program (Partner Program) to recognize business entities that demonstrate commitment, through employment or support, to the independence of individuals who have a disability
Modified the definition of “developmental disability” to include Down syndrome
NDSS supports the passage of similar legislation in other states.
NDSS is also working with financial industry leaders on the development of financial literacy curriculum for people with Down syndrome. More information will be provided as it becomes available.