The Ability Loan Program is a partnership between STAR and the Southern Disability Foundation, Inc.
The program is an Alternative Financing Program for individuals with disabilities and their families to borrow money at a low-interest or extended-terms for the purchase of assistive technology, adaptive equipment and related services. Alternative financing needs may include but will not be limited to a means of paying for devices not covered by public programs, as a means of providing a loan sooner than other public programs, and/or a means of having another funding source available.
The program is administered by the Southern Disability Foundation, Inc.; founded in collaboration with STAR to create Alabama’s Ability Loan Program. The Ability Loan Fund was originally capitalized with Title I funds (from the Assisitive Technology (AT) Act of 1998). Federal AT Act dollars were used at least in part to capitalize the program, while other non-Federal funds were raised for Federal matching purposes and to establish the loan fund.
Any Alabama resident with a disability or a caregiver or relative on behalf of a family member with a disability can apply for a loan regardless of age, race or disability. Devices covered by the program include but are not limited to:
- Telecommunication devices for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired (TTY)
- Closed-circuit television (CCTV)
- Computer adaptive access or output
- Braille machine
- Environmental control unit (ECU)
- Augmentative or alternative communication (AAC) device
- Wheelchair, Scooter, Stander
- Adaptive vehicles (buses, vans, cars)
- Power lift
- Wheelchair Ramp and Home Modifciations
- Roll-in shower
- Magnifying glasses, calculators, tape recorders
- Adaptive switches, toys, etc
- Any other device or related service as defined under the assistive technology act.
Services covered by the program are:
- Assessment or evaluation of individual’s needs
- Purchasing, leasing, or providing for the acquisition of the AT devices
- Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing AT devices
- Coordinating and using therapies, interventions, or services with AT devices such as those associated with education, rehab plans, etc.
- Training or technical assistance for individuals with disabilities and/or family when appropriate
Please note that in order to be eligible for a loan, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Be an Alabama Resident
- Be a person with a disability or have a significant other/family member with a disability.
- Must be able to provide assurance that the loan will be used to purchase assistive technology devices and/or services. (The assistive technology can be for a person with a disability regardless of age or type of disability as long as its use is intended to improve the individual’s functional capabilities).
- Document sufficient creditworthiness and ability to repay the loan.
This is a summarized transcription of the Southern Disability Foundation approval process:
- Consumer contacts SDF for Ability Loan information and/or application.
- An SDF application, AuburnBank application, and Privacy Statement is sent to the consumer or the consumer may complete these documents online, print, sign and mail to the AFP Coordinator.
- AFP Coordinator receives the application materials and begins the review and approval process.
- AFP Coordinator checks the applications for completeness (The SDF Application and the AuburnBank Application) signature(s) and dates.
- Southern Disability Foundation application checklist must be completed, signed, and dated.
- Consumer must provide accompanying documents to include:
- Type of Equipment or Service(s)
- Estimate or cost of equipment or service(s)
- Estimated Life of Device, if known.
- AFP Coordinator forwards a summary of all necessary documents to the SDF Board for their recommendation of approval or denial. Allow approximately one week for this process.
- When the coordinator has received a total of four (4) “yes” responses from SDF Board members; The applications and other supporting documents are submitted to the financial institution’s loan processor.
- Once the AFP Coordinator receives a response from the bank, the consumer is contacted regarding the bank’s decision. However, the bank will notify the consumer in writing if the application is denied and fax information to the nearest bank branch if approved. (Should allow 30 days for processing)
- The coordinator then transfers this outcome information to Ability Loan Database for grant reports, loan status reports, board reports and the Ability Loan Program annual report.