Financial inclusion as we would all agree is the key to achieving economic independence and stability. It is nothing but the method of providing banking and financial services to all individuals. The aim is to include everybody in society by providing individuals basic financial services regardless of their income or savings. The focus is also to provide financial services to the poor and under privileged.
This does not exclude persons with disabilities, as they are also individuals that would require being financially stable and economically independent. Just as it is true that financial inclusion is available for persons with disabilities, it is equally true that there are barriers that persons with disabilities face in financial inclusion.
Some of them could be, access to banks and online services provided by the banks, most persons with disabilities do not have convenient access to the bank that one could go to regularly as banks could be far off from their place of residence and transport facilities are scarce.
While it is much convenient and effortless to use online banking services, there are obstacles to that as well. First of all, only 61% of people with a disability report even owning a computer and 58% report owning a smartphone. That leaves behind a large population for whom online banking services are denied.
And for those having access to online banking services, they encounter banking websites that do not meet the ADA guidelines. There are different range of disability a person could be suffering from like auditory, cognitive, physical, speech, and visual abilities, which may not be considered in a banking website.
Secondly, the current financial system is not realistic for many people living with disability as most people suffer from limited or low income due to the high medical expenses, and having a job that provides low income or are temporary.
In order to reduce barriers faced by persons with disabilities, banks and other financial institutions need to be more accessible both in person and online.
And financial institutions need to be more flexible in their services so as to reduce the burden on persons with disabilities.
Disability Entrepreneurship And Leadership (DEAL) Foundation works across the districts of Gadag and Bengaluru to promote sustainable livelihood opportunities for households of persons with disabilities.
One of the main task that we undertake is to promote awareness on the importance of financial inclusion for persons with disabilities and the ways in which it can help in sustaining livelihoods. We do this, by providing training to the members we work with and also assist in undertaking any financial activity that is required.
For any questions one might have regarding the blog, please write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org
To know more about the work we do, please log on to www.deal-foundation.com