(Washington, D.C. – Sept. 26, 2011) – As the U.S. poverty level climbed to its highest point in nearly 20 years, National Disability Institute will bring together community, corporate and government leaders from across America to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston from Sept. 27-28, 2011, to address issues and offer solutions to help one of the largest groups affected by the nation’s growing poverty rate – persons with disabilities.
According to the latest Census data released on Sept. 13, nearly 28 percent of persons with disabilities ages 18 to 64 – nearly 1 in 3 – live in poverty, among the highest percentage of any minority group profiled in the Census report. The poverty rate for persons with disabilities was nearly double the 15.1 percent overall poverty level – affecting nearly 1 in 6 Americans – cited as the nation’s highest poverty rate in nearly 20 years.
National Disability Institute will convene partners, sponsors and government agencies at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston that work together on the organization’s Real Economic Impact (REI) Tour, a movement of more than 800 organizations in 100 cities across America that has helped individuals with disabilities take steps out of poverty by providing access to financial education and asset building programs as well as free volunteer income tax assistance for more than 1 million Americans with disabilities generating more than $1 billion in tax refunds.
"This is too important of an issue to be ignored or go unnoticed," Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. "People need and deserve the tools to improve their quality of life and the National Disability Institute has done a great job of convening the right partners to tackle this problem head on. I’m confident that by working through the Real Economic Impact Tour we can make an actual difference in the lives of millions of Americans, thousands of which live right here in Boston."
Mayor Menino will join representatives from community tax coalitions, asset building and disability organizations, government agencies including the REI Tour’s main national partner, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and state governor’s councils, as well as representatives from REI Tour sponsors Walmart, Bank of America, AT&T, Sealund, Acorda Therapeutics, Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University and the Institute for Economic Empowerment to discuss ways to continue making disability thinking, awareness and inclusion a natural part of the financial independence conversation at the local, state and national level.
"Nearly a decade ago, National Disability Institute helped start an important conversation among various groups to address a vital question – why are so many Americans with disabilities living in poverty and how can we change it?" said Michael Morris, Executive Director of National Disability Institute. "Today, thanks to the dedication of a nationwide network of community groups, government agencies and businesses, we are effecting change on a community and policy level to help pioneer a roadmap out of poverty for millions of Americans with disabilities."
About National Disability Institute
National Disability Institute (NDI) is national non-profit organization dedicated to building a better economic future for people with disabilities. The first national organization committed exclusively to championing economic empowerment, financial education, asset development and financial stability for all persons with disabilities, National Disability Institute effects change through public education, policy development, training, technical assistance and innovative initiatives such as the Real Economic Impact (REI) Tour, which brings tax and financial education for people with disabilities to more than 100 cities nationwide. To learn more, visit www.realeconomicimpact.org.
National Disability Institute