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					Telework Forum What we Learned from Partners – Strategies, Ideas to Communicate

Partner: Independent Living Centers-ILC * Include ILC staff on advisory board * Rent space at ILC (some had suggested renting a desk for one day a week and setting up shop remotely so that you can be seen and your program can be remembered) * Use catchy gimmick to call attention to loan program - Popcorn – just “popped” by, give away a pack of microwave popcorn to every person working at the ILC with a brief not of reminder about your program attached and a note that says “Just popped in to share the news about my program” * Give presentation to SILC * Talk to VR representative for ILC * Provide consumer counseling that includes lending option, financial literacy, or partner with your ILC’s to allow them to perform this task for you. You may want to pursue a fee for service option if this arrangement is made so that the ILC receives additional funding and the partnership is more firmly established. * Use display with tear off so that people have your number and can contact you * Send a letter to the ILCs and suggest ways you can help, provide services

Partner: Vocational Rehabilitation * Use webinar for training all of the counselors (contact Nancy Meidenbaur if you are interested in pursuing this avenue of sharing with others in your area she will serve as the liaison between the Telework program and ATIA who runs the website. * Provide incentives - $10 gift certificate to attend meeting or give away something to all those who attend and correctly identify the key points of your program. * Write partner success stories – go through the VR public relations office * Include VR representative on loan program advisory board * Show results to VR – to let them know the loans are working * Send mass mailing through VR-develop partnerships where you can pay for postage and labels if they will print your information on their letterhead for distribution to individuals who are already using assistive technology or VR services * Contact consumers once per quarter just to say thank you for your faithful payments, and as a reminder to share the news about your program with others. * Provide products and loans that will build the credit of the VR clients-help the VR clients resolve their client base * Develop an agenda for new counselor training and AT training * Find self-employment resources within VR * Research the VR policies so you know them – e.g., whether there are caps on certain items, determine the partnership possibilities that are available and how our programs can meet the needs of VR as well as VR meeting the partnerships of Telework

AgrAbility * Look at providing more flexible terms so that farmers can pay back loans when their crops (some programs have arranged either quarterly or annual payments to make these accounts more in line with the payment terms some farmers already have with their vendors) * Attend statewide farm shows – be a vendor-set up a display or hold a demonstration of some items that can assist farmers and ranchers with disabilities * Work through AgrAbility vendor database – to find people to contact with specific vendors that build or create items that are used by farmers and ranchers with disabilities. * If your state does not have an AgrAbility program – start one or contact the nearest AgrAbility partner and pursue an arrangement that will meet the needs of your state. * Link to the AgrAbility website –and have it link to your website * Place articles about loans in the AgrAbility Newsletter (offer to pay for the mailing of the newsletter that highlights your add or your success story) * Outreach to Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists who may have farmers as clients * Work with your local association of rural independent living * Contact the Grange office to post advertisements at the sites where farmers and ranchers buy supplies * Contact USDA regarding marketing to farmers and ranchers in your area

WIPA / Benefits Planners * Research Individual Development Accounts - and whether the income must be earned or can it be unearned – and who needs to be the one who earns it * Refer to WIPAs for information and have them refer to you * Attend PASS plan training- even if you don’t go further, at least you will understand them better. * Order the “Red Books” from social security at

Business Development * Try to have expertise about financing businesses in house or at least build a relationship with the vendors that you will use to help your clients produce business plans * Refer people to the SBDC for business plan and other services * Make contact with the SBDC in person – provide the personal touch – so that the partnership can become strong * Assist with matching a potential borrower with the SBDC, and continue to keep in contact with both groups to make sure they connect * Use the Micro lenders and SBDC to reduce the time to develop business plans – as they are experts * Include experts in business startup and financing on the advisory committee

* Get help form SBDCs and Micro lenders to improve the credit of the potential borrowers

General Interest Packet * Kansas sends information in two packets because too much information can scare people off – the first part is general information, and consent and monthly expense information; the second include information for the person to use to evaluate for a start up or existing business * Include business plan outline

General Marketing to Any Partner * Send information to Rehabilitation hospitals * Attend AT Fairs * Advertise in the Classified Ad Network – these are sent to many local newspapers and are very cheap * Share anything new –use every new service, success story or item of change as a moment to re-introduce your program to existing and new partners