Kathryn C., a resident of Jamestown, NY, and one of our Assistive Technology Loan Program clients, reached out to her online community for support when she was looking for help purchasing an accessible van for her wheelchair. After several knee surgeries, Kathyrn realized she needed to use a wheelchair more regularly.

“When my husband passed six years ago, I couldn’t go up and down the stairs anymore. I knew I needed to use a wheelchair, and to find an [accessible] van, too,” shares Kathyrn.

After discovering Mobility Works, one of the leading dealers of wheelchair vans, Kathryn picked out a 2015 Town & Country, five-passenger van. With a side ramp that deploys, she can come into the van and drive securely with her wheelchair stabilized by a custom lockdown system; the van also has a second lockdown system for passengers. Kathryn wasn’t certain, however, that she could afford it. Thankfully, a family member led her to our partner, National Disability Institute (NDI), and our Assistive Technology Loan Program.

Through the partnership with NDI and the Assistive Technology Loan Program, individuals can purchase assistive technology devices they need without incurring high-interest debt. Kathryn was approved for a loan of $37,000 to cover the cost of the modified van.  After being denied by her bank, she was surprised to be approved for a 10-year loan at a 4% interest rate.

“Spring Bank was wonderful. The Assistive Technology Loan Program is the only way I could have purchased the van. I was even able to purchase the extended warranty, and all of it was done online,” explains Kathryn. “I got my independence back. I really don’t know what I would have done without this opportunity.”

With an accessible van to support her day-to-day mobility, Kathryn is grateful to no longer rely on transportation buses, which often require long waiting times, and to relieve her daughter of caretaking, too.

“My daughter was my aide and working for me, and it was great to spend time with her. But now she can spend time with me as my daughter,” shares Kathryn. “It’s so great to take myself to therapy once a week and do my own shopping.”

Kathryn feels ready to move back to her hometown to be closer to her family.

“My parents are aging, and I really miss the water. I grew up on the water,” she says. “Now I can go anytime I want.”

Learn more about the details of the Assistive Technology Loan Program and our partnership with National Disability Institute. If you or a loved one are in need of assistive technology products or devices that can improve your independence and quality of life, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.