Large pile of boxes from costco and amazon.
A large pile of opened and unopened boxes from Amazon, Costco, and more!

Since October of 2020 when we eliminated the Loan Library fees, the number of loans for assistive technology has increased dramatically! In fact, the number of device loans from October 1, 2020, to today, June 24, 2021, is 99% higher than the same time period last year. AND this increase was during COVID! Fantastical!

Due to the high demand, though, a new problem has been created. We now have many loan items on waiting lists, several people deep. We are mitigating this waitlist in two ways: 1) by shortening the loan periods on some of the higher-demand, lower-tech devices and 2) by adding more equipment to our loan libraries.

One of the ways we were able to obtain new equipment for short-term equipment loans was through a collaboration with Family Voices of North Dakota. Family Voices received funding from a COVID grant this past year, earmarked to help the children they serve. They provided some of these dollars to ND Assistive to purchase assistive technology such as tablets and communication apps for our short-term loan library, so more children of North Dakota in need can try before they buy. Amazing! The Kindle Fire with Wireless Charging Station, in the pictures below, is one example of the equipment we were able to purchase! Their donation will allow us to serve more individuals in a timelier manner to help them make informed equipment purchase decisions. A HUGE thank you to Family Voices and their Executive Director, Donene Feist!

If you know a child with a disability who would benefit from a free short-term equipment loan to help determine the appropriate assistive technology for purchase, please contact us at 1-800-895-4728, info@ndassistive.org, or visit our website to look up equipment to borrow.

About Author

Jeannie Krull is the Program Director for ND Assistive (formerly IPAT). She is an ASHA certified speech/language pathologist and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, who has worked with people with disabilities of all ages since 1991.