Financial Wellness for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

Category: Formal/Informal Community Supports

  • Investment Partner: National Disability Institiute
  • Investment Location: Washington, DC

NDI will bring resources to Illinois that have been shown to be effective in addressing the unique needs of the developmental disability community in achieving financial wellness. 90 Financial Wellness Trainers will be equipped to provide extensive training statewide to 2000 people with I/DD and 500 family members. NDI will update the “Upward to Financial Stability Train the Trainer Curriculum” to be specific for Illinois and retitle the curriculum to “Financial Wellness for Persons with Disabilities Trainer Curriculum.”. Partners in Policymaking members, Vocational Rehabilitation counselors, Med-waiver providers, disability organizations and self-advocates will be trained to offer the curriculum within their organizations. A three-part webinar series will be offered to the community at large during each year of the project. A Trainer Support Network (TSN) will be established after the initial trainings are completed.

Grantee Products

NDI's Financial Inclusion 101

Illinois Council Developmental Disabilities (ICDD), with support from the National Disability Institute (NDI), recognizes the importance of financial inclusion and capability and the need to empower individuals to understand and manage their finances through education and training.

NDI's Five Key Strategies to Financial Wellness

Through collaborations with organizations like the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD), NDI innovates to build a better financial future for people with disabilities and their families. An important first step is acknowledging that dependency on public benefits creates a cycle of poverty. A movement from poverty to financial well-being is a new and needed conversation.

NDI's #ResilientPwD Text Campaign

To aid individuals in becoming more financially resilient, NDI launched the #ResilientPwD text messaging campaign to deliver helpful information, tips and interventions to people with disabilities and chronic health conditions. 

Sign up to receive these free messages by texting the keyword RESILIENT to 833-632-0273 or by visiting  
Texts are sent two times per week and are intended to help combat stress and feelings of isolation, build positive thinking and establish new behavior patterns that promote emotional well-being and financial resilience. 

Having a place of one’s own, whether living alone, with a roommate or in a group setting, can be a reality for people with disabilities through supportive housing opportunities. Youth and adults with disabilities have the ability to access services necessary to secure housing, including opportunities for living independently within the diverse communities of Illinois. 

Below is a list of webinars:

  • July 23, 2020 – Credit Matters
  • June 24, 2020 – Getting ABLE Ready
  • May 28, 2020 – Managing Financial Wellness during COVID-19
  • November 14, 2019– The ABCs of Social Security Benefits, Employment Options and Work Supports + Where to Find the Experts
  • October 10, 2019– Five Key Strategies to Achieving Financial Wellness
  • September 12, 2019 – Financial Inclusion 101

Below are blogs on Financial Wellness for Persons with Developmental Disabilities:


Michael Roush

Mariel R. Hamer