Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Play

Banking woes send consumers looking for safer alternatives, some Indiana communities resist a dollar chain store "invasion," and a permit to build an oil pipeline tunnel under the Great Lakes is postponed.

Play

Republicans say it is premature to consider gun legislation after the Nashville shooting, federal officials are unsure it was a hate crime, and regulators say Silicon Valley Bank was aware of its financial risks.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Loan Program Helps Montanans with Disabilities Afford Assistive Tech

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
California is home to banks of all sizes, including 36 Minority Depository Institutions and 111 Community Development Financial Institutions. (Syda Productions/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank has put a spotlight on the safety and stability of the U.S. financial system. Now…


Environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced an 18-month delay in permitting a controversial oil-tunnel construction project under the Great Lakes…

Social Issues

Advocacy groups said they are concerned about the lack of accountability surrounding Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's $388 million proposal to staff schools …


There are more than 7,004 certified nurse midwives currently employed in the United States, according to Zippia. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

The Iowa House has passed a measure to establish a licensing board for midwives. Iowa is one of 15 states currently without such a program, often …

Social Issues

By Jazmin Murphy for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Brett Peveto for North Carolina News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-…

Black Americans are the most likely to suffer from insufficient sleep. (ChadBridwell/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

March is Sleep Awareness Month and health experts say Americans are not getting enough of it. United Health Foundation data found more than 32% of …

Environment

Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …

 

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