Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity Includes Disability: Exploring Inequities in Financial Services for… (EventID=114826) [Video]

Diversity Includes Disability: Exploring Inequities in Financial Services for… (EventID=114826)

Connect with the House Financial Services Committee
Get the latest news:
Follow us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter:

On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. (ET) Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee Chairwoman Beatty and Ranking Member Wagner will host a virtual hearing entitled, “Diversity Includes Disability: Exploring Inequities in Financial Services for Persons with Disabilities, Including Those Newly Disabled Due to Long-Term COVID.”


Witnesses for this one-panel hearing will be:

• Alison Cannington, Senior Manager, Advocacy and Organizing, The Kelsey

• Cynthia DiBartolo, Founder and CEO, Tigress Financial Partners

• Thomas Foley, Executive Director, National Disability Institute

• Vilissa Thompson, Fellow, The Century Foundation & Co-director, Disability Economic Justice Collaborative

• Caroline Sullivan, Executive Director, North Carolina Business Committee for Education, Office of the Governor


Nearly one in four adults in the United States live with a disability, including difficulty walking or climbing stairs (13.7%), cognition (10.8%), deafness or serious difficulty hearing (5.9%), and blindness or serious difficulty seeing (4.6%). Persons with disabilities are more likely to experience lower employment levels, lower wages and savings, poverty, increased costs of living, and homelessness compared to those without a disability. Persons with disabilities include those born with a disability and those who acquire a disability due to injury, illness, and age. As the United States continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the population of adults with disabilities has grown significantly and continues to increase.According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 1.2 million more Americans identified as having a disability in 2021 compared to 2020. In August 2021, 4.9 million veterans, or 27 percent, had a service-connected disability. 5 More than 40 percent of older adults aged 65-79 have at least one self care, household activity, or mobility disability, and for those 80 and over, this portion rises to nearly 71 percent.

Based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, long COVID describes a post-infection illness that can lead to physical impairment impacting the neurological, respiratory, cardiovascular, and circulatory systems or mental impairment affecting mental health. According to some estimates, as many as 7 million adults, or 2.3% of American adults, are suffering from disabling long COVID. Removing barriers to financial inclusion for people with disabilities has always been a matter of importance, which is now more urgent than ever, given the recent increase in the number of people with disability during the pandemic.

This hearing will examine current barriers for persons with disabilities in experiencing full economic inclusion, including accessing employment opportunities, affordable and accessible housing, as well as legislative solutions to address such barriers, including best practices for creating a more inclusive work environment, especially in the financial services industry, as well as solutions to address such barriers.

Wealth Disparities and Access to Financial Services

Persons with disabilities experience greater levels of poverty and lower levels of wealth than persons without disabilities. Persons with disabilities who are Black, Indigenous, or Latinx have higher poverty rates (36%, 34%, and 28%, respectively) than persons with disabilities who are White (23%). Households with an adult with a work disability require, on average, 28 percent more income or an additional $17,690 a year to obtain the same standard of living of a household without a disability. Economic insecurity can be both a consequence of having a disability and an accelerant because poverty and economic instability can reduce access to health care and/or increase the chance a person with a disability lives and works in an unsafe environment.

Persons with disabilities are also disproportionately left out of traditional banking. In 2019, 16.2% of households with a disability were unbanked, compared to just 4.5% of households without a disability being unbanked.12 Analyses by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have found that unbanked rates among people with disabilities remained virtually unchanged between 2011 (18.9%) and 2017 (18.1%) while declining in 2019 (16.2%).13 When looking at the intersection of race and disability, Black and Latinx people experience desperate access to banking, with 28.5% of Black Americans and 22.2% of Latinxs with a disability being unbanked. While some persons with disabilities are unbanked due to potential cognitive or physical impairments..

Hearing page:

Watch/Read More