Smart Home: Voice Technology Offers Incredible Accessibility!
Suria smiles in her bedroom with various devices behind her _TV_ Amazon Echo_ iPad_.
Several smart devices throughout Suria's home allow her to use her voice to control everything from her TV to the front door.
Assistive Technology Story 

When Suria Nordin was injured almost two years ago, her then-fiancé Kirby Smith set to work researching ways he could adapt standard consumer technology to give Suria more independence in their home. He was so successful that they launched SunKirb Ideas, a company that focuses on identifying, adapting and installing affordable products that make clients' homes "smarter" and gives them back their independence. We were so excited to learn about the independence afforded by the variety of technology being used, that we paid them a visit in May to learn more about Suria's "smart home".

Read on to learn about how Suria's home has been adapted to help her to live as independently as possible.

The various devices, adaptations, and services that SunKirb provides are great examples of what a PATF loan can used for to help people live in their own homes and be part of their own communities. Learn more about our loan program here.
A close-up of a child_s torso displaying two ribbons _red and yellow_ won at the Special Olympics.
Special Olympics and Assistive Technology
By Carmella Rynearson

On May 9, 2016, a sunny Monday morning, I had the privilege to attend the Area P Special Olympics, a day that highlights inclusion and abilities, rather than limitations. The event was held at Mount Pocono Middle School track and field and soon buses from surrounding school districts arrived carrying participants of various intellectual/physical/medical needs. Smiles of pride filled the field as well as the stands. The events began with a torchbearer leading the attendees around the field as the Olympics Theme rang out. EJ the DJ then broadcast participants' names and events over the loudspeaker throughout the day and music kept spirits engaged with songs like the Rocky theme song and We Are The Champions. Adaptive equipment including walkers/manual wheelchairs/power chairs/arm and leg braces/iPads/communication devices allowed participation in events many would consider only suited to able-bodied athletes.

I was particularly struck by the interplay between the spirit of each participant and the assistive technology that fostered participation. Two events from the day stuck out most in my mind. First, there was the wheelchair race that included both manual chairs, propelled by an adult or self-propelled, and self-directed power wheelchairs. The winning participant's mother joked that her son needed her to run fast since he was so happy to be selected for the event. Second, during the soft ball throw, my attention was focused on a young man in a power chair, who not only used his arm board for seating/positioning but also to support arm strength for his throws.

The event brought the participants, and their friends, families, coaches, teachers, caregivers, and behavioral support personnel together as a community. Each participant received ribbons celebrating their skill, courage, sharing, and joy, and all those in attendance could feel the winning spirit.

Learn more about Special Olympics Pennsylvania here.
Recent Happenings at PATF 

Screenshot of the _What You Will Learn in This Website_ page of
Launch of 
This past weekend we launched our new financial education website, We're very excited about making financial education more widely available and accessible. This website includes many interactive and informative elements and is a must-see for anyone hoping to learn how to manage your money so your money doesn't manage you! Read more about the teamwork that went into this website here.

Bob stands in front of the board members shining a strobe light alarm clock.
Annual PATF Board Meeting
In June, we held our annual in-person board meeting. Board member Bob Shilling, who is Deaf, demonstrated various types of assistive technology for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, including the strobe light alarm clock pictured here. We are so grateful to have a board that cares so deeply and works so hard to help further our mission.
Penny Pincher
Financial Tips with Penny Pincher
Ambushed at the ATM, 'Skimming' devices let criminals help themselves to your debit card data
From AARP Bulletin, Article by Sid Kirchheimer

Never heard of skimming? It's a con in which criminals install illegal card-reading devices on ATMs, as well as gas pumps and other public-area machines that process debit cards. You put your card in, and the device "skims" your information from the card's magnetic strip. A nearby hidden camera records the PIN that you enter. The criminals then make duplicate cards to drain cash from your accounts, or they sell your card number and PIN on the black market. And they're always upgrading their technology.
Upcoming Events
Swiftwater, PA - July 18 from 9am-1pm
The event promises something for everyone - FREE admission, door prizes, health screenings, educational seminars and refreshments too! Exhibitors from government agencies and senior citizen organizations will be on hand - including us!

Carbon County Senior Expo
Jim Thorpe, PA - September 8 from 10am-1pm
Join us at Jim Thorpe Memorial Hall (101 East Tenth Street, Jim Thorpe, PA) for the 2016 Carbon County Senior Expo, where senior citizens and their families will have the opportunity to learn more about services and programs available to them.
AmazonSmile: You shop. Amazon gives.
Support PATF While You Shop

Don't forget, if you're shopping on Amazon, log in through AmazonSmile and choose PATF as your charity to support using this link: It operates the same as and a portion of every purchase you make will be donated to our programs.

There are lots of ways to support PATF's work. Learn more about how you can help us carry out our mission.
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