';
Tags Posts tagged with "PATF"

PATF

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – Chief Executive Officer of Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) Ben Laudermilch has announced his resignation, effective February 2, 2024.

Laudermilch succeeded founder Susan Tachau as PATF’s CEO. He continued PATF’s mission of supporting and advocating for people with disabilities. In his role as CEO, Laudermilch continued to grow PATF’s mission across Pennsylvania, and into new states, working with public and private stakeholders and partners.

PATF Senior Lending and Operations Director Tracy Beck and Board Member Evan Davis have been named as interim co-CEOs of the organization while a search is conducted to select a permanent CEO who will sustain PATF’s mission and leadership.

Tracy Beck is the long-term PATF Senior Lending and Operations Director who has been vital to PATF’s growth and a consistent leader in PATF’s mission. Evan Davis is an executive with a proven successful track record as a COO and CFO for multiple organizations. Evan assisted PATF as a board member and led the recent PATF strategic planning process.

“We are grateful to Ben for continuing to promote assistive technology through meaningful programs for members of the disability community. We are confident in Tracy and Evan’s leadership and their excellent working relationships to sustain PATF through the transition. We look forward to successfully identifying and onboarding a new CEO and to continue making an impact in the disability community,” says Nancy Murray, President of PATF Board of Directors.

PATF remains dedicated and passionate about growing its mission to help older Pennsylvanians and people with disabilities by providing valuable services that allow everyone to have more independent and equitable lives.

Identity Theft and Scams: What Everyone Should Know
January 29, 2024
02:00 pm EST
Register Here

This is the first in a series of PATF “Money Talks” webinars for 2024. This webinar will educate consumers on some “Do’s & Don’ts” of ID theft and scams. Each year, more than 10 million Americans have their personal information — including name, social security number, bank account, or credit card number — stolen. This presentation is designed to raise awareness of identity theft tactics, steps to take to protect your identity and personal information, and information on reporting identity theft.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this webinar is for educational purposes only. The Office of the Attorney General is not affiliated with Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF).

Shot of a smiling little boy sitting in a white chair and holding his teddy bear while talking to a child psychologist

November 15, 2023
6:00 pm
Register Here

Hear from parents who have children with disabilities about when or how to have money conversations with their children. PATF’s “Family Companion” is a guide for parents, created by parents, that includes resources, practical tips, activities, and more to help families introduce financial topics to their children. This webinar will be recorded and emailed after the event to all who registered. If you have any questions or need assistance registering, please contact PATF at 484-675-0506 or via email.

Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is proud to share their organization’s growth in their 2022–2023 Impact Report.

“Over the past year, we have successfully expanded our reach and developed innovative programs to meet the needs of people with disabilities and older adults, ensuring that they have access to the assistive technology (AT) and services they want.”

But that’s not all — 2023 marks a momentous occasion for Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), as they celebrate their 25th anniversary! The Impact Report includes a timeline that details their amazing achievements in the disability community over the past quarter century.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Register Here

The PA Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) will be hosting a webinar on June 21 discussing real-life stories from those utilizing smart home technology. People with disabilities will share how they use smart home technology for streaming videos, watching TV, gaming, exercise, and more.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023
6:00 pm ET
Register here

Pennsylvania’s ABLE program provides individuals with qualifying disabilities a way to save and invest without affecting their benefits. What is new with ABLE? Join PATF and find out!

A lot has happened in the last few months, and more is to come. Diana Fishlock of the Pennsylvania Treasury Department will discuss the details of Pennsylvania’s ABLE program. Susan Tachau and Karen Hassett, Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), along with the following partners will provide a brief introduction:

  • Melissa Hawkins, Director, Pennsylvania Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing;
  • Amy Nieves, Executive Director, Mayor’s Commission for People with Disabilities; and
  • Amy Levine, Director of Institutional Advancement, Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

ASL, CART, and Spanish interpretation will be provided for the webinar. If you require additional accommodations, please let PATF know if you require additional accommodations when you register for the webinar no later than March 1, 2023.

PLEASE NOTE: PATF will host an in-person workshop with ASL and tactile interpreters in late Spring 2023.

This webinar will be recorded, and the recording will be sent out after the event via email to all who register. If you have any questions or need assistance with registering, please contact Karen Hassett at 484-675-0506 or via email.

PATF has released two brand new editions of their fully accessible financial education guides — Cents and Sensibility: A Guide to Money Management, 7th Edition and the Educator Companion Manual, 2nd Edition.


Cents and Sensibility addresses the financial education needs of people with disabilities while providing comprehensive strategies, activities, and resources for anyone who wants to have control over their money.

The book provides the tools people need to make informed financial decisions and tackles financial topics like how to save for the future without losing benefits that impact individuals with disabilities.

Download the Free Guide


Educator Companion Manual, 2nd Edition, aligns with chapters from Cents and Sensibility, and provides educators and instructors with strategies for addressing the unique financial education needs of students with disabilities.

Each section in the Manual includes topic objectives, key terms, and essential questions, which provide guidance for teaching the lessons included in Cents and Sensibility.

The Educator Companion Manual helps anyone taking on an educator’s role to engage all students in financial education. The Manual includes financial education topics such as earning, saving, credit, and decision making.

The instructional materials correlate with the National Standards for Financial Education and Pennsylvania Academics Standards.

Download the Free Manual

Message from Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF):

As we celebrate Assistive Technology (AT) Awareness Month, Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation would like to take this opportunity to amplify the message that AT can help people with disabilities live with more independence, safety, productivity, and with an improved quality of life.

We are committed to helping people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians with information and assistance, financial education, and financing opportunities so they can acquire the AT devices and resources they need.

We are proud and grateful to receive Governor Tom Wolf’s proclamation declaring November Assistive Technology Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. The Governor’s proclamation states:

“Whereas, Pennsylvanians with disabilities of all ages may need assistive technology devices and services to live independently and productively, as well as to participate fully in affairs of their communities…and assistive technology devices and services allow people to work, attend school, play, and live in the community of their choice…”

“Whereas, Pennsylvania is a leader in the development and implementation of assistive technology programs for its citizens with disabilities and older residents, through assistance from organizations such as the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation, providing valuable information and assistance, financial education, and the financing for the purchase of assistive technology and services.”

“Therefore, I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim November 2022, as Assistive Technology Awareness Month. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to become aware of the many ways in which assistive technologies contribute to the health, happiness, and independence of our family, friends, and neighbors.”

Our CEO Ben Laudermilch shares the proclamation was created thanks to steadfast advocacy: “For decades, PATF has pushed for bipartisan support at the state level for funding to help people with disabilities and older adults live independent lives. The Governor’s proclamation recognizes the efforts of disability advocates and raises awareness about life-changing assistive technologies and services,” says Ben.


Funding Resources for AT

Last year, we celebrated the proclamation by hosting an AT Photo Contest: Show Us Your Tech. This year, we’ve published our new, third edition of Funding Your Assistive Technology.

Assistive technology empowers people with disabilities to do the things they want to do. However, one of the leading obstacles for obtaining AT is finding the money to pay for it.

We have compiled a collection of 70 funding options for assistive technology devices and services called Funding Your Assistive Technology.

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE


Top 5 Funding Resources for AT for Kids With Disabilities

When someone contacts us for help funding their assistive technology (AT), one of the first things we ask is whether or not they are enrolled in a Home and Community-Based (HCBS) waiver.

For many people with disabilities, waivers are a major source of funding for AT.

Read the full blog.


How to Access Funding for Sports Equipment

All people, including people with disabilities, should have the opportunity, if they choose, to play sports.

We describe assistive technology (AT) as any device that helps a person with a disability do the things they want to do. This includes adaptive sports equipment that helps you play sports safely with more freedom.

But how do you access adaptive sports equipment to play sports when you have a disability?

We recently talked to Keith Newerla, a wheelchair user who runs the adaptive sports program at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia.

Click the link to read the full blog.

PATF can help you get the adaptive sports equipment you want by extending a no-interest loan through our Mini-Loan program.

We also offer low-interest loans that can cover the cost of assistive technology for things like home modifications, adapted vehicles, eye-gaze systems, and more!

APPLY FOR A LOAN

Tuesday, November 15
12:00 pm — 1:00 pm

The Student Loan Debt Relief Application is OPEN!

This one-time program will cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 or $250,000 for households.

Now’s the time to act before student loan payments restart. The application is simple; however, determining if your loans are eligible can be overwhelming.

THE APPLICATION

Please join PATF for a one-hour webinar where they will provide valuable information to individuals with student loan debt, their families, and supporting professionals on how to receive loan debt relief from the program.

This webinar will cover:

  • What the program means to you
  • Which loans are eligible
  • Where to find the application
  • How to submit your application

You will need to register in advance for this webinar. REGISTER HERE

IMPORTANT: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. This webinar will be recorded, and the recording will be sent out after the event via email to all who register. If you have any questions or need assistance with registering, please contact PATF at 484-674-0506 or email.

Presenters:

  • Erin Ellis, Financial Educator at Philadelphia Federal Credit Union (PFCU)
    Erin Ellis gives PFCU members the tools they need to better manage their money and achieve their financial goals. Erin is responsible for creating PFCU’s financial education curriculum, providing one-on-one counseling, and presenting seminars on various personal finance topics, including budgeting, saving money, credit, identity theft.
    Read Erin’s Bio on LinkedIn
  • Karen Hassett, Financial Education Director at PATF
    Karen Hassett is responsible for developing and implementing PATF’s financial education initiatives, education outreach, and advocacy. Before joining PATF, Karen directed financial literacy education and outreach at CLARIFI. She began her career in financial education at a Delaware County-based credit union where she managed the overall strategy for financial education including designing and implementing content, and community outreach.
    Read Karen’s Bio on LinkedIn

For more information, visit here.

To subscribe for updates to the Federal Student Loan Debt Relief Plan, visit here.


The past webinars are part of Money Talks, a free series hosted by Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation on financial empowerment for people with disabilities. View recordings and slides from past Money Talks webinars covering topics such as:

  • StudyMoney.us, a new financial education website for people with disabilities
  • Credit: What It Is and Why It Matters
  • Decision-Making for Adults With Disabilities
  • Preparing your taxes for filing

And more!

Past Webinars


About Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), founded in 1998, is a statewide non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and Alternative Financing Program under the Federal Assistive Technology Act. PATF provides financing opportunities, education, and advocacy for people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians, helping them to acquire assistive technology devices and services that improve the quality of their lives. Contact PATF at 484-674-0506 or patf@patf.us. To learn more, visit www.patf.us.

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

Disability Champion and PATF CEO Susan Tachau Retires

Lifelong disability advocate and CEO of Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), Susan Tachau, is retiring on September 30, 2022.

In her new role as PATF’s Chief Innovations Officer, she will work on special projects and advocacy activities.

During Tachau’s tenure as CEO, the organization has established itself as the leading Alternative Financing Program (AFP) in the US, continually providing more loans and extending more capital each year for the purchase of assistive technology than any other AFP, and offering information and assistance to thousands more Pennsylvanians, helping them access alternative funding resources.

With Tachau’s steadfast advocacy, PATF has also had significant impact among Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), helping to secure more federal funding for CDFIs to serve the disability community, and educating CDFIs on best practices.

In 2021, Tachau was an AARP Purpose Prize Winner, an award that recognizes people 50-plus who are using their knowledge and life experience to solve tough social problems.

In the same year, Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) recognized Tachau’s CDFI work with the Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Finance, the highest individual honor in the CDFI industry.

Last year, the Institute on Financial Literacy presented PATF with the Non-Profit Organization of the Year 2021 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Award, for PATF’s one-of-a-kind financial education curriculum, Cents and Sensibility, tailored to the needs of people with disabilities.

In a push to serve more people, Tachau founded Appalachian Assistive Technology Loan Fund, a subsidiary to PATF, so that people with disabilities in nearby states will have access to affordable financing for assistive technology.

Building up PATF and advocating for people with disabilities has been Tachau’s life’s work. Tachau described the source of this wellspring of passion for this work.

“Our son, Michael, introduced me to the world of disability and the importance of community living, work, and connection to family and friends. Assistive technology can make this possible,” shares Tachau. “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked alongside my dedicated colleagues to grow PATF from a small, fledgling organization to one that has helped more than 4,500 Pennsylvanians with loans worth almost $46 million.”

“I’m proud of our commitment to excellence and compassion, and the desire to expand our programs to meet the growing demands of the future. I’m confident that PATF’s good work will continue long after I retire.”

President of PATF’s Board of Directors, Nancy Murray, reflects on Susan’s announcement, “The Board is proud of Susan’s commitment, dedication, and achievements as PATF’s CEO for almost two decades. Susan has grown the organization into a formidable force for good in the world.”


PATF Board of Directors Appoint Ben Laudermilch as Chief Executive Officer

Seasoned executive Ben Laudermilch is PATF’s new CEO, as of September 6, 2022.

Most recently, Laudermilch served as the Vice President and Executive Director of Inglis Housing Corporation, where he established independent living communities for people with disabilities.

Prior to his tenure at Inglis, Laudermilch was the Special Assistant to the Secretary for the PA Department of Corrections, developing housing opportunities for reentering Pennsylvanians. Laudermilch also served as the Special Advisor to the Secretary of the PA Department of Human Services. For a decade prior, he worked for the Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities in various roles, including Executive Director.

Laudermilch’s experience promoting the benefits of assistive technology is highlighted through projects that he has managed that integrated smart home technology (a form of assistive technology) into housing for people with disabilities and older adults.

“I am excited about this new chapter in my career and the life of PATF. For many years, I’ve been in roles that have intersected with the disability world, and this new position feels like a culmination of all the work I have done,” Laudermilch says.

“We are thrilled that Ben is joining the organization as CEO, bringing new skills and experiences that will take PATF into the future, into a new chapter,” says Nancy Murray, President of PATF Board of Directors.

In his role as CEO, Laudermilch will be growing PATF’s mission across Pennsylvania, working with public and private stakeholders and partners.

To assist with this transition, PATF has developed a new Strategic Plan and a comprehensive, state-of-the-art brand book – both of which will help guide the nonprofit for years to come.