Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, and we are thrilled to be able to share this historical moment with you.
Over the course of the past 20 years we have created programs that have helped more than 14,000 Pennsylvanians acquire the assistive technology devices they wanted to lead more independent and fulfilling lives. And, our commitment to reporting loan repayments to the credit reporting bureaus has meant that we’ve helped all of our borrowers improve their opportunities for employment, live in their own homes, and get a credit card that carries a lower interest rate.
Our success would not be possible without the initial support of a few key partners. It was in early 1998 that we came together under the leadership of our first Board President, Ginny Del Sordo, and our inaugural board. With consultant Richard Bergeron’s help, we created an affordable loan program, and with First Union-Atlantic’s Vice President Chris Borowiec’s guidance, we forged our first bank partnership. However, the work wasn’t complete yet. Understanding the impact of a guaranteed loan program, we collaborated with former Governor Tom Ridge and former Secretary of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, Samuel McCullough, to acquire our first state appropriation. By October 1998, we had extended our very first loan to a man in Lancaster, PA for a home modification. And now, here we are 20 years later, reflecting on our gratitude to each of these partners and to Governor Ridge who believed in this program.
These past twenty years have been full of opportunities, pleasant surprises, and growth. As we plan for the future, we remain committed to working with the disability community to create programs that are meaningful and respond to our ever-changing world of technology.
Together with you, we are looking forward to the next twenty!
20 years: 1998-2018
My Life, My Choice, My Technology
When Linda called PATF for help, she wasn’t sure what she wanted, but she knew she needed something. Linda was recently diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, resulting in short-term memory loss and balance difficulties. She worried about falling while navigating the bumpy streets of Philadelphia. Also, she would often forget to turn off the faucet at the bathroom sink and water had ruined her flooring twice. When her family suggested she move into a nursing home, Linda gave PATF a call, hoping they could help her find a way to stay in her own home. She told PATF: “I would rather lay down in the middle of Broad Street than move into a nursing home!”
PATF helped Linda enroll in a program that provides services to people who have disabilities and are aging so that they can continue to live in their own homes and be active in the community. Through this program, Linda was assessed for a quad walking cane that provides greater stability when strolling around town. PATF also helped Linda take out a Mini-Loan to purchase a magiceye faucet in the bathroom. Now the water stops running when she moves away from the sink, and Linda is happily and safely living in her own home.