Jill and Joy sit in their scooters smiling at the camera.
Giving Back to the Community Through Music
Borrower Story

Joy and Jill Procida have been playing music and making a difference in their community all their lives. Born and raised in Jeannette, PA, the twins reside in the same house where they grew up, a house that was often filled with the music their father loved and played on his accordion. He was an accomplished musician, and the girls followed suit, graduating from Seton Hill University, each with a degree in music performance.

Man wearing sunglasses holds a smart phone and feels the screen with his other hand.
How Can a PATF Mini-Loan Help Someone who is Blind or Low-Vision?
PATF partners with VisionCorps to award small grants in conjunction with Mini-Loans

PATF recently received a grant from VisionCorps to be used specifically to award small grants in conjunction with Mini-Loans to Pennsylvanians who are blind or low-vision to get the assistive technology (AT) they want and need. The amount of the grant depends on the cost of the device and can range from $50-$500. We're grateful to VisionCorps, and look forward to spreading the word about the difference AT can make.

So what kind of AT falls in the Mini-Loan category and might be useful to someone who is blind or low-vision? Here are a few ideas:
  1. Smart phone or tablet - These everyday devices offer a world of possibilities. Accessibility features provide text-to-speech software, magnifying capability through the camera lens, and more. Apps can use your phone's camera to identify bill denominations, read text on labels, connect you to sighted volunteers who can direct you down the street, and more.
  2. Smart home devicesThe voice-based interface of the Amazon Echo makes it easy to get information (use Google, ask the weather, listen to the news) and communicate through text and phone without any touchscreens involved. Examples include Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod.
  3. Refreshable braille displays - These tablet-sized devices range in price as well as features. Typically able to connect to a computer or tablet and allow the user to read contents of a display one line at a time in braille. Some can be used with a braille keyboard, allowing full operation of a computer, others can be used in conjunction with dictation and voice recognition technology. Examples include the Orbit Reader and the HumanWare Brailliant BI14 braille display.
  4. DotWatchTell the time and get alerts from your smart phone silently with this smart watch that features a braille display.
  5. Book readers - Book reading devices offer a range of other funtionalities as well, some including optical character recognition so you can read menus and other printed materials on the spot, while others include GPS technology. Examples include the Victor Reader Trek from Humanware and the Blaze EZ from HIMS.
These are just a few examples of technology that could be paid for with a Mini-Loan that may benefit you if you're blind or have low vision. 

Note: PATF does not endorse specific products, and we encourage assistive technology users to research the best technology solution for your wants, needs and situation.

Mug with whipped cream on top_ drizzled with chocolate syrup.
ABLE vs. Special Needs Trusts Workshop
Facebook LIVE -  10:00AM November 11th

Both in-person workshops are FULL; however, we will be recording the first workshop LIVE on Facebook at 10AM. Be sure to tune in if you're not going to be there in person! The recording will be posted to the Facebook event page after the event is over, so you can go back and watch it any time.

Looking forward to seeing you there in person or virtually through Facebook!
Young girl and her mom sit at a table painting together. The following words are overlaid on the photo_ Enter to win an Amazon Echo Show _MyLifeWithAT2018 Photo Contest.
Enter to Win an Amazon Echo Show!
#MyLifeWithAT2018 Photo Contest

Penny loves to paint, and uses her assistive technology to communicate her wants and needs to her mom. How do you use your assistive technology?

Share a photo for a chance to win:

Grand Prize: Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)

Runner-Up Prize: Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Wild Card Prize: Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)


Learn more and enter your photo in the #MyLifeWithAT2018 Photo Contest.
Vector image of person_s hands tracking his health condition with smart bracelet_ mobile application and cloud services
Smart Homes Made Simple logo features the blue outline of a house with a grey wifi symbol inside
The Latest on Smart Home Technology from Smart Homes Made Simple
Beyond Step Counters: Smart Tech for your Health

Imagine using your smart phone to take an EKG (echocardiogram) in seconds and having that information instantly sent to your doctor to track your cardiac conditions. Sounds futuristic, right? That future is happening right now.

Penny Pincher cartoon of woman with lightbulb above her head
Financial Tips with Penny Pincher
Comparison of ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts (in Pennsylvania)

The purpose of establishing an ABLE account and/or Special Needs Trust is to protect an individual's eligibility for public benefits. The monies in these accounts do not count as an asset. An individual with a disability (i.e., the beneficiary) may have the ability to control the funds that are in an ABLE account; whereas, the beneficiary cannot control the funds that are available in a Special Needs Trust. There are many other similarities and differences between the two, and every person's situation is different. That's why it's so important to understand your options when choosing where to put your money.

Upcoming Events

PA WAgN Annual Symposium
Chatham University Eden Hall Campus, Gibsonia, PA - December 12 from 9am-5pm
Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network's symposium theme for this year is Women Growing Justice. Our Funding Assistance Coordinator, Abbie Spackman of AgrAbility PA will be there representing us - go say hi! Registration required.
There are Lots of Ways to Make a Difference
A woman drives her power wheelchair down the ramp of her adapted van.
You Shop, AmazonSmile Gives
Support us when you shop using smile.amazon.com_ch_23-2953796 and Amazon donates to Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation. 

United Way
Give to the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and designate PATF by writing in donor choice #13064 in the comment section on the form.

Donate
Learn more about how you can help Pennsylvanians access the assistive technology they need.
STAY CONNECTED:
1004 West 9th Avenue, King of Prussia, PA 19406 | 888.744.1938 | patf@patf.us | www.patf.us