MDOD
 

Buying Assistive Technology


THE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY LOAN PROGRAM

A Program of the Maryland Technology Assistance Program / Maryland Department of Disabilities.

The Assistive Technology Loan program helps Maryland residents with disabilities and their families qualify for low-interest loans to buy equipment that will help them live, work, and learn more independently.

Who Can Apply?

Anyone who intends to use the loan to buy assistive technology for a Maryland resident with a disability.  That includes people with disabilities, family members, friends, etc.

Will Everyone Be Able To Get A Loan?

No. You must have a good likelihood of repaying a loan.  The program will look at your income compared with debt, stability in residence/job, and credit history.  Some applicants will be declined, but the program's criteria are much less stringent than those of a bank and will enable many people who would be turned down for bank loans to receive funding.

How Much Can I Borrow?

From $500 to $50,000.
* Unsecured loans available up to $7,500. Other restrictions may also apply.

What Is The Interest Rate?

All loans have below-market interest rates.  Most loans have rates below prime.

What Type Of Equipment Can I Buy With Loans?

A wide variety fo assistive technology.  "Assistive Technology" is any device that helps a person with a disability live more independently and productively.  It includes:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Motorized Scooters
  • Braille Equipment
  • Scanners
  • Hearing and vision aids
  • Telecommunications devices for the deaf (TTY)
  • Augmentative communication systems
  • Environmental control units
  • Computers and adaptive peripherals
  • Building modifications for accessibility
  • Motor vehicles and vehicle modifications
  • Many other devices
  • Loans may also be used to pay for training to use equipment, extended warranties, and maintenance plans.

Contact the program to get an application:

The ATLP
Maryland Technology Assistance Program
2301 Argonne Drive, Rm. T-17
Baltimore, MD  21218
410-554-9233 (Voice)
1-800-832-4827 (Voice - toll free)
1-866-881-7488 (TTY - toll free)
410-554-9237 (Fax)
MDTAP Website

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AT BUYING COOP

What is the AT Buying Coop?

It is Assistive Technology Loans, Acquisitions, Services, and Training (AT: LAST).  Our mission is to overcome the barriers which prevent individuals with disabilities (and seniors with functional imitations) from learning about, acquiring, and effectively using the assistive technology needed to be more independent and to open their lives to opportunities.

AT:LAST, Inc. is dedicated to breaking down the barriers to the provision of assistive technology devices and services. The Maryland A.T. Cooperative works to negotiate discounts on devices and software for member schools providing low-cost, quality training opportunities

Since its founding in the summer of 1998, A.T.:L.A.S.T., Inc. has experienced great success, thanks to those who care about children with special needs and embrace the potential of assistive technologies.

Since March of 1999 when we began operation of the A.T. Co-op we have saved our participating members over $650,000 by combining their purchasing power to negotiate price reductions on assistive technologies. We have also trained almost 800 professionals and parents in the effective use of these devices and software since May of 1999.

AT:LAST wants to see ALL Maryland students benefit from our services by having devices available and staff trained.

AT: LAST is part of the Maryland Assistive Technology Co-op.

For more information on AT:LAST, contact:

P.O. Box 428
Savage, MD 20763
866-9ATLAST (Toll free in Western Maryland)
410-381-COOP (2667)
Maryland Assistive Technology Cooperative
Email:  MD Assistive Technology Cooperative 


EQUIPMENT EXCHANGE LINK

The Equipment Link connects people who have disability-related equipment to sell, lend or donate with people who need it.  The Link is a free service.

Please click here to visit the Equipment Link.

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WorkABILITY LOAN PROGRAM

Home-based and business loans for people with disabilities. 

A Program of the Maryland Technology Assistance Program / Maryland Department of Disabilities, the WorkABILITY Loan Program helps Maryland residents with disabilities qualify for low-interest loans to buy equipment to be able to telework or start small businesses.

What is Home-Based and Business Work Defined As?

1. Paid employment, either full-time or part-time, that is regularly performed, in whole or in part, at a location other than the employer's customary office or place of business, including (but not limited to) the worker's home, a telework center or on the road; and/or

2. Paid self-employment if (a) the person with a disability is at least part owner of the business, (b) the person with a disability performs substantial work for the business and (c) at least a portion of the work performed by the person with a disability is conducted at his/her home or at remote site(s) other than the business's office or primary place of business.

Who Can Apply?

Anyone who intends to use the loan to buy equipment for a Maryland resident with a disability to enable him or her to establish home-based work or start a small business. By increasing opportunities to home-based work and self-employment, current barriers to employment such as inadequate transportation, fatigue, inaccessible work environments, and the need for personal assistance are reduced and eliminated.

Will Everyone Be Able To Get A Loan?

No. You must have a good likelihood of repaying a loan. The program will look at your income, debt, credit history, etc. Some applicants will be denied.  But the program's criteria -much less stringent than banks use- will enable many people to get loans whom banks would turn down.

How Much Can I Borrow?

From $500 to $50,000.
* Unsecured loans available up to $7,500. Other restrictions may also apply.

What Is The Interest Rate?

All loans have below-market interest rates. Most loans have rates below prime.

What Types Of Equipment Can Loans Be Used To Buy?

  • Computers, printers, and related peripherals
  • Software
  • Fax machines, scanners
  • Office machines (e.g. fax machines, scanners, calculators)
  • Telecommunications devices
  • Telecommunication system installation charges (i.e. DSL)
  • Office furniture Home and/or home office modifications for accessibility
  • Assistive technology (a device or item that enables an individual with a disability to live and work more independently or productively with an improved quality of life)

What Are The Application Criteria?

A home-based employee must have either a promise of home-based employment or must be participating in any training program whose goal upon successful completion leads to home-based employment.  An applicant starting a small business must have a business plan reviewed by a business development organization.  All self employment equipment purchased through the WorkABILITY Loan Program must belong to the individual with the disability. 

Contact The Program To Get An Application:

WorkABILITY
Maryland Technology Assistance Program
2301 Argonne Drive, Rm T-17
Baltimore, Maryland 21218
410-554-9233 (Voice)
1-800-832-4827 (Voice-toll free)
1-866-881-7488 (TTY-toll-free)
410-554-9237 (Fax)
MDTAP Website 

Additional Resources:

RISE Program - The RISE Program (Reach Independence Through Self-Employment) is an initiative of the Maryland State Department of Education's Division of Rehabilitation Services.  The program's mission is to present self-employment as a vocational option to individuals with significant disabilities who are eligible to receive DORS services. RISE Program staff works with individuals and their families, DORS and community rehabilitation professionals, and the business community to facilitate and encourage the successful launch and operation of consumer-owned enterprises.  Click here for more information on the RISE Program.

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Maryland Technology Assistance Program