Youth with disabilities face several challenges as they transition out of high school. In addition to the social and emotional challenges associated with moving out of the guidance and supervision of supportive staff, teachers and friends in schools, and leaving home to enter the workforce, youth must be prepared and be able to navigate an increasingly complex world to obtain and maintain employment over the long‐term. Among the most pressing issues for youth with disabilities are the development of knowledge and skills with regards to financial independence, money management and an understanding of asset development strategies.
All too often, youth with disabilities live in poverty and face barriers to stable employment opportunities. In addition, government programs with confusing and conflicting eligibility criteria make accessing needed support services extremely difficult which often leads to unsuccessful transitions from school to post‐secondary education, employment and independent living. Young people with disabilities may want to learn how to save money and build assets, but getting a job and saving a portion of their income may cause them to lose their disability benefits and other important support services, like health care. In order to address these concerns, comprehensive financial literacy programs customized to meet the needs of youth with all types of disabilities is paramount and in a diverse society such as ours, educators and policymakers should reexamine various cultures’ value systems and recognize the importance of guiding youth/disabilities towards moral decisions on humanistic, rather than purely economic bases. This book explores efficacy and overall adequacy of financial literacy programs for youth with disabilities, and highlights promising practices that have been shown to improve participants’ knowledge of money management and asset development strategies. Additionally, it explores the extent to which the “generic” financial literacy curricula and/or educational programs that target nondisabled youth address the needs of youth with disabilities by highlighting gaps in instructional domains and practices in existing programs. Finally, the implications for future research and policies related to financial literacy and employment for youth with disabilities are discussed.