Easter Seals FYI program keeps disabled on the go


Sandy and Scott are an active part of their community now with their new wheelchair accessible van thanks to Easter Seals loan program.

Twenty-two-year-old Scott, who uses a wheelchair, was often unable to get out of the house because his mom, Sandy, was concerned about his safety while transferring him in and out of her van. After an exhaustive search for help to acquire a wheelchair accessible van, she was about to give up until she found Easter Seals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore’s “FYI: Finance Your Independence Assistive Technology Loan program”.

“On the weekends with the old van we would stay home because I would be afraid that I wouldn't be able to get Scott in the van safely,” Sandy says. “Now that I have the new van if we decide to go anywhere I don't worry about it. One weekend we decided to go to Friendly's for lunch and it was great, because we got ready and went. I feel safer and more confident taking Scott places.”

Easter Seals’ low-interest loan program is a great resource for people in need of assistive technology or home and office modifications to make every day activities more accessible. The program helps Delawareans secure funding for a multitude of options to improve accessibility. Sandy was able to purchase a van with a wheelchair ramp so that she no longer had to lift Scott in and out of the van and they could get around easily, safely and more often.

“I asked Scott what he thought of my van. He said he liked it. He is very happy that we don’t have to do the one-two-three dance any more to get in the van. Before we got the new van he had to stand up in order to get in which was difficult especially when he was tired,” Sandy says. “Now he can look out in all directions and likes that we can go places anytime we feel like it.”

Easter Seals administers the FYI program with lending partners Del-One Federal Credit Union and DEXSTA Federal Credit Union. The FYI program offers lower interest rates to the borrower than other conventional methods. Loans can also be used for: modifications to make the home more accessible; work equipment such as a computer that accommodates for visual limitations to use at a jobsite or to work from home, and so much more. Even lower cost items, such as hearing aids or a back-up wheelchair, can be funded through this program.

Delaware residents with disabilities, seniors with age-related functional limitations and family members caring for someone with a disability, are eligible to apply, regardless of income. Anyone who could benefit from any type of assistive technology but has hesitated because of cost should contact Joyce Medkeff at Easter Seals at: resources@esdel.org or (302) 221-2076.

“There are other parents of children with disabilities that are looking for vans and other accessories,” Sandy says. “It is great to know that Easter Seals is there to help them.”

Easter Seals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers a range of services, including children’s therapies, assistive technology, recreational camping, day programs for adults with physical or intellectual disabilities and respite services for caregivers. To learn more about how Easter Seals helps children and adults with disabilities, call 1-800-677-3800 or visit www.de.easterseals.com.

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