Ensuring Quality Financial Education for Students with Disabilities

Throughout April, we are celebrating Financial Capability Month by featuring a variety of financial education programs and resources that you can put to use in your classroom right away. The fourth of these programs is Cents and Sensibility.

Is financial education the same for all students? Should it be? One could argue that understanding topics such as the difference between a debit and a credit card is important for all students. But, what about students with disabilities? Are there topics that are different for these students? In some cases, the answer is an emphatic yes. Students with disabilities may, for example, qualify or receive government benefits which often have specific asset limits. An individual who requires physical assistance may rely on a caregiver to handle their day-to-day financial transactions. And, there are special programs for which only individuals with disabilities may qualify such as Home and Community Based Waivers and Social Security Work Incentives.

While there is a wealth of financial education resources for the general education population, very little has been developed specifically for students with disabilities. That’s why the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation developed Cents and Sensibility. The program began with a class offered for young adults with disabilities in the Philadelphia area and expanded into a full workbook and website.  

Most recently, the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) released the Cents and Sensibility Educator Companion Manual. Developed to accompany their award-winning Cents and Sensibility: a guide to money management, the manual provides ways teachers can use the guide with students. Pennsylvania teachers–both traditional high school personal finance teachers and special education teachers–were involved in the development of the educator manual.


The Educator Companion Manual includes teacher background information, essential questions, suggested activities, correlations to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards and more. In addition, PowerPoint slides are available to accompany each chapter. If you wish to purchase a printed copy of the manual and slides, contact PATF.

Look for more featured resources throughout April: Financial Capability Month. 

Disclaimer: Resources included on the Making Cents blog have been reviewed by Pennsylvania educators and deemed worthwhile for classroom or professional use. Inclusion does not indicate endorsement by the Pennsylvania Department of Education or Penn State University.

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