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AFPs 2000-2001 Program Abstracts


Kansas Assistive Technology Cooperative
214 SW Sixth
Liberty Building, Suite 205
Topeka, KS 66603
Contact: Mary Ellen O'Brien Wright
Phone: 785/354-8620

The Assistive Technology for Kansans project (ATK) and the Kansas Assistive Technology Cooperative (KATCO) are working together to expand personal financing options for the purchase of assistive devices or services. The alternative financing program will be operated by KATCO, a non-profit organization, established and directed by persons with disabilities. KATCO currently manages a revolving loan program and operates a loan guarantee program through both a regional and a statewide credit union. This program will support the expansion of the scope and utility of the current assistive technology loan program

The program will address issues related to the operation of the two loan programs. Specifically, public awareness efforts will be increased to assure that statewide coverage and supports will be in place to expand the capacity to make loans. Individual Development Accounts will be developed to enable individuals with disabilities to save money for assistive technology devices and services without declaring the money saved as an asset.

KATCO goals will be to: (a) significantly expand the consumer services offered, including financial planning and credit restoration for persons with disabilities; (b) expand its assistive technology cooperative services through strategies such as group purchasing and buying in bulk; (c) explore the feasibility of operating a multi-state cooperative; and (4) explore the feasibility of operating a consumer run financial cooperative, generally known as a credit union.



Assistive Technology Guaranteed Loan Program
2301 Argonne Drive, Room T-17
Baltimore, MD 21218
Contact: Michael Dalto, Tony Rice
Phone: 410/554-9233 (Voice, TDD)
Phone: 800/832-4827 (Voice/TDD)

Maryland's Assistive Technology Guaranteed Loan Program provides loan guarantees and interest buy-downs for AT loans when the end user is a Maryland resident with a disability. Two lenders currently participate in the program providing both guaranteed and non-guaranteed loans, while a third offers only non-guaranteed loans. Two lenders provide discounted interest rates for non-guaranteed loans, eliminating the need for the program to buy-down these rates. The program is soliciting additional partnerships and more flexible criteria to offer applicants a broader range of options and to maximize the number of borrowers the program can serve.

The program is administered by an independent, community-based, volunteer Board of Directors. 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. Staff provides 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, articles in newsletters and newspapers, and presentations on request.

The program has created partnerships to enhance AT access for borrowers.
* The Maryland AT Co-Op provides exclusive discounts on AT purchase for borrowers to make AT more affordable.
* Benefits InfoSource delivers assistance to enable borrowers to use SSI and SSDI work incentives to retain or increase cash benefits while working or pursuing careers; the added income enables users to better afford AT loan payments.
* The Maryland CILs will offer counseling to borrowers referred through the program.



$how Me Loans
Missouri Assistive Technology Project
4731 South Cochise #114
Independence, MO 64055-6975
Contact: Marty Exline
Phone: 816/350-5281

The Missouri Assistive Technology Council is establishing "$how-Me Loans," a comprehensive statewide low-interest alternative financing program for assistive technology. The purpose of "$how-Me Loans" is to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve greater independence, productivity, and integration through increased access to assistive technology.

Administration of the program is under the auspices of the Missouri Family Trust, a statewide, consumer-controlled disability organization. Assistance to the Trust will be provided by a Loan Application Review Committee, which will review and process loan requests, and a Program Coordinator, who will provide executive level direction and oversight.

Consumer entry to "$how-Me Loans" will be provided by a statewide network of community organizations. The network will use trained peer loan counselors located within Missouri's 21 Centers for Independent Living and 11 Developmental Disabilities Regional Advisory Councils. Collectively, these 32 consumer-controlled organizations will provide applicants with convenient, comfortable program access.



Pennsylvania's Assistive Technology Financing Program
P.O. Box 32
Spring City, PA 19475
Contact: Judith McGlew
Phone: 888/744-1938 (voice)
Phone: 877/693-7271 (TTY)

The Institute on Disabilities/UAP supported the creation of the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), a community-based 501(c)(3) organization, in response to the need for an alternative financing mechanism. The Alternative Financing Program will include $500,000 in federal funds and $800,000 in non-federal funds ($500,000 from the private sector, First Union Bank, and $300,000 from the Commonwealth for guarantee and operating expenses).

Through a contract with PATF, this program will.
1. Develop the PATF's infrastructure to the point that it has adequate staff and operational resources to operate independently of federal support;
2. Expand the present program through the identification of additional funds for loans of $3,000 and more, and additional funds for the loan guarantee;
3. Create a revolving loan program to allow for "small" loans, e.g. those under $3,000, which the current lender deems too burdensome to handle;
4. Increase outreach and ease of access to the program, including the establishment of an network of volunteer "application centers"; and
5. Provide for external evaluation of the quality of customer service, consumer choice, timeliness, and outcomes of the revolving and guarantee loan programs.



Alternative Financing Program
Utah State University
Center for Persons with Disabilities
6588 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-6588
Contact: Marilyn Hammond
Phone: 435/797-3811

The Utah Assistive Technology Foundation (Foundation) was developed by several entities in the state under the direction of the Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP). The Foundation has a collaborative partnership with First Security Bank to provide an interest buy-down and small grant program for individuals with disabilities to purchase AT devices and services.

The activities are of the Alternative Financing Program are designed to expand the benefits and services of the Foundation by: (a) decreasing the loan amount charged on loans for the purchase of AT to approximately 1% of the loan value; (b) increase the grant amount applied to loan principle for the purchase of AT; (c) increase the interest buy-down amount for modified vehicle; (d) increase public awareness activities with regard to the Foundation; and (e) increase the endowment fund of the Foundation to provide ongoing funding for the activities listed above.

Expanding the current alternative financing system for AT devices and services will enable greater numbers of consumers with disabilities, their family members, personal assistants, advocates, and others to increase independence in home, school, work and community settings. The public awareness activities undertaken by the UATP will be targeted to individuals with disabilities in both urban and rural areas of Utah. Under-represented populations such as Native American, Hispanic and aging will be the specific focus of public awareness activities.



Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority
8004 Franklin Farms Drive
P. O. Box K-300
Richmond, VA 23288-0300
Contact: Mike Scione
Phone: 804/662-9993

The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS)/ Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS) will establish an Alternative Financing Program (AFP) to increase access to and funding for assistive technology for Virginians with disabilities and their family members. The program will us the additional funding to increase and enhance the existing loan program that has provided low-interest loans, long term loans since 1997.

DRS/VATS will accomplish this through a contract with a consumer-controlled organization, the Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority (ATLFA) and with SunTrust Bank to provide loan financing and administration. DRS/VATS will partner with all sixteen Virginia Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to educate consumers of the AFP and provide Consumer Counseling to applicants requiring assistance in device selection, application completion, identification of alternative financing sources for AT, as well as for financial counseling.


1700 North Moore Street, Suite 1540
Arlington, VA 22209-1903
Phone: 703/524-6686  Fax: 703/524-6630  TTY: 703/524-6639

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