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Contact: Nell Bailey 703/524-6686 ext 305,
FOURTEEN STATES AWARDED FEDERAL GRANTS FOR AT FINANCIAL LOAN PROGRAMS
The U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative services, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has awarded over $13.6 million in grants to 14 states to operate financial loan programs for individuals with disabilities to purchase assistive technology (AT). The states receiving grants are: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These grants represent a continued commitment by the federal government to fund alternative financing programs, authorized under Title III of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-394). Last year the department awarded $3.8 million to six AT loan programs.
Each of the state loan programs will match federal funds with state funds or private sources. Loan programs will be administered with partners from community-based organizations and commercial lending institutions or state financing agencies and will provide low interest loans to consumers.
These new loan programs will have a tremendous impact on the lives of persons with disabilities as they provide new means to purchase assistive technology that can help them live and work more independently. Consumers will be able to purchase all types of assistive technology devices and services, such as:
* environmental control units
* telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDDs).
* speech recognition devices
* home office accessibility modifications
* modified vans and lifts
These tools help individuals with disabilities to be more productive and participate more fully at home, at school, at work and in the community.
Funding for technology has been a persistent barrier for individuals with disabilities. These new loan programs will offer consumers increased options to finance purchases of assistive technology and provide alternatives for those who do not qualify for public financing programs.
President Bush has requested $40 million for additional awards to fund similar programs in his FY 2002 budget as part of his New Freedom Initiative.
1700 North Moore Street, Suite 1540
Arlington, VA 22209-1903
Phone: 703/524-6686 Fax: 703/524-6630 TTY: 703/524-6639
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.resnaprojects.org/AFTAP