The WisLoan program offers loans for assistive technology. Assistive technology is defined as "any item, piece of equipment or device that enables an individual with a disability to improve his or her independence and quality of life." The loans help people buy equipment such as hearing aids, modified vehicles, wheelchairs, ramps, computers with modifications, environmental controls, alternative communication devices and home accessibility modifications. Independent living centers throughout the state provide technical assistance, applications, and assistive technology services.
The program is open to Wisconsin residents of all ages who have a disability. There are no income requirements, and individuals are not required to exhaust personal or public funding. Under the program, banks provide loans to qualified borrowers. Loan amounts depend on the item purchased and the ability to repay the loan.
Individuals applying for a loan must be at least 18 years old and reside in Wisconsin. Applicants must be a person with a disability or be purchasing items for someone with a disability (for example, a grandparent buying a device for a grandchild). Loans can only be used to purchase assistive technology or to make accessibility modifications.
Applicants can request an amount needed for purchase, but actual loan amounts will depend on the item purchased, the ability to repay and the capacity of the loan fund.
The time allowed for repayment depends on the amount of the loan and the item purchased. In addition, the program focuses on the ability to make the monthly payment to pay back this loan. The reasons for a poor credit record are taken into consideration.
For additional information, contact Valerie Cornelius at 414-226-8306 or toll-free at 1-877-463-3778.
IndependenceFirst provides program information and statewide coordination. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services administers the grant and provides oversight.
WisLoan is a federally-funded project of the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), US Department of Education, under PL105-394, the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, Grant No. H224C010017. WisLoan is provided as a cooperative service of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, IndependenceFirst, and BMO Harris Bank.