Every year, the U.S. government makes a budget. The federal budget decides how much money to spend on important things like Medicaid, roads to drive on, good schools, clean water, services for people with disabilities, and much more. It’s important for self-advocates to understand how the federal budget gets made—so we can advocate for a budget that includes money for programs that help us. But the federal budget process is complicated and confusing, even to people who have worked in the government for a long time. That’s why we’re pleased to announce our newest plain language toolkit, Follow the Money: The U.S. Budget and You. This toolkit explains:
- What the federal budget is
- What taxes are
- What the budget process is
- What happens when the budget process doesn’t work
- What we can do to influence the federal budget
The Budget toolkit is available in two versions:
- Our Easy Read Edition. The Easy Read version is split into seven parts. Each part has its own glossary, and there is also a separate glossary with all of the terms from every section. The Easy Read version uses pictures along with larger text, and has more white space.
- A Plain Language Version for either those with vision-related disabilities or those who would prefer a version without accompanying graphics. The Plain Language Version is available as one document, or in individual parts.
The Plain Language Version is also available in separate parts. Each part has its own glossary, and there is also a separate glossary with all of the terms from every section. Click on the title of any of parts the below to download it:
- Part 1: Introduction (Plain Language)
- Part 2: What is the federal budget? (Plain Language)
- Part 3: What are taxes? (Plain Language)
- Part 4: The Budget Process (Plain Language)
- Part 5: Does the budget process work? (Plain Language)
- Part 6: What can we do? (Plain Language)
- Part 7: Words to Know (Plain Language)
If you used this resource, please take our short survey!
There is also a video! You can watch all of the parts together:
Or watch them topic-by-topic with this playlist.
This toolkit made possible by the generous support of The Ford Foundation.