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CONTACT: AMY HANNA
University Hospital School
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 356-1514

Release: Immediate

UI program offers low-interest equipment loans to Iowans with disabilities

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Program for Assistive Technology (IPAT) has developed a new program that offers low-interest loans to Iowans with disabilities to purchase adapted equipment.

The Iowa Able Loan Program, an innovative low-interest loan fund for Iowans with disabilities, is a joint project of IPAT, the Iowa Able Foundation and First National Bank Iowa.

"First National Bank Iowa is proud to partner with the Iowa Able Foundation to provide financing for their callers," said Lanny Benishek, senior vice president. "This program will make available reduced-cost financing to purchase adapted equipment, or to make vehicle or home modifications. We hope this will allow Iowans with disabilities and their families to increase their quality of life. We are excited to have this opportunity to serve our communities through this worthwhile project."

Any Iowan with a disability, their parent or legal guardian who can prove basic credit worthiness may apply for a loan through the Iowa Able Loan Program. Money can be borrowed at the rate of 7.75 percent, in amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000, for up to 60 months.

Funds may be borrowed for the purchase of such adapted equipment as wheelchairs, communication devices and TTYs -- phone systems for people with hearing disorders. Loans can also be used for home and vehicle modifications.

To access the Iowa Able Loan Program, contact InfoTech, IPAT's information and referral service, at 1-800-331-3027.

IPAT is a program of University Hospital School, Iowa's University Affiliated Program. It is federally funded to promote the statewide availability, provision and use of assistive technology. IPAT established the Iowa Able Foundation, a non-profit board, to develop funding alternatives for Iowans with disabilities.

9/8/98