Money Smarts Workbook coverMoney Week 2015 will see the launch of a new financial literacy course designed specifically to build the skills of people with learning (intellectual) disability.

People First New Zealand Ngā Tāngata Tuatahi, in association with the Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre, will trial the MoneySmarts Made Easy course for a small group of students in Wellington before rolling the programme out nationwide.

The course, which is a customised version of the Fin-Ed Centre’s MoneySmarts programme, is written in a mix of plain English and Easy Read – a format that People First specialises in. People First is one of only seven Disabled Person’s Organisations (DPOs) in New Zealand, and the only DPO that is led and directed by people with learning disability.

“The MoneySmarts course has been customised by the organisation itself, keeping in mind the specific needs of people with learning disability,” says Fin-Ed Centre director Dr Pushpa Wood.

“The language is easier, using more visual cues and less text, and with constant reconfirmation in the format of the workbooks. We are trialing the course with a small group of students to ensure that the final content works well for this audience.”

Once the course has been through the trial it will be added to the educational arm of People First – ‘Learn With Us’, making it available in other areas across the country.

The call for an accessible course to learn more about money came People First’s own membership. Members wanted to increase their knowledge and have more control of their money.

“People First was asked by a number of its Members for a way of learning money management skills,” Dr Wood says.

“The course will hopefully fill that need by providing the participants with knowledge and the confidence to ask appropriate questions about managing their money, especially when it is managed by others on their behalf.”

The project has been funded by the Ihc Foundation, a long-time funder and supporter of People First New Zealand.

For more information about the Money Smarts Made Easy Course you can contact People First’s Project Coordinator Janet Doughty on 027 869 9790 or Dr Pushpa Wood on (04) 979 3560.