Saturday, February 23, 2019

Research Needs

Research Needs

The Disability Community is a very well-researched community. is the site I use most often. The FDIC Read 2015 Full isanother example. All studies show that most people with disabilities live in poverty. Despite wonderful laws and millions of dollars spent annually promoting employment for people with disabilities, the unemployment rate remains above 70%, the same as it was in the 1950's. Poverty breeds poverty.

Money phobia is a big problem in the Disability Community. There are several reasons why people with disabilities have money phobia. Perhaps the biggest reason is that people with disabilities often rely on government benefits to get services they need to survive. These services are only available to people who are poor. People with disabilities are taught that if they earn more than a minimal amount of money or if they save and build assets they will not receive services they desperately need. These services are too often viewed as charitable tasks allowing people to survive rather than important jobs that enable people to truly live and thrive. There are many great programs available that enable people with disabilities to work and still receive sthe ervices they need. However, these programs often are complex and very difficult to understand.

Using myself as an example, when I first went to work full-time in the 1970's, it took more than 5 years to earn what I was receiving from disability benefits. Although I've always stayed well connected with the disability advocacy community, I was 62 years old before realizing I could receive personal assistant services paid for through the California Regional Centers because I have a developmental disability- Cerebral Palsy. I'm saving well over $50,000 annually.

Research is needed to understand the economic value of Disability Related Financial Management. It should be on par with Retirement Planning. Disability benefits financial advisors are needed.

Research is needed to understand the economic benefits of providing long-term medical expenses including personal assistant services, durable medical equipment, long term therapies, and maintenance drugs to everyone. How many more people would be employed if they received sthe ervices they need? How many people would need to be employed for this to be economically feasible?

Research is needed to understand fthe inancial needs of caregivers/personal assistants. Are they contributing to Social Security, savings, investments, etc?. Are they getting healthcare? Are their economic value recognized? Can technologies, such as webcams, reduce cost by enabling remote assistance?

Research and investments are needed to determine how assistive technology can be used by the general public. People who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have been texting for many decades. People with visual disabilities have been using speech recognition for decades too. It has only been since these technologies have been used by the general public that the cost has been lowered to a reasonable rate.

Research is needed to determine how Disabled Owned Business Enterprises can best be supported. How do these businesses compare to other minority owned businesses? Are there financial and managerial support available?

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