Featured image for2021 AARP Purpose Prize Winner: PATF’s CEO & Disability Advocate Susan Tachau

AARP Purpose Prize Honors Extraordinary People Age 50-Plus Who Give Back, Tackle Major Societal Challenges

On Tuesday, October 20, AARP announced its 2021 AARP Purpose Prize award recipients and fellows, the only national award that celebrates people 50-plus who are using their knowledge and life experience to solve tough social problems. Susan Tachau, co-founder and CEO of Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) was chosen as one of only five winners from a national pool of 1,700 applicants.

Susan co-founded PATF in 1998 as a statewide nonprofit that helps people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians acquire the assistive technology devices and services that improve the quality of their lives. “I’m honored that AARP recognizes our work to empower individuals with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians through access to technology and financial inclusion,” shares Susan.

AARP is honoring Susan and four other remarkable adults changing the world, along with Golden Globe award-winning actor and activist Glenn Close for her co-founding Bring Change to Mind, a charity dedicated to confronting the stigma associated with mental illness.

For Susan, her experiences with her son Michael, who has cerebral palsy due to complications at birth, sparked her passion to start PATF. “Assistive technology – such as a wheelchair, an adapted van, even smart home technology – has enabled Michael to go to college, get a job, volunteer, live in his own home, be active in the community, and have friends,” says Susan.

“Technology means freedom, independence, opportunity, and joy, which I believe should be accessible to everyone.”

Susan co-founded PATF on the core values of justice and consumer choice. PATF provides low-cost, flexible financing, as well as education and advocacy to help people with disabilities and older adults get the assistive technology of their choosing. In the past 22 years, PATF has extended over $41 million in loans to more than 4,000 Pennsylvanians, and has assisted more than 9,000 people with referrals to other funding resources for their assistive technology. “In the face of major gaps in funding resources for assistive technology, our program offers another option,” says Susan.

“I commend this year’s AARP Purpose Prize winners and fellows for their dedication and commitment to serving people of all ages during these challenging times,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “These older adults inspire and show us how our own life experiences can be used to find creative and innovative solutions to help others and make a difference in communities across the country.”

The honorees will be recognized at a virtual awards celebration on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020.

For interview requests with Susan, contact Susie Daily, PATF Communications Director, sdaily@patf.us or 484-674-0506.

Learn more about PATF and the 2021 AARP Purpose Prize.

About Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation

Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), founded in 1998, provides education and financing opportunities and advocates for people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians, helping them to acquire assistive technology devices and services that improve the quality of their lives. It is headquartered in King of Prussia, PA and uses a network of Funding Assistance Coordinators across the state to assist prospective borrowers. Contact PATF at (888) 744-1938, or patf@patf.us. To learn more, visit www.patf.us or follow @PennsylvaniaATF on social media.