IHD secures award to offer assistive technology loans

Elderly man uses a video magnifier

NAU’s Institute for Human Development has received a new $633,133 award from the U.S. Department of Education to offer low-interest loans for people in need of assistive technology. The Arizona Loans for Assistive Technology funds are available to people throughout the state and are targeted to individuals who may not have other funding options.

Jill Pleasant, director of the loan program, said the loans are targeted to low and middle income borrowers. “This program gives people another option to find the money to purchase assistive technologies. A lot of items are not covered by insurance and for some people, there is no other option,” Pleasant said.

Loans will range from $500 to $20,000, and can be used for items including mobility devices like scooters, hearing aids, computer adaptations and lifts on vehicles to carry wheelchairs.

The U.S. Assistive Technology Act requires states to operate assistive technology access programs. This new financial award will expand offerings beyond Maricopa County. “It’s exciting because it supports independence for people with disabilities and allows access to activities of a person’s choosing,” Pleasant added.

Information is available online.