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

  • From: "Elizabeth S. Bowden" <ebowden@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2009 10:41:26 -0500

The FAAST program also has a loan program in place.  

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lynn Evans 
  To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 5:54 PM
  Subject: [tabi] Re: I have an idea for TCB, NFB, and the Lighthouse

  Chip do you think the folks over at FAAST would what to kick around the idea. 

  I was just talking with them at the senior center this past monday. They had 
a table at the technonogy fair.    
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Chip Orange 
    To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
    Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 2:57 PM
    Subject: [tabi] I have an idea for TCB, NFB, and the Lighthouse

    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 divisive.

    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 on.

    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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