This past Saturday was the annual State Vision Expo, held at the Indiana State Library in downtown Indianapolis.
According to their Web site, over 650 people attended this year’s event, making it the largest low-vision convention in the Midwest!
Easter Seals Crossroads had a booth to inform individuals of INDATA’s services. Sara Croft, Education and Outreach Coordinator, and Carol Girt, Loan Library Specialist, represented INDATA and brought assistive technology devices that related to the blind and low vision community. The event was quite successful as there were many people who stopped by to say hello, learn about AT or talk about their experiences with Easter Seals Crossroads. Some people said they were members of the Computer Programming Training classes that started at Crossroads back in 1979, while others expressed their appreciation for the INDATA project and the services they have received.
Other vendors included the Hadley School for the Blind, the Will Center in Terre Haute, GW Micro, Humanware and many others. While each vendor had a specific reason for being at the expo (education, resources, technology), INDATA set itself apart from the others by explaining our equipment loan program. Many people had heard about various “try before you buy” systems but either thought it was spam or did not believe it could actually work. That is, until they visited the booth and talked to Sara or Carol who explained how the system worked. This is where INDATA is unique in comparison to other exhibitors. Borrowing equipment and figuring out if it works for you is often a dream come true to those who desperately need assistive technology but are having trouble locating or paying for the devices.
One of the other most popular questions we received at the Vision Expo was related to the new AFP, or Alternative Financing Program. This is a new feature of the INDATA project in which we work with an individual who has difficulty obtaining a loan to purchase assistive technology and the bank, acting as a guarantor of the loan. This is a program that is working in many other US states and has a great success rate.
If you are looking for more information on the AFP, please contact Information and Referral/Funding Specialist Ewart Soloman at 317-466-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.