CSD Learns Awarded $75,000 Grant from Wells Fargo

Foundation to create financial educational resources in American sign language.


Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) Learns announced that the organization received a $75,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation (No. 9 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) to create a pilot American Sign Language (ASL) Financial Education Series. Content from Wells Fargo’s Hands On Banking online financial learning center, such as Dealing with Debt and Getting Started with Investing, will be provided in ASL on the CSD Learns site.

“Achieving economic independence is a challenge for many in the deaf community,” said CSD Chief Executive Officer Christopher Soukup. “This joint effort with Wells Fargo is an innovative, remarkable step forward in bringing high-quality, valuable information to deaf people in ASL and other accessible formats,”

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 ASL with voice-over 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.

“Wells Fargo strongly believes that people with disabilities should have the same opportunities to improve their financial health and well-being as anyone else,” said Kathy Martinez, head of disability and accessibility strategy at Wells Fargo. “We are proud to collaborate with CSD Learns to make our Hands on Banking program accessible to this community and help them succeed financially.”

“About 70 percent of the American Deaf community is either unemployed or underemployed. Research has long demonstrated a significant need for Deaf-specific financial learning tools,” said Soukup.  “CSD has listened to diverse Deaf communities share the need for equitable learning resources. Our  goal is to see each and every Deaf individual empowered to educate and enable themselves, including financially. By offering this program on a pilot basis, we can now help strengthen equity for Deaf people in the workplace, and offer tools for self-improvement and autonomous social mobility.”

Hands on Banking is a public service offered by Wells Fargo in English and Spanish. The program offers online resources for anyone who wants to learn more about money management. The online learning center can help site visitors find answers to questions, from budgeting tips to buying a home, to responsibly using credit. Hands on Bankingoffers self-directed courses to improve financial capability, as well as offering classroom resources for educators.

For more information about Hands on Banking, visit https://handsonbanking.org/.

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