Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Utah Assistive Technology Foundation loan secures van, independence and time with family

photo of Roland on the ramp of his new van
Roland and his sevice dog, Danny. Roland is  on the ramp
leading to his cargo van.
Roland Bringhurst’s search for a van that could transport his wheelchair was a long one, and it hit some roadblocks. But in the end, the Utah Assistive Technology Foundation was able to help him get a low-interest loan for a van, fitted with a ramp.

“I never would have been able to secure a loan without the help of the Utah Assistive Technology Foundation,” he said.

UATF helps Utahns with disabilities secure low-interest loans, small grants and small business loans, all with the goal of enhancing their physical and financial independence.

The van has two front seats and a cargo area for his wheelchair. “This is going to do for what I really need, which is to do things with the family that require a lot of walking,” he said.

His walking without his wheelchair is limited to about half a block, so if the family wanted to go longer distances without a car, Bringhurst had a hard time participating.

He lives in Logan, but most of his family is outside of Cache Valley. He used to either rely on his son to take him to family events in a truck (with the wheelchair riding in back) or else take a shuttle service to Odgen. “Every once in a while they’d send a van that wasn’t accessible,” he said. Then he would have to wait for another van to arrive.

Having a van of his own makes it possible for Roland to maintain independence, do things with friends and see his family—all of which are good for his mental health. “Being able to see and associate with my family is very important,” he said.

For more information on the low-interest loans available through the Utah Assistive Technology Foundation, visit our website.

photo of the van
The van and ramp