REAL Opportunities Study

This project was completed in September 2011, these resources are no longer updated

People living with disabilities are disproportionately represented in the population of Americans living below the poverty line, and have significant challenges in accruing financial assets for the long-term. Disability policy historically requires significant limitations on income and assets, although contemporary disability policy is incrementally changing this standard.

The REAL Opportunities Study, a two year grant from the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), investigates whether personalized coaching improves financial outcomes of customers accessing services from Vocational Rehabilitation.

This is a randomized study, and half of all eligible research participants receive comprehensive money coaching, while the other half of participants experience services as usual.  Outcomes between the two groups will be compared to find out if significant differences occur between those that receive the services and those that experience services as usual.

Planned project outcomes include peer-reviewed journal articles, contribution to theory, and utility of money coaching in rehabilitation practice.

Project Partners

National Partners:

  • Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University
  • World Institute on Disability
  • National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
  • National Disability Institute
  • Pathways to Independence Project, Wisconsin Medicaid Infrastructure Grant
  • Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

State Partners:

  • New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation
  • New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services
  • Granite State Independent Living
  • Rockingham County Community Action Program
  • New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites