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AFP Grantees 2001-2002
State Abstracts

ARIZONA

Arizona Loans for Assistive Technology Program (AzLAT)
Northern Arizona University Institute for Human Development
4105 North 20th Street, Suite 260
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Project Director: Jill Oberstein
PHONE: 602/766-4670
PHONE: 800/477-9921
TTY: 602/728-9536
FAX: 602/728-9535
EMAIL: jill.oberstein@nau.edu
Northern Arizona University (NAU) and the Institute for Human Development (IHD), through the Arizona Technology Access Program (AzT AP), its Assistive Technology Act grantee for Arizona, will implement and administer an Alternative Financing Program (AFP) known as Arizona Loans for Assistive Technology (AzLAT). The overarching program goal is to establish and operate AzLAT as a consumer driven, statewide alternative financing program to make affordable loans available to persons with disabilities for the purchase of assistive technology (AT) devices.

AzLAT reflects an innovative, highly collaborative public/private partnership involving AzT AP, a consortium of nine other disability-related agencies, Arizona MultiBank Community Development Corporation, and The Arizona Community Foundation. (Ten additional community based organizations will also contribute their expertise to the project.) The program is designed to promote access to AT devices for persons with disabilities by creating a dignified alternative to traditional loan programs.

AzLAT has been developed as a loan guarantee program. Loans made to qualified borrowers by the bank will be guaranteed by AzLAT in case of borrower default. The program will address the needs of low to middle income persons with disabilities throughout the state including individuals from underrepresented groups desiring loans to purchase AT, but due to credit history or income issues would be ineligible for most traditional bank loan programs. Informed consumer choice, avoidance of unnecessary debt, support for consumers to complete the application process and to repay their loans in a timely manner are key elements of consumer support embedded into the program and will be provided by the member organizations of the Consumer Support Network and/or the AzLAT Program. This network, separate from the Consortium, consists of five Centers for Independent Living and five regional AT resource centers located in various areas of the state. Consumer support mechanisms may consist of one or more of the following: assistance with completion of the loan application package; identification of other potential funding sources for AT acquisition; guidance/recommendations for selection of AT devices; assistance with identifying and locating vendors; guidance on resolving credit report errors; guidance on budgeting and finance management issues; and intervention options to avoid consumer default.

It is anticipated that these supports, provided in tandem with affordable, flexible loan terms, will ensure low default rates and will facilitate the borrower's ability to establish or re-establish a positive credit rating.

Establishing the AzLAT program has been a priority objective for AzTAP and its partners during the past year. Federal funding of this project will allow AzT AP and the AzLAT Consortium to implement the program, expand consumer services and strengthen its efforts to permanently sustain the program through development of additional sources of state and/or privately generated capital.


ARKANSAS

Arkansas Technology Alternative Financing Project
Arkansas Rehabilitation Services
P. O. Box 3781
1616 Brookwood Drive
Little Rock, AR 72203
Project Director: Sue Gaskin
PHONE: 501/296-1691
FAX: 501/296-1675
EMAIL: sogaskin@ars.state.ar.us
The Arkansas Assistive Technology Alternative Financing Program (AFP) will greatly expand the capacity of current state resources, creating a profound impact on the ability of Arkansans with disabilities to secure needed technology. Using $400,000 available in State Funds with $1,200,000 in federal funds, the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) will establish a revolving loan fund program of approximately $1,600,000. Loans will be made up to $50,000 to purchase technology for individuals with disabilities regardless of age and regardless of financial status of the borrower so long as the capacity to repay the loan exists. Thousands of Arkansans will have enhanced access to loans with flexible terms for the purchase of technology that might otherwise be inaccessible.

The first goal is to establish a solid infrastructure that will enable the AFP to continue indefinitely. The existing consumer-weighted Loan Fund Committee will be integrally involved in developing the guidelines that will drive the AFP's implementation and serve as an ongoing resource. The Committee will contract with the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) to manage the loans. Consumer advocacy and other resource groups will receive training about how they can assist consumers to get needed technology through this revolving loan fund. A grievance procedure will be established for those denied loans.

Goal II is to design and implement an aggressive marketing campaign to assure that knowledge of this important resource is widespread. The implementation of the AFP is Goal III, with loans available to consumers for up to $50,000 and 20-year terms. Initially, applications will be screened by ARS to determine disability and assure that applicants have completed everything. Applicants will be offered information and assistance to assure they have what they need to make truly informed choices. ADFA will evaluate loan applications, approve and service loans. Approximately 50 loans are anticipated in this first year. Quantitative and qualitative information will be gathered to measure the impact of the fund in the lives of individuals. Information about how the fund was created and operates will be provided to those wishing to replicate this innovative funding mechanism. With the completion of the first year, the infrastructure for the AFP will be solidified and institutionalized within ADFA so that the AFP will be able to continue indefinitely.


FLORIDA

Florida Alternative Financing Program
Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST, Inc.)
1020 E. Lafayette Street, Suite 110
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Project Director: Terry Ward
PHONE: 850/487-3278
TTY: 850/487-2805
FAX: 850/487-2805
EMAIL: tward@faast.org
The Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology, Inc., will establish a consumer directed Alternative Financing Program (AFP) for the state of Florida that will increase access to and funding for assistive technology (AT). FMST assures that Floridians with disabilities, and their family members, will obtain low-interest, longer-term loans that will enable them to select and purchase AT and services. By combining a minimum of $210,000.00 funding from the ED, FMST State general revenue, the Brooks Health Foundation, and matching funding from the Federal grant, FMST will have $840,000 available to establish a loan program administered by AmSouth Bank, hereafter referred to as the FMST Loan Fund.

FMST will partner with the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Association for Centers for Independent Living (FACIL), who will assist in recruiting local Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in consumer education. The Centers will be the focal point of consumer counseling regarding application, selection of devices and services, and assistance with completion of paperwork. With full funding of $840,000.00, FMST will be able to structure our program evaluation statewide with involvement from the entire network of CILs, FMST regional centers and the consumer driven FMST Loan Fund Stakeholders Taskforce.


ILLINOIS

Techconnect Low Interest Loan Program
Illinois Assistive Technology Project
1 West Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 100
Springfield, IL 62701-1200
Project Director: Sue Castles
PHONE: 217/522-7985
TTY: 217/522-9966
FAX: 217/522-8067
EMAIL: scastles@iltech.org
The Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Rehabilitation Services, will establish an alternative financing program for assistive technology (AT) devices and services. The Department of Human Services has committed $750,000 in new state funds to provide the required state match for this program and has selected the Illinois Assistive Technology Project (IATP) as the community-based organization to be responsible for administering the alternative financing program.

Illinois' alternative financing program will assist individuals and their families in borrowing money to obtain the AT they need and in some cases will also assist them in establishing a positive credit history. This program is targeted to individuals who historically have had difficulty obtaining or repaying traditional bank loans. By lowering interest, offering extended repayment plans, and relaxing standards for determining credit worthiness, individuals for whom a loan would otherwise be completely out of reach will now be able to finance needed technology.

The project creates a low interest guaranteed loan program which will use the interest earned on low-risk investments to re-capitalize the fund. The program's statewide infrastructure will allow individuals with disabilities of all ages, their families or guardians, the greatest access to entry points to complete the loan application and to obtain additional supports around budgeting and financial planning. Specifically, the design of the proposal reflects a public-private partnership. In addition to the state, the other partners in the project are the Illinois AT Project as the program administrator; the state's Centers for Independent Living who will handle outreach and marketing, assistance with loan processing, consumer training on budgeting and serve on the application review committee; Town and County Bank as the financial lending institution, and MSF&W a software consulting firm who has the necessary expertise to develop an accessible online loan application program.


KENTUCKY

Loan Initiative Networking Kentuckians for Assistive Technology (LINK AT)
Kentucky Assistive Technology Loan Corporation
P. O. Box 12281-2231
Lexington, KY 40581-2231
Director: Nancy Hansen
PHONE: 859/246-2540
TTY: 859/246-2546
FAX: 859/246-2545
EMAIL: Nancye.Hansen@mail.state.ky.us
HOMEPAGE: www.kyatloan.org
LINK-A.T. (Loan Initiative Networking Kentuckians for Assistive Technology)
represents a unique collaboration of public and private partners for the purpose of providing AT loans to Kentuckians with disabilities. The primary partners include the Kentucky Assistive Technology Loan Corporation (KATLC), the Kentucky Department for Vocational Rehabilitation, Fifth Third Bank of Kentucky, the Kentucky Housing Corporation {KHC), the Kentucky Assistive Technology Service (KATS) Network, the Kentucky Developmental Disabilities Council, five independent living centers, and six AT resource centers.

The goals of LINK-A. T. are

  1. to increase access to loans in all areas of the state;
  2. to increase awareness of the loan program among consumers and their families and caregivers;
  3. to provide loans in a timely and efficient manner;
  4. to provide loans to individuals who may not otherwise be able to access traditional lending programs;
  5. to increase the overall lending capacity of the KATLC to $2.5 million; and
  6. to develop permanent financial support for the loan program.

LINK-A.T. will accomplish these goals by
  1. by developing and implementing a major marketing plan;
  2. using independent living centers and AT resource centers to provide technical assistance to consumers in all areas of the states and from all backgrounds;
  3. buying down interest rates to make more individuals eligible for loans;
  4. by providing one-time financial assistance to individuals who might get behind in payments;
  5. using an e-mail group through the internet to speed the processing of loans;
  6. increasing its deposit with its primary lending partner; and
  7. soliciting financial contributions from additional partners.

The primary outcome expected by LINK-A.T. is 160 loans for AT and home modifications provided to Kentuckians with disabilities for a total of at least $1.428 million. These loans will result in increased independence, enhanced financial security, and better employment possibilities for Kentuckians with disabilities, providing them with the tools they need to compete in the global economy and to exercise their rights and responsibilities as American citizens.


LOUISIANA

Louisiana Alternative Financing Program
Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network (LATAN)
3042 Old Forge Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Executive Director: Julie Nesbit
PHONE/TTY: 225/925-9500
PHONE/TTY: 800/270-6185 (National)
FAX: 225/925-9560
EMAIL: jnesbit@latan.org
HOMEPAGE: www.latan.org
Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network (LATAN), a community-based organization, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) will develop and administer an Alternative Financing Program (AFP) project.

The AFP project proposed by LATAN is a reduced-interest, fixed-rate, and extended- term assistive technology loan program, available for individuals of all ages, income brackets (especially those of low and middle-income), with all types of disabilities. The project's purpose is to provide the availability of guaranteed and non-guaranteed loans for a broad variety of assistive technology devices and services (e.g., assessments, training, and extended warranties). Built into the projected budget are resources (e.g., counseling through the Centers for Independent Living or CILs) required for financial, credit and peer-to-peer counseling as needed by consumers. A structured program evaluation to measure the overall effectiveness will be implemented by the administrators of the program. The evaluation will take into consideration consumer feedback and will attempt to make modifications to the loan program as needed.


MARYLAND

Assistive Technology Guaranteed Loan Program
Maryland Technology Assistance Program
2301 Argonne Drive, Room T-17
Baltimore, MD 21218
Project Co-Directors: Michael Dalto, Tony Rice
PHONE: 800/832-4827 V/TDD
PHONE: 410/554-9233 V/TDD
FAX: 410/554-9237
EMAIL: loans@mdtap.org
HOMEPAGE: www.mdtap.org
The Assistive Technology Guaranteed Loan Program (ATGLP) provides loan guarantees and interest buy-downs for assistive technology (AT) loans when the end user is a Maryland resident with a disability.

Direct mail marketing and superior customer service (yielding numerous word-of-mouth referrals) have spurred the project's success. It has approved loans for a high percentage of applicants who are members of traditionally underserved groups. The project's partnerships institute innovations that make it a national model including:

  1. Multiple lenders - three banks and one statewide credit union participate in the program. Three provide guaranteed loans; two offer discounted rates for non-guaranteed loans. Multiple lenders provide borrowers and the program with a choice of options, and the program with leverage to negotiate better terms among all lenders.
  2. Reduced costs for AT purchase - the AT Co-Op offers exclusive purchase discounts to borrowers, and Maryland TAP is pursuing legislation to exempt some AT from sales tax.
  3. Increased income and resources for borrowers to help them afford AT- Benefits InfoSource and the Benefits Resource Center will assist borrowers to use SSI and Social Security work incentives to retain higher cash benefits, while the Maryland Center for Community Development will link borrowers with service providers to establish Individual Development Accounts (IDA's) to provide matching funds for their savings set aside for AT purchase.
  4. Alternative resources for AT evaluation and training - No Boundaries and the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind provide evaluations, while Learning Independence through Computers (LINC) offers computer training for borrowers.
  5. Recycled computers - Maryland T AP is creating a computer recycling program to meet the needs of applicants who fail to qualify for computer loans through the program.

Created by Maryland statute and initially funded through a $500,000 state appropriation and a $500,000 Title III grant from NIDRR, the program is administered by an independent, community-based, volunteer Board of Directors. Seven of the eleven Directors -including the President and Secretary -are persons with disabilities. The Board oversees all operations, including setting policy, approving and declining loan guarantees and interest subsidies, establishing agreements with participating lenders and managing fiscal affairs. Two staff members -one full-time and one part-time -operate the program under the Board's direction. Staff provide information and referral to applicants; handle administrative tasks related to loan guarantees and interest buy-downs; and market the program through direct mail, partnerships with a broad coalition of disability groups and service organizations, news articles and presentations.

The Maryland centers for independent living (CIL's) offer consumer counseling. The program funds a wide range of AT, excluding only building modifications to rental units. The ATGLP guarantees loans of $500 to $30,000, and loan terms range from one to seven years.


MICHIGAN

Michigan Assistive Technology Loan Fund
Michigan Disability Rights Coalition
740 West Lake Lansing Road, Suite 400
East Lansing, MI 48823
Executive Director: Norm DeLisle
PHONE/TTY: 517/333-2477
FAX: 517/333-2677
EMAIL: ndelisle@msn.com
HOMEPAGE: www.copower.org, www.mi-atlf.org
The Michigan Assistive Technology Loan Fund is a project of the Michigan Department of Career Development -Rehabilitation Services; the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, the Community Partner required by the priority; United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan, which will administer the fund, three Centers for Independent Living, and the Financial Health Credit Union. The Fund began a pilot year in March 2001 with $350,000 in funding from federal Tech Act funds.

Individuals with disabilities in Michigan are the target group of the Fund, the goal of which is that "people with disabilities in Michigan are able to obtain, either through Project loans or through other means, AT equipment and services." Key objectives in the first year are to meet the following objectives:

  • expand statewide from the current three pilot counties,
  • expand marketing of the Fund, and
  • grow its resources into a self-sustaining fund.

Four key attributes distinguish the Loan Fund as an effective tool to meet its purpose. First, it was developed by and is being implemented by people with disabilities with extensive experience with AT. Second, the Fund adopted Principles and Values that demonstrate its commitment to client-driven, client-chosen services. Third, the planning process of the Fund has involved a wide variety of stakeholders in a genuinely collaborative process with the result that it enjoys strong support statewide. Finally, the Loan Fund partnership with local Centers for Independent Living to serve as local intake and counseling points for loan applicants is a unique design element. While the Fund is strongly committed to the principle that persons with disabilities should make their own choices about AT, CILs are uniquely situated to provide AT information to assure applicants can make informed choices about AT. Additionally, the CILs are knowledgeable about other sources of funding than loans and about AT services such as training, equipment trial before purchase, and repair, all of which enhance AT success.

The Loan Fund is governed by MDRC's Board of Directors, most of whom have disabilities, and administered by UCP Michigan. Eligibility in this pilot year was initially limited to three counties, but has been expanded to include other counties. A Loan Committee composed of people with disabilities who use A T and two bankers approves loan guarantees. There is no lower limit for loans, and the upper limit this pilot year is $20,000.

The first year outcome sought is that 40-80 people with disabilities have increased independence through AT devices and services purchased either through loans or with funds through other programs.


NEVADA

Nevada Assistive Technology Loan Fund Program
Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation
711 South Stewart Street
Carson City, NV 89701
Project Director: Todd Butterworth
PHONE: 775/687-4452
FAX: 775/687-3292
EMAIL: tmbutterworth@nvdetr.org
The Assistive Technology Loan Fund (ATLF) has existed as a small but effective loan guarantee program for nearly a decade. Recognizing its value as a "hand up" to Nevadans with disabilities and their families, policy makers in the state have infused the program with substantial loan guarantee and operating capital. A new partnership has been forged with a large community bank and staffing has been augmented to provide a statewide presence. The purpose is to capitalize on these new synergies by doubling the loan fund and adding two full- time staff for the next year.

The ATLF is a statewide program, which offers services to individuals of all ages and all disabilities. Low interest rate loans are provided for the purchase of assistive technology (AT) to support and improve the independence of people with disabilities and their families. Loans are also offered to small businesses that seek to make their facilities more accessible. Loans are made by our bank partner and guaranteed by the ATLF loan fund. For every dollar in the loan fund, the bank agrees to loan out two dollars.

The federal funds will be matched 3 to 1. First, they will be matched on a cash basis by an $800,000+ grant received from the "Fund for a Healthy Nevada". Secondly, both the federal and state contributions will be leveraged by our bank partner, as mentioned above. Thus, for every $100,000 of loan guarantees funded in this proposal, $400,000 in ATLF loans will be made available.

This program will enable at least 75 consumers and 10 small businesses to receive ATLF loans. It will create two full-time, program-marketing positions to supplement the three part-time positions already in place. It will support a structure that is designed to provide the highest level of customer service and program accountability. Every consumer receiving a loan will be interviewed at least three times following the closing of their loan.

The ATLF is allied with-in fact, operated in partnership with-Nevada's largest program providing AT devices for daily living. This partnership with the Independent Living Services Program ensures that ATLF applicants have their needs fulfilled through one resource or both in partnership.

The future of the ATLF is virtually assured following the termination of funding under this grant. Each of the two positions created by this grant will be charged with three major objectives-to account for 35% of the program's consumer loan goal, 20% of the small business loan goal, and to secure funding to cover their salary for the following year. These are very realistic and attainable objectives. However, should they fail, the ATLF will still have three part-time loan coordinators, which will be funded by the Nevada Independent Living Council into the foreseeable future. Furthermore, the interest earned on the $800,000 in state funds can be used to fund operating expenses for the ATLF.


OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma Alternative Financing Program (OkAT)
Oklahoma ABLE Tech
1514 West Hall of Fame
Stillwater, OK 74078-2026
Project Director: Linda Jaco
PHONE: 405/744-9864
TTY: 800/257-1705
FAX: 405/744-2487
EMAIL: mljwell@okstate.edu
Oklahoma State University, Seretean Wellness Center, the lead agency for Oklahoma ABLE Tech (ABLE Tech) will operate an Alternative Financing Program (AFP) that will enhance and maintain the existing " Assistive Technology Lending Program," a partnership between ABLE Tech and BancFirst of Stillwater established in 1999. The AFP will be operated by the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkA T), a community-based organization established and directed by persons with disabilities. The AFP will increase access to and funding of assistive technology (A T) for the targeted population which will include all Oklahomans with disabilities or families that have dependents with disabilities.

ABLE Tech assures Oklahomans with disabilities, and their family members, low-interest, longer-term loans with customized underwriting standards for the purchase of AT. This will be accomplished through the following goals and objectives in order to ensure project outcomes:

  • Contract with the consumer controlled OkA T organization to operate the AFP.
  • Provide educational outreach on financial planning and counseling.
  • Assist OkA T in contracting with BancFirst
  • Operational management of federal/state/private funds to include oversight and evaluation
  • Establish an effective marketing plan with increased AFP resources .
  • Hold public/private stakeholders meetings
  • Provide all marketing materials including information technology in accessible formats
  • Establish program guidelines for Title III funds
  • Enhance current BancFirst interest buy down program .
  • Establish new guarantee loan program
  • Continuous data collection to track consumer outcomes
  • Continuous quality monitoring through consumer satisfaction and outcome evaluation

Innovative strategies that ABLE Tech will utilize to significantly expand consumer services will include a commitment to the following concepts:

  • Continuous exploration of funding mechanisms to reduce barriers to the access of AT
  • Flexible rates and terms
  • Serving persons of middle and low income
  • Activities to increase the individual's ability to acquire assets
  • Reducing or avoiding unnecessary debt in obtaining A T devices and services

ABLE Tech has been in partnership with BancFirst who has obligated over $98,000 in private funds to provide low interest loans for AT that have not had either a guarantee or default since its inception in 1999. BancFirst is committed to the success of this program on behalf of Oklahomans with disabilities needing AT. Sustainability of the AFP will come about through the establishment of income producing activities, such as interest income, wise investment of capitol, and an involvement of consumers in all levels of the decision making loan process.


PENNSYLVANIA

Minority Outreach Program for Alternative Financing for Assistive Technology
Temple University
Institute on Disabilities/UCE
Ritter Annex 423
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Project Director: Virginia Del Sordo
Telephone: 215-204-0452
Email: vdel@nimbus.temple.edu
The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University plans a $600,000 expansion of Pennsylvania's Alternative Financing Program (AFP) in order to increase access to financing for assistive technology (A T) for individuals with disabilities from minority communities. The program will include $450,000 in federal funds and $150,000 in new, non-federal funds from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development. Through a contract with the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (the AFP provider in Pennsylvania) and key minority organizations, this program will create a model minority outreach and demonstration program targeting African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, and Southeast Asians with disabilities.

The project will accomplish the following goals:

  1. Increase outreach and ease of access to AFP for AT for target minority groups through the creation of a network of racially/ethnically-based information centers;
  2. Increase access to alternative financing and AT for target minority groups by increasing the capacity of the Foundation and its network of sub-contracted application centers to provide effective, culturally competent services.
  3. Attract more minority borrowers through the creation of partnerships with minority-owned banks and lending institutions;
  4. Create options that make loans more affordable to individuals who come to the PATF through minority banks.
  5. Identify effective, replicable program structures that will increase the ability of target minority groups to access AT and AT financing.
  6. Formalize and disseminate the model to a broad spectrum of entities including: other projects under the AT Act, service providers known and used by the under represented groups, disability agencies, groups run by and for people with disabilities, generic banking organizations, and disability, minority and banking stakeholders.


UTAH

Alternative Financing Program
Utah Assistive Technology Foundation (UATF)
Center for Persons with Disabilities
6835 Old Main Hall
Logan, UT 84322
Executive Director: Marilyn Hammond
PHONE: 800/524-5152 (National)
PHONE: 435/797-3811
TTY: 435/797-7089
FAX: 435/797-2355
EMAIL: uatf@cpd2.usu.edu
HOMEPAGE: www.uatf.org
The Utah Assistive Technology Foundation (UATF) was established in 1991 by several entities. The community based UATF believes its decade of successful operation is due to an emphasis on consumer control, ongoing oversight, and keeping administrative and personnel costs to a minimum.

These activities are designed to expand the benefits and services of the UATF by:

  1. developing and implementing a consumer and minority responsive infrastructure,
  2. maintaining the zero percent interest buy down for devices and services, increasing the loan interest buy down amount for modified vehicles, and increasing the available endowment fund,
  3. developing and evaluating a comprehensive outreach and public awareness plan that includes targeting underrepresented and culturally diverse communities,
  4. designing and implementing a comprehensive process and outcome evaluation plan.

Activities will be conducted by staff under the direction and guidance of the UATF governing board, which includes a majority of consumers with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, and the Consumer Council of the Center for Persons with Disabilities which is comprised entirely of individuals with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. In addition, one minority and two consumer focus groups will review UATF forms, procedures and policies. The Guiding Principles of the UATF are as follows: Consumer Control, Equal Access, Consumer Friendly, Maximum Benefits, Minimum Costs, Helpful Referrals, and Collaborative Outreach.

Expanding the current alternative financing system for AT devices and services will enable greater numbers of children and adults with disabilities, and their family members to increase independence in home, school, work and community settings.


VIRGINIA

Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority (ATLFA)
P. O. Box K-091
Richmond, VA 23288-0091
Executive Director: Michael Scione
PHONE: 804/662-9000
FAX: 804/662-9533
EMAIL: loanfund@erols.com
HOMEPAGE: www.atlfa.org
Virginia's Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS)/Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS) plans an expanded Alternative Financing Program (AFP). Federal funds will allow the expansion of the existing program to assist individuals with disabilities and their families to acquire AT as well as to obtain rehabilitation engineering and AT assessment services. This year, a portion of the federal funds will enable the AFP to extend loans to the business community. This innovative and new direction will enable small businesses and non-profits to:
  • Purchase AT for an employee with a disability.
  • Modify their facility to accommodate customers with disabilities.
  • Purchase AT or modify their facility to hire an employee with a disability.

Virginians with disabilities, their family members, and eligible businesses will obtain low-interest, longer-term loans for accommodations and the purchase of AT devices and services. DRS/VATS will accomplish this through a partnership with the Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority (ATLFA), a consumer- controlled organization, and SunTrust Bank to provide loan financing and administration. SunTrust will make continue to make $4 in loans to people with disabilities for every $1 of funds on deposit for loan guarantees. Other partners include the Virginia's Centers for Independent Living, which will provide Consumer Counseling for device selection, application completion, and financial counseling.


WISCONSIN

WisLoan
Wisconsin Office for Persons with Physical Disabilities
1 West Wilson Street, Room 450
P. O. Box 7851
Madison, WI 53707
Project Director: Holly Laux O'Higgins
PHONE: 608/266-8905
FAX: 608/267-3203
EMAIL: lauxhm@dhfs.state.wi.us
The Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS), Office for Persons with Physical Disabilities (OPPD) will establish WisLoan, an Alternative Financing Program to facilitate provision of low interest loans, made by participating banks, for the purchase of AT to Wisconsin citizens with disabilities.

Independence First, a community based and consumer controlled organization, will administer WisLoan and will partner with banks and Independent Living Centers (ILCs) to provide statewide services such as loan financing and servicing, A T assessments and technical assistance. The 25 percent required cash match is being provided by the ILCs through a contract amendment with the State of Wisconsin. Information about WisLoan will be disseminated through state and county human service agencies, ILCs, disability organizations and Governor-appointed Councils. The banking partner will also disseminate program information and assist in the development of marketing materials. All materials will be accessible in alternative formats and via the world wide web.

OPPD is the program grantee and will provide programmatic and fiscal oversight to the administering body. OPPD will maintain communication with the Federal Department of Education to insure WisLoan is implemented in accordance with the spirit and intent of the program.

 


AFTAP/RESNA
1700 North Moore Street, Suite 1540
Arlington, VA 22209-1903
Phone: 703/524-6686  Fax: 703/524-6630  TTY: 703/524-6639
Email: info@resna.org  http://www.resnaprojects.org/AFTAP

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