Independence is Priceless...We Help Make It Affordable
April 2014
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation
In This Issue
Donor Spotlight
Upcoming Events
Deaf Culture
AgrAbility on Social Media
Meet a PATF Borrower
Board Spotlight 

Board Treasurer, Christine McGinley, recently hosted a gathering at her home to introduce friends, both old and new, to PATF and its important work.  Over 35 people, including Board members, heard directly from PATF program participants.  A second educational event is planned for the fall.  

Pictured left to right: Board Members Tom Giamoni and Christine McGinley, PATF Operations Director Tracy Beck, PATF Executive Director Susan Tachau and incoming Board President Derek Baker
Help us offer independence today
Upcoming Events 

04/05/14 10:00 a.m.
Renovation Fair
Sponsored by Representative Erin Malchany and Councilwoman Rudiaks office
Church of the Resurrection
1100 Creedmore Ave. Pittsburgh

4/24/14 10:00 a.m.
Sen. Sean Wiley Veteran's Outreach
Gannon University Hamermill Center
109 University Square, Erie

4/24/14 4:00 p.m.
Comic Relief for Care Givers
Sponsored by the Independent Counsel on Aging
The Shrine Club
2525 W. 38th St. Erie 

4/25/14 10:00 a.m.
HeathChoices Consumer Advisory Committee Meeting
United Way Building
1709 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. Philadelphia

04/29/14 11:00 a.m..

PATF Annual Press Conference

Release of Annual Report and Accomplishments

Upper Rotunda, State Capitol

Harrisburg, PA


05/13/14 9:00 a.m.
Where to Turn Resource Fair
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
1000 Ft. Dusquene Blvd. Pittsburgh
Like us on Facebook
PA Assistive Technology Foundation
1004 West 9th Ave.
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406
888.744.1938 toll-free
What Do We Mean When We Talk about Deaf Culture?
- Bob Shilling


Did you know ninety percent of Deaf children are born to hearing parents?


The term "Deaf Culture" describes the many aspects of daily life for people who cannot hear. The term encompasses patterns of social interaction and behavior, art, literary traditions, history, values and the shared institutions of communities affected by Deafness. The "D" in "Deaf" is capitalized because it refers to a group of people who use a different language - sign language. American Sign Language is the third most widely used language in the United States.




Many are aware of the many sub-cultures that exist in the United States, such as the Irish- American Community and African-American Community.  The Deaf Community can also be defined as an American subculture. There are, in other words, cultural differences between Deaf and hearing people.  In defining what we mean by describing someone as "Deaf", it is important to remember that we are not simply talking about a person who cannot hear. A distinction is often drawn between people who are born Deaf (culturally Deaf) and people who lose their hearing later on in life (physically Deaf).   


Deaf Culture has developed and grown in response to the desire of the community to gather after graduating from residential Deaf schools. Many graduates decide to take on leadership positions in the Deaf Community - organizing Deaf sports and other community events and further developing the Deaf Community. This evolution ensures that the language and heritage of Deaf Culture are passed to other peers and more importantly to the next generation. Additionally, links are formed with parents and siblings of Deaf children to strengthen and enlarge the community circle for Deaf children. 


Next issue we will share some of the "social norms" found in Deaf Culture.

AgrAbility for PA Connects with Social Media


PATF and Penn State University are working together to promote the new AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians program.  Recently funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, AgrAbility is designed to assist farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers with disabilities or long-term health conditions by providing the resources and support they need to live independently and continue in production agriculture.  Examples of a disability may include:  amputation, arthritis, back injury, blindness, chronic pain, hearing loss, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and hearing loss.  

Penn State's AgrAbility case manager is responsible for providing one-on-one farm assessments, identification of modifications, equipment or assistive technology that will help a farmer complete the needed task, and referral and information services.  PATF is responsible for outreach and marketing services. Please "friend" PATF's new Facebook page,AgrAbility PA, and follow AgrAbility on Twitter @AgrAbility4PA!  


And most importantly, if you know of anyone who may be able to benefit from AgrAbility's services, please contact:


Dr. Erica Bobbitt
Coordinator and Case Manager, 

AgrAbility Project for PA

Penn State University

201 Ferguson Building

University Park, PA

Telephone: 814-867-5288

Toll-free: 888-744-1938   


Meet a Borrower 



Nathan Felty lives in Pine Grove, PA.  He

sustained a traumatic brain injury when he was 12 years old, and he has been living in a community-based residential facility for the past five years.

Currently, Nathan volunteers 14 hours a week in an automotive shop (where he assists with oil changes and tire rotations), a food shop (where he unloads food for area churches), and a nature center (where he fills bird feeders and stacks firewood.) When Nathan is not working, he receives independent living skills training so that someday he will be able to live independently.
Nathan recently received a PATF mini-loan so that he could buy an iPad.  The iPad helps him increase his attention and memory skills through the use of games, including Lumosity and chess.  Nathan is also using his iPad to help him track his monthly expenses, including his loan payment to PATF!  Nathan says that he found the loan application process to be easy andquick and he's very excited to make the most of his new technology.

The Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is a non-profit organization that provides low-interest loans to people with disabilities and older adults so that they can buy the assistive technology devices and services they need. 


Assistive technology is any device that helps a person with a disability achieve a more independent and productive life. Devices may include such items as: adapted vehicles, i-Pads, accessible home modifications (including ramps, roll-in showers, lowered counter tops), computers with special software and/or hardware, hearing aids, flashing doorbells, scooters and wheelchairs, seat lift chairs, closed circuit televisions (CCTVs).