[tabi] I have an idea for TCB, NFB, and the Lighthouse

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 14:57:40 -0500

hi all,
I had an idea I hoped the leaders of our 3 big non-profits here in town
would take up; I think it's worth doing, and it would give us something
else to focus on besides the bus system, which is more than a little
What I've noticed is that when I'm speaking with many blind people, and
I mention a possible technical solution to a problem they're having,
their response is often something like "that would be great, but I can't
afford it."
understandable of course; we all know assistive technology is expensive,
and we need a lot of it.
so, what if for this area of Florida served by the Lighthouse, we began
a fund to which we all contributed, which was then used to provide no
interest loans for the purchase of assistive technology?
I was hoping one group would take on the administration of the fund, and
all 3 groups would contribute to it, or fund raise for it, as a joint
project.  I'll offer to start it off with $100 if someone will take it
I also hoped the fund could be run in such a way that a person's need
for the technology, or their ability to pay, would not be a factor in
receiving the loan.    I'd like this to be as free from value judgments
as possible.  Perhaps just as the person what payment schedule they
thought that they could afford.
a lot of microbanks in very poor areas of the world are quite
successful, with nearly 100% payback rates, when being run like this, by
simply requiring a family member or friend to cosign the loan
application, guaranteeing payback if the primary applicant fails to do
so.  this seems to serve as a screening tool (if you can't produce one
person who will vouch that you will pay back a loan, then it's likely
that you won't), and also as a real incentive for the applicant to
pay-back the loan (not wanting their friend or family to have to do so).
I'd also suggest, to help those taking on the administration of the
fund, that they do nothing if payments are missed.  we'll make up losses
through fund raising.  when you're freed of the effort of collections,
then the administration should be a very minor task.
so, what do people think?  will the leaders of these groups be willing
to discuss it amongst themselves?


Chip Orange
Database Administrator
Florida Public Service Commission

(850) 413-6314

 (Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect those of the Florida Public Service Commission.)


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