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.