the advocacy monitor

Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

An Update from the NCIL Assistive Technology Subcommittee

Today, there are high tech devices everywhere that are helping people to stay connected, be more independent and experience a higher quality of life. There are also resources that can help people afford the purchase of assistive technology (AT) including items such as home or vehicle modifications, hearing aids, computers, scooters, smart phones and even adaptive sports equipment.

People benefit from learning about a full range of resources and funding options that can help meet their needs. A person’s need for assistive technology is an opportunity for opening dialogue around their choice of AT and how to afford what best meets their needs. Are there ways for the person to increase their income through employment opportunities or to change their spending or increase their savings? Is there funding that will provide AT for employment? Are there work supports that can help a person earn and save money towards their purchase? 

Qualifying for an assistive technology loan can help a person get the assistive technology that best meets their needs. In addition, it is also a chance for a person to develop or rebuild their credit. In effect, the need for assistive technology can be an effective asset building strategy for a senior or a person with a disability.

Many states have Alternative Financing Programs (AFP) that provide loans to people who need to purchase assistive technology. The programs provide referrals to help people find funding that can reduce their costs of purchasing assistive technology and find AT that best meets their needs. Many of the programs provide financial education that supports people as they take steps to develop positive credit and build their assets through acquiring assistive technology.


  1. Susie Molloy says

    Please be reminded that people whose disabilities include hairtrigger electrical and chemical hypersensitivities require alternate space in order to avoid exposure to many of these wireless technologies.
    I’ll be glad to hook you up with people who live with this disability, many of whom could participate in conference calls with you if they have landlines.
    I can use my computer for brief periods and could send you letters from them.
    We fully honor that wireless equipment and the new technologies help thousands of people live better lives – but it is a barrier to us.
    Thank you for your consideration.
    Susan Molloy, M.A.
    Hansa Trail, Snowflake, AZ 85937
    [email protected]

  2. Thank you for your comment Susie. I learn each day that I have much to learn.