Consumer Highlight: Roxanne Peacock

headshot of Roxanne PeacockRoxanne Peacock has used several of The INDATA Project’s services and I spoke with her to learn about her and her experience in utilizing these services. 

I learned that Roxanne is 55-years-old and she has been married for 18 years. She has 5 children and 2 grandchildren. She grew up in a small town in Ohio called Bethel and now lives in a rural town in Indiana.  She has had several different jobs throughout her lifetime. Roxanne said, “I am a jack of all trades. I have worked in the food industry for half of my life and then moved into the customer service industry for a garden company. 

Roxanne then told me about a major change in her life and how she came to need our services. She said, “My life changed on November 16, 2013. It was a cold rainy day and I was on my way to work. I was driving my new car and I hit some run off on a very curvy road. Unfortunately, the road did not have a guardrail all the way down. I lost control of the car and went over the side into the ravine. My car flipped 3 times end over end and finally stopped when it hit a huge tree. I ended up being airlifted to the hospital and was later diagnosed with a spinal cord injury. I injured T11-12 and severed 98%of my spinal cord.” 

Roxanne remained in the hospital and came home right before Christmas. She said, “The first thing I did was get back on social media and let everyone know I was still here. It helped a lot.” Roxanne was able to use social media to keep up with friends and family members since it was no difficult for her to leave her home. 

Roxanne’s computer then crashed and she lost her main way of socializing and keeping up with her family and friends. She said, “I was so depressed.” Roxanne was not able to afford a new computer and one of Roxanne’s nurses told her about Easterseals Crossroads Computer Reutilization Program. Roxanne contacted me and I told her that she could get a refurbished computer and how to apply for one. 

I also told her about our Alternative Financing Program. INDATA provides low-interest extended rate financial loans to qualified individuals through the Alternative Financing Program (AFP). AFP loans are for assistive technology devices including, but not limited to hearing aids, augmentative communication devices, Braille equipment, computers, environmental control units, home modifications and accessible vehicles. 

This program is for Indiana residents who have a documented disability and who need assistive technology.  If the person with the disability is under 18 years of age, then the legal guardian may complete the application process.

Through a partnership between Easter Seals Crossroads and STAR Financial, AFP loans are available throughout the state of Indiana.  Because of this partnership, everyone who needs assistive technology should be able to qualify for a loan.

After learning about the AFP program, Roxanne thought they might be able to afford to buy a used vehicle and get it modified using the low-interest bank loan. 

Due to Roxanne’s injury, Roxanne was going to need an adapted vehicle and was going to need to learn how to drive an accessible van. She contacted her Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and they referred her for a driving evaluation and driver’s training. Vocational Rehabilitation is a state agency that helps individuals with disabilities get the services and equipment they need to obtain or maintain employment.

Roxanne sitting next to her van Roxanne ended up purchasing a new van at the same place she did her driver’s training instead of using the AFP loan. She said, “….the process was arduous and we really did not have the money to buy a new van.”  They picked up the new van from the dealership and learned that the interest rate they had promised her was much higher than what they had quoted her.  In the meantime, Roxanne had filled out the application for the AFP program to see if she could get help with the cost of the modifications she would need to make to the van so she could drive it.

Roxanne said, “I received an email from Nikol that they had approved our application for the van and much to my surprise got a call from Jennifer at Roxanne entering her van on wheelchair ramp STAR Bank to discuss the application. I explained what happened with the loan percentage at the dealership and she told me she would get with Nikol to see if they could help us obtain a lower interest for the van.” 

Although the AFP program is typically not able to be used for a refinance, since the car had just been purchased and the loan open for only a few days Roxanne was able to use the AFP loan to pay off the loan from the dealership and take advantage of the low-interest rate available through the AFP program. “I was floored when she called back and said they could actually refinance the loan with a lower rate. I thought it was only going to be for $10,000 for the vehicle modifications and not for the whole amount that would also cover the vehicle. After that everything was so much easier. Nikol and Jennifer were awesome through the entire loan process.”

After getting her vehicle financed, Roxanne then followed through on applying for the refurbished computer through the computer reutilization program. “Alvin contacted me letting me know I was approved for a computer. We drove to Indianapolis to pick up the computer. Alvin was so nice and explained everything about the process and the computer. He even gave me the number of how to contact the tech department if anything happened.” 

With a vehicle and a functioning computer Roxanne is able to start planning to go back to work. She is looking forward to being able to work again and also use the computer to keep in touch with friends and family. Roxanne said, “I wish more people knew about the programs that Easterseals Crossroads offer to individuals with disabilities. It helped me realize that I could be more independent again and that life goes on. You have to learn things a different way and I didn’t think I would ever get out of my house again. I want to thank them for helping myself and my family move forward in our lives.”

Interested individuals may obtain an AFP loan application from the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads by calling 888-466-1314. Individuals must provide disability documentation and understand that this process is for a potential loan – not a grant or other type of financial assistance.

Once an AFP loan application is approved, the individual will complete a loan agreement with STAR Finanical and arrange for monthly installments to be paid directly to STAR Financial.

If you have questions, please contact Nikol at nprieto@eastersealscrossroads.org or via phone 317-466-2013; toll free: 888-466-1314.