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Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation launches one-year pilot program to expand access to assistive technology that increases independence, safety, and health

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – On Monday, January 18, 2021 Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) will launch a one-year pilot program offering no-interest, no-fee financial loans between $100 and $7,000 to Pennsylvanians with disabilities and older adults for the purchase of needed assistive technology devices and services that help them remain independent, safe, healthy, and connected during the pandemic.

“People with disabilities and older adults have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and assistive technology plays a critical role in helping them maintain employment and schooling, travel safely, remain in their own homes, access telehealth, and stay connected during a particularly vulnerable time,” says PATF CEO Susan Tachau. “By expanding our Mini-Loan program, we can be more responsive and offer more affordable financing, helping people at a time when it is needed most.”

PATF is a statewide non-profit organization and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides consumer loans for assistive technology. Assistive technology that may be covered by the new loan program includes hearing aids, stair glides, vision devices, vehicle hand controls, smart home technology, computers, and tablets.

“With the loan we got from PATF, we were able to enclose our back yard with a fence so our son can play outside and get exercise without putting himself in danger,” shares PATF borrower Julie whose son has autism. “We have really been blessed with having the fenced-in yard through this pandemic – it has kept our son safe.”

This program is an expansion of PATF’s longstanding in-house Mini-Loan program, which previously only offered loans up to $2,000. Larger loans up to $60,000 are available through PATF’s Low-Interest Loan program at a 3.75% interest rate with PATF’s partner banks. Both loan programs are available statewide without any fees, to people of all ages, all income levels, and all disabilities and health conditions.

In a typical year, PATF extends 140 Mini-Loans totaling $200,000; by expanding the program to include loans up to $7,000, PATF projects to help an additional 90 people purchase needed technology this year worth a total of $363,000. PATF reports repayments to the three major credit bureaus, providing borrowers a chance to build positive credit with every on-time payment.

“I have seen, time and again, the difference this program makes in real people’s lives,” says PATF Board President Nancy Murray, who is also Senior Vice President of Achieva and President of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh. “To make access to needed assistive technology quick and affordable in the face of gaps in public and private funding is essential, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Individuals interested in applying for a Mini-Loan to finance assistive technology are encouraged to contact PATF at 888-744-1938 or patf@patf.us to request an application, or to apply online at https://patf.us/apply. Applications are available in multiple accessible formats.

Learn more about PATF, its financial loan programs, and the people PATF has helped. Download a PDF of this press release.


About Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation

Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), founded in 1998, is a statewide non-profit organization that provides financing opportunities, education, and advocacy 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.