Teachers, I believe, may better educate kids with physical impairments to manage these and other particular financial obstacles as they grow into adults through a Critical Disability pedagogy. I’m sure that would have been a great assistance to me.

Are You Serious, My Brain?

It’s all over for you now, kid. We’ve done everything we’re capable of. You have a brain, despite the fact that your body is unable to function. Getting a regular job is impossible for you. You will never be able to work as a waitress, a nurse, or an airline stewardess since you are unable to perform manual labour.

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You’ll have to think on your feet and work twice as hard to be half as good as you were before. In order to get by, you’ll constantly have to be one step ahead of your able-bodied peers.

So my doctor told me when I was fourteen, after two years of physical treatment and occupational therapy, as well as several operations, in front of my family. I asked myself, “Why not make use of my intellect?” Seriously? Neither of us were college students. I didn’t belong in college because I was neither wealthy nor intelligent.

My mother only went to the eighth grade, and my father served in the military until he earned his high school diploma. We had no money, but we worked hard. At no point in his career did my father earn more than $20,000 a year.

Mom said, “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.” We’ll find you a suitable husband. Alternatively, you can enter the convent and be cared for by the Church. One or the other of those concepts didn’t excite me.

I Wished there was Someone Who Could Help Us All, And Especially Myself.

Our claim for disability benefits was rejected by the Social Security Administration. We were not aware of any services that might be available. Sink or swim—find a job you can physically do, like handing out shopping carts at Walmart, or locate someone who will take care of you. PWD are simply instructed to “sink or swim.”

Is it Sink or Swim for you? We Were in Trouble.

I decided to become an occupational therapist because I wanted to help other people with disabilities, like myself, overcome their obstacles. However, when I continued my education in college, I was informed by the State that I would be denied certification due to my handicap.

(This was before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 provided safeguards for people with disabilities.) I pondered the question, “Who better to aid people with disabilities than someone who has a disability themselves?” However, it was not to be. I graduated from college with the knowledge that I could do anything, but also with a sense of defeat.

Educating Yourself on Personal Finances

Individuals with physical disabilities (SWPD) face unique challenges in achieving financial security as adults because of the stigma and exclusion they face as a result of their disability. What if, after my doctor’s “reality check,” teachers could help children in the way I had hoped? When I was a physically challenged college student, I wish someone had educated me about the resources available to me, guided me through the maze of red tape, explained my legal options, and shown to me the steps necessary to launch a successful career.

Preparation for the future of one’s finances is the primary purpose of a high school personal finance course. There is frequently an activity where students are randomly assigned a career, given a salary, and encouraged to establish a budget—which must include money for rent, utilities, an auto loan, insurance, etc.—while simultaneously trying to save money, make investments, and understand the pros and disadvantages of credit cards.

Basic financial instruction and job placement chances are provided to special education students with cognitive, intellectual, and even behavioural problems. SWPD, on the other hand, are only offered the “one-size-fits-all” approach, with little room for customization or variety in content.

In addition to the standard financial education offered to all high school students, an SWPD-specific personal finance course would recognise the additional costs required to address their requirements and prepare them for the costs associated with living on their own.

The course would begin with an honest assessment of ability coupled with a student interest survey. For the purposes of meeting the course’s strict financial requirements, students would research various options for post-secondary education, including community colleges and technical schools. Even more essential, SWPD would be educated on their legal rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), federal law, and international treaties.

Changing One’s Outlook

Knowing about disability rights and services for independent living isn’t all that’s necessary to live an independent life. Even having the right ability, knowledge, and skills, people with disabilities (PWD) are still unable to get a job and avoid a life of poverty because of misconceptions and marginalisation. An employer’s perception of you can be a huge roadblock.