Disability Resources

Discover financial empowerment tools and explore information and resources for people with disabilities.

New financial empowerment tools for people with disabilities

In celebration of the 27th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released new financial empowerment tools for people with disabilities.  Focus on People with Disabilities is a companion guide to their Your Money, Your Goals financial empowerment toolkit that’s based on the idea that everyone has a right to control their own money and make their own financial decisions. Your Money, Your Goals consists of a set of modules that organizations may integrate into their daily work with the people they serve.

CFPB Reminder to Lenders

Social Security disability income shouldn’t mean you don’t qualify for a mortgage. Learn more about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules and guidelines for lenders.

Are you a person with a disability? Do you want to become more informed about tools and strategies to advance your economic strength and security? The mission of the National Disability Institute is to build a better financial future for Americans with disabilities.

Understanding how financial changes impact disability benefits is an essential topic for all individuals receiving disability benefits; however, it is not always simple to understand all the rules regarding an individual’s situation, or what options might be available.  Therefore, contacting a benefits planner or other specialist is recommended for anyone with specific questions about income, resources, and disability benefits.

For a person on public benefits considering work, one of the greatest fears is the potential loss of cash payments, health care coverage, or need for in-home assistance. For those already working, there are many public benefits rules and incentives in place to encourage employment; however, they can be confusing and disconnected. A Benefits Planner or a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) can help job seekers with disabilities understand how to make these incentives work to support their career goals and hopes for the future.

WIPA projects are funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide information and benefits planning to enable beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed choices about work.

A Washington State ABLE Savings Plan is a way to save for eligible expenses, invest for the future, and keep the benefits you rely on every day.  Anyone living in Washington State who developed a qualifying disability before the age of 26 is eligible for an account.

Not a Washington State resident? Check out the national ABLE for All Savings Plan.

ABLE National Resource Center: Objective, independent information about state and federal ABLE savings accounts.  ABLE accounts allow people with disabilities to save for eligible expenses and invest for the future while maintaining eligibility for benefits.

NW Access Fund is a nonprofit, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) established by and for people with disabilities in Washington and Oregon. Northwest Access Fund provides low-interest loans, financial coaching, and other financing services to help individuals with disabilities obtain the technologies and business equipment needed to live independently and to succeed at school, at work, at play, and in the community.

Services include over-the-phone financial coaching appointments for individuals with disabilities, access to public benefits, and benefit planning.

Call 206-328-5116 or email to learn more.

Benefits Law Center provides accessible legal Social Security advocacy for people with disabilities so that they can obtain resources necessary to overcome barriers to financial and medical stability.

Alliance of People with disAbilities: is an Independent Living Center for King County.  The Alliance provides a variety of services to any person in the community who has any disability, regardless of age or national origin (citizens and non-citizens, alike). Alliance services are categorized into five areas; 1) information and referrals, 2) independent living skills training, 3) peer support, 4) advocacy and 5) transition.

Association of Late-Deafened Adults-Puget Sound (ALDA): ALDA provides support, advocacy, and outreach for Late-Deafened, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing, as well as their families.

Cares of Washington: provides individualized and long-term support for people with disabilities and those experiencing adversity due to economic hardship and poverty. The Commission accredits us on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

The Center for Accessible Technology Coalition: supports use of technology to promote independent living for people with disabilities, providing information via online resources, and engaging in advocacy work to support policies that expand access to technology for people with disabilities, including the many people with disabilities who are low-income.

Choose Work: is a resource for individuals on SSI and SSDI to find free-of-charge employment supports.

Community Minded Enterprises: Based in Spokane, Community-Minded Enterprises leads the statewide outreach to low-income, multi-ethnic and marginalized communities, through partnerships and direct communication.  The focus is on connecting you with the services you need to ensure you are heard by program providers on a regional and state level.

Connect for Success: is a partnership between a group of employers and a local community service provider, Cares of Washington, to reduce employee turnover and increase productivity by eliminating the obstacles that keep people from performing their best at work.

Disability Empowerment Center: provides free services to people who live in King County. The Disability Empowerment Center provides a variety of services to any person in the community who has any disability. They offer free individualized services including one-to-one skills training, peer-to-peer support groups, resources and referrals, advocacy, and disability consulting for businesses.

Independent Living Research Utilization: Provides directory of independent living services for people with disabilities throughout Washington.

Northwest Access Fund (formerly known as Washington Access Fund): is a nonprofit, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) established by and for people with disabilities in Washington and Oregon. Northwest Access Fund provides low-interest loans and other financing services to help individuals with disabilities obtain the technologies and business equipment needed to live independently and to succeed at school, at work, at play, and in the community.  For more information, visit their website or call 206-328-5116 or 877-428-5116 Toll-Free.

ODEP (Office of Disability Employment Policy), formerly disability.gov: The mission is to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Plan to Work: consists of professionals who are Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs). They have completed training on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). CWICs offer individualized assistance to beneficiaries of either program. If you want to know how working will affect your benefits, call Plan to Work for a free consultation at (877) 676-4754 (TTY) or (866) 497-9443 (Voice). 

PROVAIL: offers a comprehensive range of services designed to expand opportunities for people with disabilities to live, work, and fully participate in the communities of their choice. We are changing hundreds of lives every year with services like the following: Therapeutic and Assistive Technology Services, Employment Services, Community Living Program, Dental Clinic, Fabrication Division, Seattle Brain Works, Art is NOT an Option!, and Financial Empowerment Services – an AmeriCorps Program.

Seeing AI:  A free Microsoft app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the low vision community, this research project harnesses the power of AI to describe people, text and objects.

Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP):  provides Assistive Technology resources and expertise to all Washingtonians with disabilities to aid in making decisions and obtaining the technology and related services needed for employment, education and independent living. They offer information to family members, employers, employment service providers, educators, health care providers, social service providers and others seeking assistive technology services and knowledge.

Washington State Developmental Disabilities Endowment Trust Fund: is a government-run pooled Special Needs Trust.  Special Needs Trusts allow people with disabilities to preserve eligibility for benefits and services while providing money for life-enriching activities and services not covered by benefits.

Washington State DSHS - Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR): is a statewide resource assisting people with disabilities to prepare for, secure, maintain, advance in, or regain employment. DVR partners with organizations and businesses to develop employment opportunities. DVR serves people who seek meaningful, secure employment but whose disabilities may result in one or more barriers to achieving an employment goal.

Washington State Department of Services for the Blind (DSB): provides services for people of all ages who are blind or have low vision in the state of Washington. The agency provides services to more than 2,800 Washington State Residents to help them gain or retain employment.

Washington State DSHS: Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA): strives to develop and implement public policies that will promote individual worth, self-respect, and dignity such that each individual is valued as a contributing member of the community.

Washington State Pathways to Employment:  is a website focused on supporting people with disabilities who are working to manage their employment and financial resources.

Federal Law

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act

FAPE: Free Appropriate Public Education, Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act

ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act

Washington State Law

Students with disabilities—Core services described—Notice of nondiscrimination: RCW 28B.10.912

The definition of Assistive Technology presented by the PACER Simon Technology Center in this YouTube video.

Explore the University of Montana Research and Training Centers on Disability in Rural Communities research and data in their map formats.