Young man smiles and sits on his motorized scooter in front of panther mascot on a sunny college campus. Panther is wearing a rainbow tie-dye t-shirt and holding a rainbow flag.
Leadership, Diversity, and Assistive Technology
Borrower Story
Tyler Morris is working hard to finish his undergraduate degree. As a student at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Tyler is majoring in Computer Information Systems and Technology, with a minor in Digital Graphic Design. But like many undergrads, his career goals after college aren't directly related to his major. Tyler wants to work in student affairs on a college campus. 

Even now as an undergrad, Tyler could be described as a leader as much as he is a student. Former freshman orientation leader, current president of the campus  Pride Alliance , student representative on the LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Advisory Board, and LGBTQ+* student representative on the campus President's Diversity Committee are just a few of the titles Tyler has held so far in his college career.

"After being an orientation leader to help freshman get acquainted with each other and our campus, I realized I really enjoy working with students, especially those who are just starting their college career. I want ALL students to feel welcome here, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, etc."

While Tyler is committed to this goal, he worries about the reality of working with a chronic illness. Read more about how Tyler is using assistive technology to finish his degree and work toward his future career.

*LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer plus any other sexual orientation and gender identity that isn't covered in the "LGBTQ" acronym. Learn more about LGBTQ+ terminology.
Classroom with long tables arranged in a U shape and a female teacher seated at the opening of the U. Two adult male students raise their hands.
Money Club West
Young adults on the path to living independently learn about money management

Written by Sue Davis, PATF Program Specialist

If you were to make a list of the skills needed to be successful at living independently, understanding how to manage money would be very close to the top. This important fact is what inspired PATF to create our financial education guide,  Cents and Sensibility, and subsequently,  Money Club, a program to help young people with disabilities learn the ins and outs of managing their finances.

After the success PATF had in 2015 with its initial Money Club pilot project in Narberth, Montgomery County, we were eager to try the program again. This year ACHIEVA's   "A Home of My Own" program in Allegheny County launched Money Club West, applying our curriculum, once again using  Cents and Sensibility, as a guide. In order to maximize the valuable lessons contained in the book, PATF has developed a  companion manual for educators.

Excited to see how ACHIEVA is making this program work for them, our Operations Director Tracy Beck and I took a road trip to attend Money Club West's December meeting.

Read about Sue and Tracy's adventure to Pittsburgh and about all the great things these young adults are learning in Money Club West.

Someone sitting on a bench_ holding a newspaper so the face is hidden behind it and all that_s visible is two hands and the back of the paper.
In the News
Webinar: Changes to ABLE in 2018
The ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) will be doing a webinar on January 25th from 2-3:30pm about changes to ABLE that are taking place in 2018:

Governor Wolf's Budget Announcement
We're looking forward to Governor Tom Wolf's Budget Announcement for FY 18-19 on February 6th. Check the following website for the news:
Close up of three credit cards piled on top of each other. One says Credit Gold_ another shows the MasterCard symbol_ and another says VISA.
Penny Pincher cartoon of woman with lightbulb above her head
Financial Tips with Penny Pincher
Credit: What is it, why is it important, and how do you manage it?

We talk a lot about credit around here at PATF. After all, we extend loans for assistive technology. 

But what exactly is credit? And why does your credit score matter? And once you know how important credit is, how on earth do you keep it in check and work to raise your credit score? These are common questions and we've put together a list of articles and resources we've found helpful so that you can get a handle on your credit.

Upcoming Events

ATIA 2018 Conference
Orlando, FL - January 31-February 3
The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference  addresses all disabilities and all types of assistive technology for all ages. Sessions and events embrace the education market, university-level disability services, technology for independent living, accommodations for the workplace, the needs of an aging population, and research on technology developments and outcomes. 

We'll be presenting about Alternative Financing Programs (AFPs) and the financial empowerment work that AFPs do, and generic smart home technology!

State College, PA - February 7-10
Join our Funding Assistance Coordinator, Abbie Spackman, of AgrAbility PA at her booth at this exciting conference all about sustainable agriculture!

Monroe County IAC Meeting
Northampton Community College, Tannesville, PA - March 14th from 9-10am
Our Funding Assistance Coordinator Carmella Rynearson will be presenting at this Interagency Council of Monroe County meeting. The IAC is a volunteer coalition of representatives from membership agencies who provide human services to the entire population of Monroe County with an emphasis on low-income residents and at-risk citizens.

Senior and Disability Resource Expo
Springdale Veteran's Association, Springdale, PA - April 13 from 10am to 1pm
The Expo will feature a variety of informational booths geared toward senior citizens, individuals of all ages with a disability or multiple disabilities and their caregivers. Exhibitors will range from state and federal agencies to local non-profit organizations as well as local disability advocacy groups that provide services affecting health, safety and welfare of senior citizens and individuals with a disability. The event is free!
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 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.

Learn more about how you can help Pennsylvanians access the assistive technology they need.
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