Assistive Technology Loan Program Launched in New York

Americas, News, April 28 2016

WASHINGTON: National Disability Institute (NDI), in partnership with Spring Bank and Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS), announced the launch of an Assistive Technology (AT) Loan Program in selected areas of New York. The NDI AT Loan Program will provide low-interest loans to people with disabilities, seniors and veterans through participating financial institutions. Spring Bank will be the first bank to pilot this groundbreaking loan program.

Man with disabilities uses Assistive Technology (Photo credit: RPI)Assistive Technology (AT) loans include home and vehicle modification, ramps, computers, hearing aids and other equipment that will increase individuals’ independence, productivity and quality of life. Loans will range from $500 to a maximum of $10,000 at eight percent interest, and with terms up to 36 months.

“National Disability Institute is pleased to partner with Spring Bank and Bronx Independent Living Services to bring this unique assistive technology loan program to benefit individuals with disabilities in New York,” Michael Morris, NDI Executive Director, said. “Too often people with disabilities have been turned down for consumer loans because of an insufficient or poor credit history. This assistive technology loan program has the potential to make a significant and positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities.”

“The Assistive Technology Loan is an important addition to the consumer loan program at Spring Bank,” Eric Pallas, Spring Bank President, said. “I think that we are fulfilling a real personal need by assisting people with disabilities to improve their quality of life in a meaningful way.” He added, “We are providing access to fair and affordable credit to people who would not otherwise have been able to obtain it, and we are happy to partner with National Disability Institute and Bronx Independent Living Services to accomplish this goal.”

“Bronx Independent Living Services is honored to be part of such a great collaboration with NDI and Spring Bank,” Brett Eisenberg, BILS Executive Director, said. “Affordable loans for assistive technology are another step in the right direction of making sure all people with disabilities can participate more fully in the marketplace. These loans are also crucial in helping individuals live as independently as possible in the community by giving them access to the resources they need to succeed.”

The NDI AT Loan Program will operate in New York City, Bronx, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. Persons applying for a loan must be a resident of one of the counties and 18 years of age or older to be eligible. Family members, guardians or authorized representatives may apply on behalf of children or other family members, with the understanding that the device or service is for the use of the person who has a disability.

Case managers from BILS are available to assist individuals in determining which AT may best meet their needs. BILS’ staff can help applicants to complete the online AT loan application and submit supporting documentation if an AT purchase with a loan is the best option to meet an individual’s needs.

Information regarding the NDI Assistive Technology Loan Program is posted on the National Disability Institute website.

Funding for the AT Loan Program is provided through the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). Technical assistance is provided by RESNA: Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America.

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