By Brenda Henige, Michigan Assistive Technology Loan Fund (MATLF) Coordinator, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Michigan staff
Do you have a disability and need some type of assistive technology to improve your functioning? You may need a modified vehicle or a home modification for accessibility. Residents of Michigan who have a disability or their family members can apply to borrow money from the Michigan Assistive Technology Loan Fund (MATLF) to obtain needed equipment or tools (assistive technology or AT), modified vehicles or modifications to a vehicle, or home modifications for accessibility through this program.
The program provides loans for home modifications as long as they will increase the applicant’s accessibility within the house, apartment, or on the property, such as installation of ramps, roll-in showers, or other modifications. Individuals with hearing, vision, or other disabilities may benefit from various modifications to improve accessibility within their homes.
An individual may apply to borrow up to $30,000 and there is no minimum amount required to borrow since many home modifications may cost hundreds of dollars or much less than the maximum allowed. Here are two home modifications that MATLF approved last year:
An individual who has a mobility disability and uses a wheelchair was able to obtain modifications to his home’s bathroom, including having the doorways widened and installing an adapted shower so he can shower without assistance. MATLF loan enabled him to get around in his bathroom using his wheelchair and to shower on his own. The counter tops are now lower and drawers are located where he can reach them.
MATLF approved an accessible breezeway to connect an individual’s home to his garage. This included a ramp and plenty of room for his wheelchair to pass through. With this loan, he is now able to go to his garage where he does woodworking projects. His relative commented that this has changed his personality. Now he can go to his garage workshop whenever he wants to and spends a lot of time there working on his projects.
As the new loan fund coordinator, I have seen that this program which allows people with disabilities to borrow money to improve their independence and productivity really does empower them to accomplish more and to truly be more independent.
Please contact me for more information on the loan program at or at . You may also view loan fund information by going to our website www.ucpmichigan.org and clicking on the link “Assistive Technology”.
Note: More information about funding for home modifications can also be found in MATP’s Funding Strategy!Tweet