Did you know that the Utah Microloan Fund partners with the Utah Assistive Technology Program to create economic opportunities for Utahns with disabilities? Through our partnership with their foundation, we are able to provide reduced interest rate small business loans to those who qualify. Keep reading to learn more about this awesome program for Utahns from Financing Coordinator Shelly Wood.
UMLF: For those who don't know, what is the Utah Assistive Technology Foundation? And how does it relate to the Utah Assistive Technology Program?
Shelly: The Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP) founded in 1989 is the statewide assistive technology (AT) program for Utah. UATP is one of 56 similar programs located across the country designed to provide AT services to Utahns of all ages with disabilities. UATP currently has three locations to serve Utahns with disabilities: Logan, Salt Lake City and Vernal, Utah. Although we only have offices in these three locations, we provide AT services throughout the entire state. UATP provides device demonstration, device reutilization and device loan, in addition to a financing program, the Utah Assistive Technology Foundation (UATF). UATF founded in 1991 offers small grants for low-income individuals, low interest rate loans to purchase AT devices and equipment and small business loans to start or expand a small business.
UMLF: Why do you love working for the UATF?
Shelly: Being part of an organization like UATF is rewarding on many levels, because of the number of Utahns with disabilities we’re able to help through the use of AT and seeing the device change their lives and give them more independence. AT can help change people’s lives by improving their quality of life, safety and a greater level of independence. Our small grants, low interest rate loans and small business loans can literally change a person’s life with more independence, safety and better quality of life.
UMLF: Who is eligible for your small business loan program?
Shelly: All Utahns with disabilities of any age are eligible to apply for our small business loan program. These loans are designed to help individuals with disabilities that experience barriers to traditional employment (fatigue, transportation, lack of opportunities, etc.), or individuals with disabilities who have an interest in starting or expanding a small business.
UMLF: What are some of your favorite businesses that have utilized this program?
Shelly: We have helped provide small business loans for a wide variety of businesses such as: gluten-free bakery, automotive repair shops, long haul delivery, building wood furniture and products out of wood pallets, counseling services, providing music lessons, sports photography and many others.
UMLF: What are some of the other services provided by UATF and UATP?
Shelly: UATP provides AT device demonstration, device reutilization, device loan and alternative financing (by way of the UATF). We are a statewide program and our purpose is to provide services to individuals throughout the entire state of Utah. We currently have staff at three different locations: Logan, Salt Lake City and Vernal, Utah. We also collaborate with other statewide disability-related organizations to ensure AT services are available throughout the state.
UMLF: What are some ways people can get involved?
Shelly: We have volunteer opportunities available for individuals with basic mechanical skills at all three of our locations, to assist with mobility equipment refurbishment. Anyone interested can call us at 800-524-5152 for more information.
To learn more about the Utah Assistive Technology Program visit:
Loan Program Website: www.usu.edu/uatp/financing/small-business-loans