Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation Celebrates 20 Years
Tyler, Mckean County, Scooter
iconLaura, Philadelphia County, Adapted Scull.
Latrice, Montgomery County, Adapted Van1998 to 2018
Maci, Dauphin County, iPad and Communication App
I called PATF, and it was like 'Rubbing the Lamp.' -Tom, Borrower
Dorothy, Montgomery County, Stairlift and Walker

Tom, Philadelphia County Computer and Music Software

Dear Friends,

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!

Susan Tachau, CEO

Susan Tachau


Derek Baker, Board President

Derek Baker

Board President


20 years: 1998-2018

“I congratulate PATF on twenty years of service to the people of Pennsylvania. With each loan PATF has empowered people with disabilities to be more independent, be part of their community, find meaningful employment and pursue their dreams.”

—Tom Ridge, Former Governor

1998 Founding1998: First Loan: In October, Harold Fry of Lancaster, PA gets a loan for a home modification. Program Launch: Incorporates as a consumer directed Alternative Financing Program (AFP). Creates affordable, no-fee loan program. First bank partnership formed. First state appropriation so PATF can guarantee loans.2000: FAC Program: Establishes statewide support through the Funding Assistance Coordinator (FAC) program.2002: Fixed Interest Rate of 4.5 percent: Establishes a fixed-interest rate for borrowers that is below usual market rates. 1 Million Dollars in Loans. 100th Borrower: George of Monroe County receives a guaranteed loan for an adapted vehicle.2005: Mini-Loan Program: Establishes Mini-Loan Program, offering 0 percent interest loans up to 500 dollars.2006: 10 Million Dollars in Loans2008: Information and Assistance: Officially incorporates I&A program, helping borrowers make informed decisions and promoting consumer choice. 1,000th Borrower: John of Allegheny County receives a low-interest loan for an outdoor ramp.2009: 20 Million Dollars in Loans2012: CDFI Certified: Becomes State and Federal Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) committed to providing financial & educational programs to low-income individuals. 30 Million Dollars in Loans.2013: Financial Education: Publishes the first and only financial education book of its kind, Cents and Sensibility: A guide to money management.2014: Pilot Program: Launches pilot Money Club in Narberth, PA to teach young adults with disabilities about money management.2016: Interactive Website: Develops interactive website,, to complement Cents and Sensibility.2017: Financial Education: Publishes educator's companion guide for Cents and Sensibility. Money Club West is held in Pittsburgh, PA. Translates all financial materials into Spanish. Smart Homes: Forms a Smart Home Advisory Committee and launches Onward

On the Horizon
Greater Loan Capacity
Smart Home Technology
Expansion of Financial Education Program
Spanish-Speaking Outreach Initiative
Numbers in the Making Over the Last 20 Years

Linda Presley

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.

“I am so grateful to PATF for helping make it possible for me to live in my own home.”

– Linda

Over 14,000 Pennsylvanians served by PATF programs since 1998.53 percent of borrowers considered low-income (annual income below 200 percent Federal Poverty Guidelines).
36,266,048 dollars loaned, 1.8 percent loan loss rate
99.5 percent of borrowers would use PATF again and would recommend PATF to a friend or family member.
Technology holds great promise for people with disabilities. We will continue to bring that promise to life.-Susan Tachau, PATF CEO
Types of AT Funded: 35 percent Adapted Vehicles, 30 percent Hearing Devices, 15 percent Home Modifications, 8 percent Computers/Tablets, 4 percent Daily Living, 4 percent Farm Equipment, 2 percent Durable Medical Equipment, 2 percent Vision, 1 percent Scooters