An investigation by the Money Advice Service (MAS) has found young blind or deaf people in the UK receive “barely any” specialised financial education.
This lack of care was revealed during the launch this week, at MAS hedquarters, of a ground-breaking project aimed at boosting the financial literacy of young people with sensory impairments.
Kirsty Bowman-Vaughan, Financial Education Lead at the MAS, said their investigation found “barely any specialised services were delivered to young people with these additional needs.” Just 29% of young people who are blind or Deaf manage their own finances.
The specialist Money Mechanics project is designed and delivered by the financial education charity MyBnk, The Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) and Royal Society for Blind Children and endorsed by former Cabinet Minister Lord Blunkett.
The project will see over a thousand 16-25 year olds living with sight or hearing loss learn how to budget, bank, borrow safely, in their first languages (sign or braille) to take control of their lives, sustain work, go to university, move into independent living and live life “without limit”. Training will also be scaled to other youth organisations.
Nearly 70% of blind and partially sighted young people are living on the poverty line and only 41% of deaf young people gained 5+ GCSEs graded A* -C including English and Maths in 2016. Citizen Advice found that those with disabilities also face a ‘double disadvantage’ when it comes to managing their money and accessing financial services.
At the launch, Keynote speaker Toby Linton Burton, Chair of RAD, CFO at The Economist and British Sign Language user said “parents lacked the knowledge to help their Deaf child look after their finances.” Former Paralympian Mike Brace CBE, who was blinded at the age of ten, told guests “if you can’t be in control of your money, you can’t be in control of your life.”
Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the project will arm them with the skills to survive, thrive and live independently. We intend to roll out the scheme via other charities nationwide
Since 2005 players of the People’s Postcode Lottery have raised an incredible £168.4m for charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally.
MyBnk is the UK’s leading designer and deliverer of financial and enterprise education for young people.
MyBnk offers schools and youth organisations a range of workshops to ensure all young people leaving school are equipped with the confidence, skills and knowledge they need in financial matters to take part fully in society.
MyBnk works with teachers, government, consumer bodies and financial industry representatives to help teachers and youth workers by delivering personal finance education to the highest possible standards – making sure that children and young people are able to understand money and make informed choices which will guarantee them security and economic well-being in the long-term.
For more information, pictures or to visit a MyBnk session please visit www.mybnk.org