skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Loan Program Helps Montanans with Disabilities Afford Assistive Tech

play audio
Play

Friday, April 30, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. - People with disabilities face a number of barriers to getting the equipment they need in daily life. A program in Montana is helping change that.

The Montana Assistive Technology Loan program offers low- and no-interest loans for devices like hearing aids, screen-readers and even wheelchair-accessible vehicles, which usually aren't covered by private insurance or Medicare and can be costly.

Julie Williams, outreach coordinator for the program, said assistive technology is vital to people's lives.

"It can span a variety of different types of technology," said Williams. "But all of them are allowing people to live their best life, to be participating in society in ways that they might not otherwise be able to do."

The program is a partnership between the financial nonprofit Rural Dynamics and the Rural Institute at the University of Montana's assistive technology program MonTECH. It was able to expand through a federal grant last fall.

According to World Health Organization, about one billion people globally would benefit from assistive technology, but only about one in ten has access.

Ann-Margaret Periman, the disability resource coordinator for Rural Dynamics, said people with disabilities often have a hard time getting loans from traditional banks for these types of technologies.

"People feel stuck in the fact that some of this equipment and some of their needs are very expensive, and they don't have any means of getting that," said Periman. "Usually people are on Social Security, Social Security Disability, and their income is limited."

Williams said Rural Dynamics also has a financial wellness program.

One quadriplegic client applied for a $50,000 loan for a wheelchair-accessible van, but was denied. Over the course of a year, Williams said the organization helped the client get his finances in order to get a loan approved.

"We also helped him cut in half the amount of loan that he needed to take out to get the vehicle that met his needs," said Williams.

She said the program helped him find a van in the $20,000 range.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…


Environment

play sound

It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…


Many transmission projects already follow highway corridors, but depending on the state, policy experts say laws can make it harder to add new power lines along federal interstates. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…

Environment

play sound

By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …

From book bans to teacher qualifications, a new national report from the Network of Public Education examines the laws and policies that support or undermine each state's public schools and the students who attend them. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

play sound

A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …

Social Issues

play sound

As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …

Social Issues

play sound

A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021