Friday, March 30, 2012

UATP's low-interest loans change lives of Utahns with disabilities

Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) Legacy Story: Low-interest loans bring independence

March 30, 2012 by Connie Pehrson

A year ago, Colleen Cobia and her husband were not thinking about remodeling their Layton home. But after an unfortunate horse riding accident last summer, Colleen found herself confined to a wheelchair and living in a house that was very difficult to move around in. They knew that, in order for her to maintain her independence and be able to continue to take care of her family, many changes would have to be made.

Not quite sure where to turn first, Colleen’s husband, who works for the Department of Services for People with Disabilities, remembered hearing of some low-interest loans that were available to persons with disabilities who need to purchase assistive technology that will allow them to be independent, productive and successful.

And that is just what Colleen needed to become.

While Colleen was still in the hospital, her husband make a quick phone call to Zion’s Bank that started the process for applying for a remodeling loan through the Utah Assistive Technology Foundation. The UATF partners with Zion’s Bank for low-interest loans to purchase not only assistive technology devices, but home modifications, adapted vans, and home-based employment equipment. Once the application was completed over the phone, and eligibility was confirmed, all the Cobia’s needed to do was go down to the bank and sign the papers. Couldn’t be easier.

Read the rest of the story here. Learn more about UATF here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Disability Etiquette

Come learn about all types of disabilities. Learn what’s appropriate or not appropriate to say and do. A panel of experienced people with disabilities will share their stories and assist you in understanding how to interact comfortably with people who have disabilities.
March 27, 2012, 9:00 to 11:00 AM
March is Disability Awareness Month. Come learn about communication and etiquette with people with disabilities. A short presentation will be followed by people with disabilities talking about their own experiences, sharing their stories. It promises to be both enlightening and fun.

In addition to LIVE participation in Salt Lake City, thanks to the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation, we have teleconference locations in the following cities: Logan, Cedar City and Provo!

The Workshop will be offered at the Judy Buffmire Building and at selected VISION locations around the state. For further information and to RSVP, call (877) 246-9675 toll free or email

Center for Person's with Disabilities celebrates 40 years

The Utah Assistive Technnology Program is housed at the Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) on the Utah State University campus. The CPD is celebrating 40 years of service this year.

Gordon Richins, consumer liasion at the CPD, said, “We're all people, with things to do and places to go, and the work CPD does is exciting, rewarding and beneficial to the community as a whole,” he said.

Learn more about the services and people that make the CPD a success by reading a story published today by the Cache Valley Daily. Click here to read the story.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

AT project built by UATP & USU mentioned on "Assistive Technology Update" podcast

USU engineering students with the technician's creeper they
built to enable people with disabilities to work as a mechanic.
The creeper - an AT project built by Utah State University engineering students in conjunction with UATP - was mentioned on episode 41 of the Assistive Technology Update podcast by the Indiana AT Act. The mention happens at 5:10 minutes on the podcast. Click here to listen.

This and other projects are built under a grant from the National Science Foundation. UATP is looking for ideas for future assistive technology projects to built - let us know!

Learn more about the collaboration of USU's engineering program and UATP to build innovative AT for the aging population here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Student volunteers help earn CReATE $800

Student volunteers showed Thursday they were not afraid of hard, dirty work when they helped disassemble used mobility devices for recycling at Citizens Reutilizing Assistive Technology Equipment (CReATE).

Students Katie Lubenow (left) and Sarah Beddow (right), at
CReATE taking cables off wheelchair batteries so they could
be recycled. The students said they were excited to see how
similar Minnesotans were to Utahns in offereing great hospitality.
Beddow said she was also excited to send a picture of her
using tools to her dad.
Eleven students from the College of St. Benedict and St. John's in St. Joseph and Collegeville,  Minnesota, were in Utah for an alternative spring break. During this week, they volunteered at the Center for Persons with Disabilities in Logan, Utah, including spending March 8 at CReATE.

CReATE is a non-profit serving Utahns with disabilities by refurbishing used mobility devices that have been donated by the community. The devices are then offered to Utahns for a low-cost. Some devices recieved are too outdated or broken to refurbish, and can be recycled for scrap metal.

The students, along several CPD employees, helped prepare 54 devices for recycling, weighing in at 7,960 pounds. These were devices that would have otherwise been unusable and thrown out. The money made from the endeavor was $811.41. This money goes back to CReATE. 

Student volunteers, Robyn Hall (left) and Lindsey EnVall (right)
take batteris of wheelchairs. EnVall said, "I grew up with a twin
with disabilities, and I thought I'd have a lot to offer here as well as
experience working with people with different types of disabilities."
CReATE coordinator, Alma Burgess, said, "In four hours, the amount of work accomplished was more than our technician could do by himself in a 24-hour work week. This gives him more time to spend on refurbishing devices for the community."

The total working hours came to 68, a number that would have taken a full-time worker 2 weeks to accomplish.

Student volunteers from the College of St. Benedict and St. John's
took on some acrobatics to spell out CReATE after a hard day of work.
Student volunteer, Ashley Blaine, said, "It is good to learn about these support organizations for people with disabilities, making their independence possible, like CReATe helping make them mobile."