Black and white photos of two smiling women and a man in a business suit while standing and talking in a board room.
Vernon is grateful for the impact his hearing aids have had on his personal and professional relationships.
New Guide Brings Clarity to the Complexities of Funding Assistive Technology
As Vernon saw it, a PATF loan was the clear choice to pay for his new hearing aids, with a low interest rate, no fees, and affordable monthly payments. But sometimes finding the right funding isn't so straightforward.

In 2018, when Vernon's hearing had declined enough that he was missing large chunks of conversation due to background noise at work and at home, he knew he needed new hearing aids. Vernon has worked  in upper management for York Water Company for 21 years. After speaking with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Vernon was referred to PATF. He found the PATF interest rate was significantly lower than that of a traditional consumer loan and it was cheaper than charging the hearing aids on his credit card. He also described the monthly payments as very manageable. In Vernon's case, with few other funding options for hearing aids, a low-interest loan made the most sense. Now, Vernon is grateful to have his hearing aids, and says that they have significantly improved his quality of life and made a drastic difference for him both at work and in his personal relationships. [Read more about Vernon.]

But finding funding is not always so simple. In fact, one of the leading obstacles for many people in obtaining assistive technology (AT) is finding the money to pay for it. And, there are many factors to take into account when developing a funding solution. A person's diagnosis, age, whether or not they are a student, where they live, whether or not they work, their financial situation, and their wants and needs all come into play when determining what funding options are available. 

Cover of book titled Funding Your Assistive Technology with an image of a key with a dollar sign and a forward moving arrow.
While PATF provides loans for the purchase of AT to Pennsylvanians of all ages, all income levels, and all disabilities and health conditions, we also provide free information and assistance services with the goal of helping people navigate the complex process of finding funding.  Our recent publication, Funding Your Assistive Technology: A Guide to Funding Resources in Pennsylvania , includes the information we cover most frequently with callers. Chapters include topics such as what is assistive technology, tips and considerations when choosing your AT, how to develop a funding strategy, a list of funding resources, specifics on how to access AT through waivers including Community HealthChoices, and how to save safely for assistive technology using an ABLE account and a Special Needs Trust.

"This comprehensive guide is an easy-to-use resource for Pennsylvanians with disabilities, seniors, their families, service providers, and legislators. It empowers Pennsylvanians with the knowledge to gain access to devices and services that make independence and autonomy possible," says Nancy Murray, President of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh at ACHIEVA and incoming Board President at PATF.

Representative Mary Jo Daley speaks at PATF_s 2018 press conference.
Save the Date!
PATF's Annual Press Conference

Join us for our annual press conference in Harrisburg where you'll hear about the growth of our programs this year as well as the release of the annual report and our new guide, Funding Your Assistive Technology.

Monday, June 3rd -  10:30 AM
Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg
3D image of a home with various icons around it representing a lightbulb_ various appliances_ a thermometer_ a key_ a TV with speakers_ etc.
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
Smart Homes and the Power of Voice?

Why are so many people excited about Smart Homes?

By now, you've probably seen commercials showing people walking into their homes and saying, "Turn on the lights" or "Play jazz music" and, like magic, the lights turn on and music fills the air. Companies that range from Amazon to Home Depot are advertising a slew of devices such as lights, thermostats, smart door bells and door locks that do the bidding of people just by being verbally commanded. When several of these devices are connected, the term "Smart Home" is used. 

However, very few people understand what it really means.  Like personal cell phones and large screen flat televisions in the past, smart home technology may seem to be a luxury. But, with the drastic drop in price for these devices, it is slowly becoming popular. 

Penny Pincher cartoon of woman with lightbulb above her head
Financial Tips with Penny Pincher
Understanding Loans

When you hear the word "loan," what do you think of? Perhaps you imagine feeling tied down with looming debt. Or, maybe you worry about being over-extended with monthly payments you can't afford. If you have never borrowed money before, or if you have had a negative experience with debt, the thought of a loan might cause you to run the other way. However, when you understand how loans work, you can shop for an affordable loan that fits your needs, provides broader long-term benefits, and allows you to make a necessary purchase. In the end, the right loan can grant you freedom and opportunity you didn't have before.

Learn more in our three-part blog series:

Understanding Loans Part 1: How Loans Work, and When You Should Consider One

Understanding Loans Part 2: Six Questions to Ask Before Taking Out a Loan

Understanding Loans Part 3: Loan Terms Matter
Upcoming Events

Transition Opportunities Night
Kingston, PA - April 25 at 5:30pm
To benefit students of transition age and their parents. There will be great conversation and light refreshments. Community agencies and local colleges will be present to network with families.

Wayne County Complex Medical Needs Fair
Wayne County Park Street Complex, Honesdale, PA - May 15 from 1-5pm
Sponsored by the PA ELKS Home Programs.

Penn State RecFest
Middletown, PA - May 18 from 11am-5pm
Meet experts and learn about various life skills and resources for individuals with disabilities, such as driving programs, employment, hand cycling, orthotics and prosthetics, returning to school, service dogs, and adaptive hunting/fishing. Demonstrations include: wheelchair rugby, basketball and baseball, scuba diving, kayaking, tennis, golf, fencing, dance, service dogs, sled hockey, track chair, adaptive hunting equipment, adaptive snow/water ski equipment, gardening and more.
 
State Rep. Maureen Madden's Woman's Day Expo
Stroudsburg, PA - June 8 from 10am-1pm
Providing resources and information to women concerning state programs. Call (570) 894-7905 or (570) 420-2850 for more information.

Senator Vogel's 55+ Senior Expo
New Castle, PA - September 20 from 10am-1pm
Save the date!
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