Harley wearing a black sweater, smiling and reaching her cabinet.

When Harley tried to get an elevated seat for her wheelchair covered by Medicare, her claim was denied. She was disappointed because she needed the lift seat in order to be independent in her own home. Her bed was too tall for her to get into on her own. She had to ask for assistance to reach anything in the upper cabinets, or else she had to “make her entire house little, with everything down at her height,” from beds to counters to food and plates.

In order to get the elevated seat, Harley would have to pay for it out-of-pocket in full, but she didn’t know how she could afford to do so. She explains: “I knew there was no way I could get a loan, because my credit was so low. I was really at a loss.” Harley was also reluctant to apply for a loan because the loans she was familiar with carried extremely high interest rates.

Harley’s vendor referred her to Northwest Access Fund, and she was relieved to learn of the low interest rate. But she was still not sure how she could make loan repayments on her fixed income. Harley worked with one of Northwest Access Fund’s financial coaches to make sure a loan was the best option for her and to determine the best repayment schedule. Harley notes that working with a financial coach was a “very important step in the process. Without that knowledge, I probably wouldn’t have seen the loan as feasible.” After meeting with her coach, Harley realized, “I can handle this.”

The elevated seat has made life a lot easier not only for Harley, but for her family as well. She can reach the upper cabinets on her own and no longer needs to “make her house small” or ask for help to access what she needs.

Harley serves as President of the Northwest Spinal Cord Injury Network and says that she recommends Northwest Access Fund to anyone who needs assistive technology. “These are the people I dealt with and they did right by me, I know they’ll do right by you,” she tells them.

Harley wearing a black sweater and grey skirt, sitting in her wheelchair with the elevating seat lifting her up so that she can look into her cabinet. The cabinet door is open and she is looking in.