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Easterseals Teams Up on Loan Program

January 4, 2019
Easterseals MA and the state's Rehabilitation Commission have been given money to allow disabled state residents who don't have good credit to purchase assistive technologies to help them with their daily living. SUBMITTED PHOTO Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

WORCESTER -- The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission in partnership with Easterseals MA announces the receipt of funds from the Administration for Community Living to expand the Massachusetts Assistive Technology Loan program.

Soon more residents with disabilities in the commonwealth will be able to purchase assistive technology and build or repair their credit.

For over a dozen years, Easterseals MA has operated the Massachusetts AT Loan program and helped residents apply for and obtain financial loans to purchase AT devices and services valued above $500.

The Mass AT Loan program has provided these loans with a banking partner at a competitive interest rate and with favorable terms for repayment.

Since 2005, the program has financed over $14 million to residents with disabilities and their family members; borrowers have purchased adapted vans, hearing aids, home modifications, environmental control units, and other devices to improve their quality of life or take advantage of new opportunities for work or study.

“The problem has been that with a traditional lender, the program has not been able to serve everyone,” notes Eric Oddleifson, assistant vice president for Assistive Technology and Community Support Services for Easterseals. “Applicants with no credit or a poor credit history have rarely been approved.”

Starting in January, however, the Mass AT Loan Program will seek precisely these applicants. Thanks to assistance from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s MassMATCH program and funding from ACL, the Mass AT Loan Program will expand to finance AT mini loans for devices and services with a very low fixed interest rate.

Adults and seniors who have been unable to access credit and finance the equipment they need or want will have a supportive way to do so.

“The fund will be directly administered by Easterseals,” says Oddleifson. “We understand the lives of applicants with disabilities and the transformative power of AT.”

Information and an application form will be available online at eastersealsma.org and/or http://www.massatloan.org/

The Mass. AT Loan Program is operated by Easterseals MA and MassMATCH, the state’s Assistive Technology Act program, administered by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. The Administration for Community Living is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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