Featured image forJust published! Funding Your Assistive Technology

Long-Awaited Assistive Technology Funding Guide for People with Disabilities and Older Pennsylvanians is Published

Today, Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is bringing clarity to the complex process of funding assistive technology (AT) by publishing an easy-to-read guide, Funding Your Assistive Technology: A Guide to Funding Resources in Pennsylvania, the first of its kind to be compiled for people with disabilities and seniors in Pennsylvania.

“At PATF, we define assistive technology as any device that helps a person with a disability achieve a more independent and productive life. Examples include a ramp into a home, smart home technology, and hearing aids,” explains Susan Tachau, Chief Executive Officer of PATF. “These devices are critical for many people with disabilities to go to work, live in their own homes, and actively participate in the community.”

The conversation around assistive technology is often centered on new advancements and innovative applications, while consideration for how to pay for this technology remains an afterthought. In fact, one of the leading obstacles for many people in obtaining assistive technology is finding the money to pay for it. And, there are many circumstances to take into account when developing a funding solution. A person’s diagnosis, age, whether or not they are a student, where they live, whether or not they work, their financial situation, and their wants and needs all factor into determining what funding options are available.

The friendly tone of Funding Your Assistive Technology, leads readers through the decision of choosing an appropriate assistive technology device and/or service to developing a funding strategy with simple instructions and sound advice. The Guide suggests: “Look at your objective first and work backwards from there: ‘What am I trying to do?’ and then, ‘What technology or device would best support me in reaching this goal?’ It’s easy to be wooed by fancy marketing and flashy technology, but by focusing attention on the task you are trying to accomplish—the functional skill—you are more likely to find the device that most closely fits your wants and needs.”

Topics covered include:

  • What Is Assistive Technology?
  • Choosing My Assistive Technology
  • Developing a Successful Funding Strategy
  • Accessing Assistive Technology Through Home and Community-Based Waiver Programs (including Community HealthChoices)
  • A Funding Resource List
  • Saving for Assistive Technology: ABLE vs Special Needs Trusts

“This comprehensive guide is an easy-to-use resource for Pennsylvanians with disabilities, seniors, their families, service providers, and legislators. It empowers Pennsylvanians with the knowledge to gain access to devices and services that make independence and autonomy possible,” says Nancy Murray, President of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh at ACHIEVA and incoming Board President at PATF.

Funding Your Assistive Technology was made possible through a generous grant by The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation of Harrisburg, PA and can be downloaded free of charge as a PDF at: patf.us/FundingYourAT.