Press Release: Dealing with Debt Financial Education in American Sign Language

CSD Learns, Wells Fargo Launch Financial Education Series for the Deaf Community

Greensboro, NC – July 24, 2018Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD) Learns and Wells Fargo & Company announced the launch of an online financial education series for the deaf community. The first two courses, “Dealing with Debt” and “Getting Started with Investing,” are available free of charge at learns.csd.org to all deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals in the U.S. as well as their teachers and service providers.

CSD Learns received a $75,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to create the pilot American Sign Language series based on Wells Fargo’s Hands On Banking® free financial education program.

“This is the first attempt to create online courses that help empower the deaf community financially,” said Joseph Santini, CSD Learns program manager. “With the help of Wells Fargo’s grant and its financial education courses, we were able to apply principles of Universal Design and bilingual education to work towards creating fully accessible courses taught by diverse instructors in conceptually accurate, academic American Sign Language.”

According to a recent National Disability Institute report, “Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation National Financial Capability Study,”  people with disabilities are more likely than those without disabilities to be late with their mortgage payments (31 percent versus 14 percent), overdraw their checking accounts (31 percent versus 18 percent) and take loans from their retirement savings accounts (23 percent versus 10 percent).

“People with disabilities have a much higher unemployment rate than those without disabilities,” said Kathy Martinez, head of Disability and Accessibility Strategy at Wells Fargo. “As such, they tend to face more financial challenges than their counterparts. We hope this financial education series will alleviate some of those challenges and help set them on a path to financial success.”

CSD Learns creates innovative, platform-based solutions that overcome barriers and increase learning opportunities for deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing individuals. Through CSD Learns, bilingual online courses are presented in American Sign Language with voiceover and captioning as well as screen-reading compatibility. CSD Learns’ courses are self-paced and include interactive quizzes and assessments for a dynamic and active learning experience.

CSD Learns, a program sponsored by Communication Service for the Deaf, provides learners who use American Sign Language access to online education on a variety of topics. It is free to create an account at learns.csd.org.

About Hands on Banking

Hands on Banking is a public service offered by Wells Fargo in English and Spanish. The program offers online and printable resources for anyone who wants to learn more about money management, including youth, adults, seniors, service members, and entrepreneurs. The online learning center can help site visitors find answers to questions, from budgeting tips and buying a home, to responsibly using credit. Hands on Banking offers self-directed courses to help improve financial capability, as well as offers classroom resources for educators. For more information about Hands on Banking, visit https://handsonbanking.org/.

About CSD

Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), founded in 1975, is a nonprofit organization that creates innovative resources that empower and promote equality among all people. CSD invests in the community through a myriad of programs, and works to create success stories among people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. For more information, visit www.csd.org.

 About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,050 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 38 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Inquiries should be directed to learns@csd.org.