Sunday, November 27, 2022

Play

An investigative probe into how rules written for distressed rust belt property may benefit a select few; Small Business Saturday highlights local Economies; FL nonprofit helps offset the high cost of insulin.

Play

A Supreme Court case could have broad implications for the future of U.S. elections, results show voters rejected election deniers in many statewide races, and the concession phone call may be a thing of the past.

Play

A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

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
During open enrollment for 2022 coverage, Georgia saw a record number of individuals, more than 700,000, sign up for health insurance. (Rawpixel.com/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is already underway, and ends on Jan. 15. More than 1.3 million Georgians do …


Social Issues

Holiday shoppers this week have no shortage of options with Small Business Saturday being observed on Nov. 26. Sandwiched between Black Friday and …

Health and Wellness

The American Heart Association has developed a series of videos to educate women about heart disease. The Red Chair Series is a four-episode series …


Chris Powers stands in front of the Land Bank lot that he tried to bid on in Southern Ohio. (Eye on Ohio)

Social Issues

By Lucia Walinchus for Eye on Ohio.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for Ohio News Connection Collaboration reporting for the Ohio Center for Invest…

Social Issues

While many Iowa families gather through this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving in traditional ways with food and family, thousands of people take to …

The EPA claims that the EES Coke Battery plant has emitted thousands of tons of sulfur dioxide annually beyond its permitted limit of 2,100 tons. (Wikipedia)

Environment

Members of a Detroit-area community are intervening in an Environmental Protection Agency lawsuit against a DTE Energy subsidiary charged with dumping…

Health and Wellness

A bill headed to President Joe Biden's desk addresses a long-standing problem for domestic violence survivors, ending their ties to their abusers' …

Environment

Oregon is home to a plethora of rivers, but those waterways are not always accessible to every community. A new video series highlights how …

 

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