Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Caregiving: PATF press conference
"We the People ... "
We were invited to speak Tuesday at the Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol at a press conference for the release of the 2006 Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) Report.
They are the wonderful people who helped us to help ourselves in the purchase of our wheelchair accessible van.
Caregiving families tend to have lower income than non-caregiving families. According to the US Surgeon General’s Office, “out of pocket” medical expenses for caregiving families average 11% of income vs 4% for able bodied families. Unlike able bodied families we cannot assume or depend on upward economic mobility. The majority of Americans who need assistive technology cannot afford it.
Wheelchair accessible vehicles cost the same as luxury vehicles. It’s tough to get an auto loan for that kind of money when a bank or lender looks at such factors.
"The Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide financing opportunities to individuals with disabilities and their families that enables them to acquire the assistive technology devices and services they need to improve the quality of their lives. PATF services are available all across Pennsylvania regardless of the the borrower's age, income, or type of disability. ... PATF buys down the interest rate on all loans, provides extended repayment periods, and guarantees loans for borrowers who do not have a traditional credit history...."
With their help Pennsylvanians have benefited from adapted vehicles, home modifications, hearing aids, computers, low vision aids, wheelchairs/scooters, and more.
Beginning with simply believing in us through successful loan negotiations with Sovereign Bank they were a Godsend. … And I’d be remiss not to thank Sovereign Bank for believing caregiving families are worth the risk.
We were glad to step and roll in front of the microphone and cameras and share. After all, if it were not for the accessible van we couldn’t even have gotten there. <grin>
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