Penelope and Bonaia sit at a children_s table in their living room smiling at each other.
One Mother's Experience Navigating Her Child's Autism Diagnosis
Bonaia Rosado had been working at PATF as the Program Manager for two years when her daughter, Penelope, was diagnosed with autism. Recently, we visited Penelope and Bonaia at home, to take a look at the various assistive technology they're using to help Penelope communicate more easily (you may remember them from this adorable video). 

Originally planning to write a story about their experiences, we sent Bonaia a list of questions to guide us in writing the article. Her answers were so raw, though, and so real, that after reading them we decided to publish the interview as is. 


Curious about how PATF can help you navigate funding resources in Pennsylvania for Assistive Technology? Visit our What We Do page.

Home page of PA ABLE website.
Official Launch of PA ABLE Savings Program on April 3rd!
We've been talking for over a year about the importance of the new Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Savings Program, but let's make it absolutely clear, here and now, why this isn't just any old savings account. In fact, the creation of this type of account is MONUMENTAL for people with disabilities. Here are just three reasons why:
  1. For the first time ever, people who receive vital benefits with low asset limits, like SSI, are able to save significant amounts of money - up to $100,000 total ($14,000 per year) as compared to $2,000 previously!
  2. The money in a PA ABLE account can be used for a wide variety of qualified expenses which even include things that aren't typically associated with a disability. Such as rent, utilities, education, transportation and of course assistive technology.
  3. Unlike in a special needs trust, the beneficiary of an ABLE account can control these moneys completely on their own. 
Join us at 12:30pm on April 3rd at the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, PA! We'll be celebrating the launch of the PA ABLE Savings Program with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department.

Visit PAABLE.gov to learn more about PA ABLE and sign up to be notified when enrollment opens.

Download our ABLE Infographic to learn more about PA ABLE in a visual format. 508 Compliant version is in the works and should be uploaded within the next few weeks.
Notebook and laptop on a desk. Screen shows various numbers_ charts and graphs.
Penny Pincher cartoon of woman with lightbulb above her head
Financial Tips with Penny Pincher
Staff Picks: Favorite Financial Websites

Financial Education Month is just around the corner (April!) and we'll be rolling out some videos with our favorite financial ed tips. In the meantime, check out our staff picks for financial websites!

Susan Tachau, CEO: http://www.studymoney.us/ "This may be a shameless plug, but we can't have a list of financial education websites without mentioning our own website, studymoney.us! This is our online, interactive version of our book Cents and Sensibility, a guide to money management."

Tracy Beck, Operations Director: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ "The CFPB website is chock full of useful financial information, webinars, and publications for people of all ages. I refer people to the website all of the time."

Jeanne Koehler, Operations Manager: http://www.pa529.com/learn/ "Here is a helpful site for setting up a tax-free college savings account. We did this for my son."

Bonaia Rosado, Program Manager: https://www.creditkarma.com/ "I love Credit Karma. It shows me, on a monthly basis, a credit history and I can get answers on most things to do with credit or finance. I get a monthly credit score and advice on how to make it better. It's very user friendly and the website design feels friendly."

Marlies Singh, Financial Manager: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ "I like the site of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They are a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat consumers fairly. They have financial information geared for all different types of consumers - young, adults, retirees, people with low incomes, parents, Native communities, etc. - and a lot of it is available in English and Spanish. In addition to education, they also help consumers solve problems they have run into with debt collection, mortgages, credit card fraud, student loans, or any other financial problems."

Kathleen McCloud, Operations Associate: https://www.creditkarma.com/ "I like Credit Karma for two reasons - 1.) It is totally free - no credit card required and 2.) They send me updates about my scores but only about once a month - not weekly/daily....(meaning not constantly sending me emails about my account!)"

Sue Davis, Program Assistant: https://www.mint.com "Mint comes from the makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks, so it's very secure. It helps you to manage all aspects of your finances in one place."

Susie Daily, Outreach and Social Media Coordinator: http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/ "I started getting their newsletter when I was looking for informative financial articles to post on PATF's social media - but, every time I would begin to skim an article to see if it was appropriate, I'd get sucked in and start thinking about my own financial planning! A variety of useful and digestible information."
Upcoming Events

Allentown, PA - April 1 from 9am-2pm
Join us! Amputee Awareness Day is sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Amputee Support Group and will include a featured speaker, light lunch, and over 20 vendors and prosthetic companies.

Aging and Intellectual Disability Conference
Ladore Conference Center, Waymart, PA - April 6 from 9am-2pm
Carmella Rynearson, one of PATF's  Funding Assistance Coordinators will be presenting about Waivers and PATF from 9-10am. Please contact Juliann Doyle for more information:  JDoyle@waynecountypa.gov

Medical Assistance, Waivers and Transition
Philadelphia, PA - April 7 from 10am-2:45pm
Harrisburg, PA - April 19 from 10am-2:45pm and 6:30-8:30pm
Greensburg, PA - May 4 from 6-8pm
Pittsburgh, PA - May 5 from 10:30am-3:15pm
Medical Assistance (MA) and Waivers can be complicated to understand. Learn who can qualify, what's covered and what to do if coverage is denied. Learn about aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that may be at risk. Learn about the critical changes at age 18 and age 21 that are important to understand. PATF Board Member, David Gates, Esq. and Erin, Guay, Paralegal, from the PA Health Law Project will present on MA and waivers, and transition from childhood to adult services. 

Senior and Disability Resource Expo
Springdale, PA - May 19 from 10am-1pm
This free event will feature a variety of informational booths geared toward senior citizens, individuals of all ages with a disability or multiple disabilities and their caregivers.
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You Shop, AmazonSmile Gives

Support us when you shop using smile.amazon.com_ch_23-2953796 and Amazon donates to Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation. 

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