• Technology Resources

    This document contains some of the technology related resources that currently exist within the state of Pennsylvania. These resources are designed to help bridge the technology divide for many individuals and families across the state.

    Disclaimer:

    · Below is a list of potential resources that may be available within the state of Pennsylvania; this is not an exhaustive list

    · These are not PA Department of Human Services (DHS) resources, and as such, are not endorsed by DHS

    · Please note that local resources may have changed or been updated

    1) Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF): https://patf.us/who-we-are/publications/funding-your-assistive-technology/

    One of the leading obstacles for obtaining assistive technology (AT) is finding the money to pay for it. This Guide has been compiled by Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) in an effort to provide Pennsylvanians with disabilities, older Pennsylvanians, and their families help in navigating the complex web of funding options for AT devices and services.

    Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) can provide:

    · Financial loans for assistive technology (hearing aids, smart home tech, adapted vehicles, home modifications, etc.)

    · Information and assistance about assistive technology, funding resources and vendors

    · Financial education for people with disabilities

     

     

    2) Hebrew Free Loan Association (Pittsburgh): https://hflapgh.org/

    The Hebrew Free Loan Association of Pittsburgh offers interest-free loans on a nonsectarian basis to residents of Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Butler, Beaver and Armstrong Counties who may not qualify for assistance through other institutions. Interest-free loans, instead of charity, help people achieve their goals while retaining financial stability and independence.

     

    3) Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia: https://hflphilly.org/

    Hebrew Free Loan helps those living in the Philadelphia area with a temporary financial need by offering no interest, no fee loans. While most of our loans are only for members of the Philadelphia Jewish community, some are offered to both Jews and non-Jews. Credit-worthy co-signers are required for all loans. We lend for everything from post-secondary education to fertility treatments to day care and pre-school to medical and dental expenses to starting a new business, and much more.

     

    4) Achieva Family Trust: https://www.achieva.info/charitable-residual

    Sometimes individuals with disabilities and their families lack the financial resources to access critical special needs support. The Charitable Residual Account offered through the Achieva Family Trust can provide supplemental support and services (including technology) for children and adults with disabilities who are unable to pay for the services or supports on their own. The program is meant to be utilized when all other sources have been exhausted. Eligible applicants are individuals with disabilities throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

     

    5) Center for Independent Living-Central PA (CILCP): https://cilcp.org/

    The mission of the Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania is to eliminate and prevent barriers that people with disabilities experience by providing ongoing advocacy and offering innovative programs and services.

     

    6) United Cerebral Palsy of Central Pennsylvania (UCP) https://www.ucpcentralpa.org/services/assistive-technology/

    (includes PA UCP Lending Library)

    UCP’s Assistive Technology (AT) service offers a full range of devices, equipment, training, and supports that equip people to live with a greater degree of independence at home, at work, at school, and at play. Our AT services not only make everyday living easier for the user; they make otherwise impossible tasks possible.

     

    7) Technology for Our Whole Lives (TechOWL): https://techowlpa.org/

    Did you know that every state has a program to help people with disabilities and others explore, find and get the tools and technology they need? These tools may be needed for school, work, and life in the community. The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University is the home for this program in Pennsylvania. It is called Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology or “PIAT” (pee-aht) for short.

    PIAT is Pennsylvania’s Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program. PIAT and the other assistive technology programs and projects create TechOWL – Technology for Our Whole Lives.

     

    8) Center for Assistance Technology (CAT) https://www.upmc.com/services/rehab/rehab-institute/services/cat

    A joint program of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, the Center for Assistive Technology (CAT) has emerged as a leader and innovator in the assistive technology field.

     

    9) PHLConnectED https://www.phila.gov/programs/phlconnected/

    PHLConnectED will connect eligible K–12 student households with access to reliable internet service at no cost through June 2022. Participants will not pay any out-of-pocket expenses or installation fees. The program will also provide digital skills training and support.

    There are three core components of PHLConnectED:

    · Wired, high-speed, reliable internet to the home from Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, or a high-speed mobile hotspot from T-Mobile for families who are housing insecure.

    · Distribution of devices, such as Chromebooks, tablets, or computers through their school.

    · Digital skills training and tech support.

    The PHLConnectED program prioritizes families with the greatest need for internet service. We will focus on connecting K–12 families who:

    · Do not have any internet access.

    · Have only mobile phone internet access.

    · Are homeless or housing insecure.

    · Have students who participate in remote learning in locations without internet access (outside of the primary household).

    The program’s eligibility has been expanded. You may also be eligible if you have internet in your home and:

    · Participate in public benefit programs with income qualifications.

    · Your child is an English Learner.

    · Your child receives special education services.

    Eligible households will be identified through data gathered by the Philadelphia School District of Philadelphia, the Charter Schools Office, and internet service providers.

     

    10) Comcast Xfinity https://www.internetessentials.com/

    At home Internet connection is more essential now than ever for today's families. In 10 years, Internet Essentials has connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million Americans to all the opportunities the Internet has to offer – from education and job skills training to healthcare resources.

    We partner with local communities to pass on the importance of being connected and provide low-cost Internet service (computers, too!) along with free training to safely unlock its potential. As the largest Internet adoption program in the nation, we stay true to our mission of empowering our customers and enriching communities with technology.

    Once you are an Internet Essentials customer, you have the option to purchase a laptop or desktop computer at a discounted price through one of our partners. Please visit the website for additional information.

    You may qualify if you:

    · Qualify for programs like the National School Lunch Program, housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others.

    · Live in an area where Comcast Internet service is available

    · Have not had Comcast Internet in the last 90 days

    · Households who owe money to Comcast may still qualify if approved by 06/30/21

     

    11) Comcast Xfinity “Lift Zones” Comcast Business Powering WiFi-Connected “Lift Zones” in Local Community Centers Nationwide

    In October 2020, Comcast announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in community centers nationwide as part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy. Each Lift Zone will be powered by a combination of connectivity and security solutions from Comcast Business.

    Lift Zones are intended to help those students who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to connect to distance learning at home, or who just want another place in which to study. They will provide students equal access to the Internet in safe, local spaces, as well as access to hundreds of hours of educational and digital skills training.

    Each Lift Zone location will be outfitted with a robust WiFi solution powered by Comcast Business at no cost. The sites will be equipped with a combination of Comcast Business’ award-winning Business Internet, WiFi Pro and SecurityEdge solutions; customized based on the size and unique connectivity needs of each location.

     

    12) Verizon Innovative Learning https://www.verizon.com/about/responsibility/digital-inclusion/verizon-innovative-learning

    Right now, millions of students here in the U.S. are lacking the connectivity, technology and skills required for success in today’s digital economy. That’s why we’ve been working to help foster digital inclusion through a transformative education program called

    Verizon Innovative Learning. It’s a key part of our goal to help move the world forward for all through our Citizen Verizon plan.

    This school year Verizon Innovative Learning is expanding to 111 new Title I schools across the country, for a total of 264 schools. For the first time, the program will be activated into high schools. In addition, our growing online resources and learning tools are available to all educators and students, a key driver in our quest to reach 10 million youth by 2030.

    Please click on the link above to learn more about this program.

     

    13) Federal Lifeline Program Get Connected - Universal Service Administrative Company - https://www.lifelinesupport.org/

    Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet. Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 toward their bill.

    Qualifications: · You can get Lifeline if your income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines. The guideline is based on your household size and state.

    · If You Use SNAP, Medicaid, or Other Programs

    o Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps

    o Medicaid

    o Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

    o Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)

    o Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit o Tribal Programs (and live on federally recognized Tribal lands)

    · Qualify through your child or dependent

    Tribal Lifeline Qualifications:

    · Tribal Lifeline takes up to an extra $25 off your monthly bill, for a total Lifeline discount of up to $34.25 per month.

    · You can get Tribal Lifeline if you live on Tribal lands.

    · If you live on Tribal lands, you can qualify for Lifeline if you or someone in your household participates in:

    o Any of the federal assistance programs listed above

    o Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

    o Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)

    o Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)

    o Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

    Please visit the website above for additional information on how to apply for this program.

     

    14) Free Library of Philadelphia https://libwww.freelibrary.org/

    Several Free Library locations in Philadelphia are now offering expanded services, including computer and wireless internet access, in-building material pickup, printing, and reference desk service. Many locations continue to offer returns, contactless material pickups, and phone reference. Visit our Services page or call your neighborhood library to see what's available.

     

    15) National Free WiFi Map WiFi Map - #1 WiFi Finder

    The National Free WiFi map provides free WiFi hotspots at businesses and restaurants that is searchable by address.