Funding Assistive Technology
by: Nikki Powell & Jennifer Kretlow


What is Assistive technology?

Assistive technology is defined in Public Law 100-407 as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."

Assistive technology devices help individuals with disabilities to function more independently and include computers, wheelchairs, assisted listening devices, communication devices, environmental controls, wheelchair ramps, etc.…

The process of providing appropriate and needed equipment is not limited to an assistive device alone but includes evaluation, recommendation, fitting, training, maintenance and follow-up with the device.


Categories of Assistive Technology


Steps to Acquire Funding for Assistive Devices

    1. Determine what the need is.
    2. -Document the need.

      -Be prepared to provide necessary prescriptions and proof of medical necessity.


    3. Determine the technology or assistive device needed.
-What areas of life can be improved by this device?

-Specify the device that is needed.


3. Is there an alternative device that would work? -Is there another type of equipment or service that can improve what is needed in case funding is not available?


4. Determine available funding sources.

-Can the consumer pay?

-Are there public programs for which the consumer qualifies?

-Is there private insurance that will pay?

-Are private funds available?

-Can a loan be obtained?


5. Gather all essential information to be submitted. -Ask what written support is needed.

-What is specifically required by the funding source?

-What personal financial information will be required?


6. Funding authorization approval. -Suppliers can then process the order.

-If the funding source pays in full, the process is complete.

-If further financial assistance is needed, seek co-payment sources.


7. Seek co-payment sources. -What other sources can assist in payment of total cost?

-Contact new sources previously talked with or seek new sources.


8. Seek appeals as appropriate. -Determine the process used by each source.

-File an appeal.


Funding Sources for Various Ages -Public Schools
-Early Intervention Programs
-Children’s Special Health Services
-Vocational Rehabilitation
-Division of Services for the Blind
-Private Health Insurance
-Civic Organizations
-Other Fundraising Efforts




Assistive Technology: A Funding Workbook (Part 1. A Roadmap to Funding Sources, Part II. An Outline of Federal Laws and Rules), by RESNA, 1101 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036. (202) 857-1199.

"Funding Devices and Services in Augmentative and Alternative Communication". Prentke Romich Company. 1022 Heyl Road, Wooster, Ohio 44691.

Funding Assistive Technology for Your Child videotapes from the Teleconference held May 1992; DDTI and the NC Asstistive Technology Project.

"Funding Specialist". N.C. Assistive Technology Project. 1110 Navaho Drive, Suite 101, Raleigh, North Carolina 27609.

"Guide to Funding Assistive Technology". N.C. Assisitive Technology Project. 1110 Navaho Drive, Suite 101, Raleigh, North Carolina 27609.

Web Site Links

 1). Carolina Connection

 2). Assistive Technology Used Equipment Services, Loan Closets, and Rental Agencies

3). Prentke Romich Company

 4). Frame Technologies presents-Simple Communication aids for the Non-Verbal Person-