Read how some of the people we’ve worked with are using their assistive technology to live their lives.

Alexa

Like many other college graduates her age who are living back home, 25 year-old Alexa is ready to move out onto her own. While grateful for the support of her parents during this transition, Alexa has two exciting part-time jobs and she’s ready for a change.  And, a change is imminent – Alexa and her parents recently purchased a ranch-style house in their…

[ Read Alexa's Story ]

Carol

Carol has a zest for life that is nearly palpable. She is a member of the Red Hat Society, she loves to crochet and she has a cat named Annie. But, what lights her up the most? Her family. She lives in Erie and is the mother of five adult children and 18 grandchildren. Her family is spread out across the United States and she enjoys catching up with them as often as possible. They are the most…

[ Read Carol's Story ]

Chris

Chris, who just turned 30, has a love for music. He has worked as a volunteer at local radio station Wired 96.5 and continues to stay up-to-date on the latest news involving his favorite artists. Since the built-in social network of college has passed, Chris works hard to maintain a sense of connection with friends, both old and new. When he heard about PATF’s…

[ Read Chris's Story ]

George

George has a bright and cheerful presence, when he laughs you can’t help but laugh, too. Unusually open about his life and experiences, he’s the type of person you’re instantly comfortable with. George was born with cerebral palsy. Over the course of his life he has had a front-row seat to the development of many types of assistive technology, but his…

[ Read George's Story ]

Jessica

Jessica has ocular myasthenia gravis, among other neurological conditions, which affect her ability to walk and she falls frequently. Previously she was an athlete, regularly running 5k’s, skiing, skating, and mountain climbing. But when she became sick, her life changed dramatically. Even with the support of an aid, simply walking the boardwalk like she used to with her rescued greyhounds…

[ Read Jessica's Story ]

Joy and Jill

Joy and Jill have been playing music and making a difference in their community all their lives. Born and raised in Jeannette, PA, the twins reside in the same house where they grew up, a house that was often filled with the music their father loved and played on his accordion. He was an accomplished musician, and the girls followed suit, graduating from Seton Hill University, each with a degree…

[ Read Joy and Jill's Story ]

LaTrice

LaTrice has always cared about helping others. Working in the mental health field for close to 30 years, she was excited when she opened her own practice as a Certified Mental Health and Addictions Therapist. LaTrice came to us, after moving into a new office and with business thriving, to discuss purchasing an adapted vehicle. She managed to make it to work every day for years in a van that was…

[ Read LaTrice's Story ]

Linda

When Linda called PATF for help, she wasn’t sure what she wanted, but she knew she needed something. She worried about falling while navigating the bumpy streets of Philadelphia, and she wanted to know what she could do to prevent unwelcome flooding from her bathroom sink. After washing her hands she would forget to turn off the faucet, and water from the flooded sink had ruined her flooring…

[ Read Linda's Story ]

Linzey

At 31 years of age, Linzey is living a full life! In 2009, she founded a service dog training organization, Phoenix Assistance Dogs of Central PA (PAD). Linzey is PAD's Director, and lives with 17 dogs, several of them in her training program. She also manages the training and care of another 11 dogs that live with volunteers and owner-trainers. Additionally, Linzey teaches pet dog training group…

[ Read Linzey's Story ]

Maci

When Maci’s mom told us that Maci has a presence about her, she wasn’t kidding. Maci enters Hershey Medical Center for a routine visit and nurses she’s never worked with before light up and call out, “Hi Maci!” She’s a social butterfly, and not moments after you’ve entered her home will she grab your hand and, grinning, pull you to her room to introduce you to Phil, her guinea pig.…

[ Read Maci's Story ]

Michael

I heard so many different noises when I drove our ten-year-old wheelchair van that I couldn’t tell if I was hearing the rattling of the ramp, the roar of the muffler, or the flapping of the running board. So it came as no surprise when my mechanic finally told me it was time to get a new vehicle for my son, Michael.

[ Read Michael's Story ]

Money Club

December 2014 marked the final meeting of PATF’s pilot program, Money Club. Funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council, this program invited 17 young adults with a range of disabilities and varying levels of financial knowledge to come together to learn “how to manage your money so your money doesn’t manage you”. December’s…

[ Read Money Club's Story ]

Richard

A quiet, natural setting, a beautiful river view from the porch, and only 40 miles from Philadelphia. Sound good to you? It did to Rich. But four months after he purchased his dream home, his dream threatened to turn into a nightmare. He fell while trimming a tree on his property and sustained a permanent spinal cord injury. After surgery, Rich spent months in rehab…

[ Read Richard's Story ]

Sam M.

Sam has autism and frequently darts and wanders away. “He will take off towards traffic when we take him to local parks or soccer fields to play. He also runs to the street when playing in our back yard,” Sam's mom Julie explained. In addition, Sam takes certain medications for other health conditions that have the side effect of hyperactivity. “He really needs a big yard to run in,”…

[ Read Sam M.'s Story ]

Sam W.

A nice day for Sam involves arriving at the library when it opens, favorite drink in hand (coffee or hot chocolate), and spending the day reading with a break for lunch and dinner. But – a really, really nice day includes the addition of a visit to the local conservatory with a large indoor botanical garden, conveniently located near his favorite library. Sam loves to read, and prefers…

[ Read Sam W.'s Story ]

Sharrod

Sharrod has had an amazing life.  When he was 9 years old, he contracted bacterial meningitis.  He spent months in a hospital, drifting in and out of consciousness and battling infections.  Eventually, he had to have partial amputations of all four limbs.  When his condition finally stabilized, he was moved to a rehabilitation hospital.  There, he gradually…

[ Read Sharrod's Story ]

Suria

When Suria was injured almost two years ago, her then-fiancé Kirby set to work researching ways to adapt standard consumer technology to give Suria more independence in their home. They were so successful that they launched SunKirb Ideas, a company that focuses on identifying, adapting and installing affordable products that make clients' homes "smarter" and give them back their independence. We…

[ Read Suria's Story ]

Susie

Life can change in an instant. On a Friday night in June 2011, Susie came home from work thinking she had the flu. When her symptoms continued to worsen, a series of health complications emerged. Septic shock led to multiple organ failure and a significant lack of blood flow to her feet. Ultimately, Susie had to have both of her legs amputated below the knee. Susie underwent months of intensive…

[ Read Susie's Story ]

Tom

“Music is one of life's gifts. It is toy, tool, and tonic. You can hear it and feel it—there is something for everyone.” – Tom

Growing up in Philadelphia, Tom's family had a piano that, for the most part, was treated like just another piece of furniture, adorned with the lamp, a jigsaw puzzle, postcards, and other knickknacks. One night, when Tom was still in preschool, his…

[ Read Tom's Story ]

Tyler

Tyler is working hard to finish his undergraduate degree. As a student at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Tyler is majoring in Computer Information Systems and Technology, with a minor in Digital Graphic Design. But like many undergrads, his career goals after college aren’t directly related to his major. Tyler wants to work in student affairs on a college campus. Even now as an…

[ Read Tyler's Story ]

Vernon

Vernon has never considered himself as a person with a disability. He is an avid cyclist, has worked in upper management for York Water Company for 21 years, and is a proud father and grandfather. When he was first diagnosed with hearing loss 15 years ago, “male vanity”—as he puts it—kept him from addressing the issue for years. In 2010 he purchased his first hearing aids, but by 2018 his…

[ Read Vernon's Story ]