In the 29 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, ensuring all individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve “economic self-sufficiency,” this population still faces numerous financial hurdles and roadblocks to financial inclusion, according to a new report from the National Disability Institute (NDI).
Based on data mined from the 2017 FDIC National Survey on Unbanked and Underbanked Households, this report highlights the financial choices and banking habits of adults with disabilities. This is the third report, based on FDIC data, that NDI has released in five years, it notes in a media release.

“Americans with disabilities face unique financial obstacles and challenges that separate them from their peers without disabilities. Today, with the release of this report, we now have a clearer picture of the challenges they face, but also the significant opportunities to design solutions,” National Disability Institute Executive Director, Michael Morris, says in the release.

“It is essential that policymakers, financial institutions and community organizations rally around the report’s findings and recommendations, and begin to work together to ensure equal access and financial inclusion for people across the spectrum of disabilities.”

According to the report:

  • Households with a disability were three times as likely to be unbanked as households with no disability (18% versus 6%). The “disability gap” has increased since 2011.
  • Twenty-five percent of households had a bank account, but used a service that either: (1) the bank did not offer; (2) the bank offered, but the household did not qualify; or (3) was offered elsewhere at a lower price or with more convenience.
  • Households with disabilities were more likely to rely on bank tellers and less likely to use online or mobile options. Thirty-seven percent of households with a disability used online or mobile as the primary method to access their account compared with 62% of households with no disability.
  • Only 38% of households with a disability saved for unexpected expenses or emergencies in the past 12 months compared with 63% of households with no disability.
  • Compared to households without a disability, those with a disability were much less likely to have a credit card, store credit, mortgage or home equity, auto loan or student loan. Almost one in five households with disabilities had an unmet need for credit.

[Source(s): National Disability Institute, PR Newswire]