Assistive Technology (AT) often plays a vital role in the lives of people with disabilities. AT is any item, piece of equipment, or product that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Technology can be big–an automated lift for van or bath or small–a Velcro-attached grip for a fork or a pen. It can be new-age interactive voice activated software for speech therapy or a wheelchair. It can be high-tech–a computer screen operated by eye movement-or low-tech–a specially-designed door handle for people with muscle strength or dexterity problems.
Technology can be a substitute such as an alternative augmentative communication device that provides vocal output for a child who cannot communicate with her voice. This means that a child who cannot speak can push a button and ask her mom for an apple. Or tell her sister her new dress is pretty. It means a child in school can ask questions of his teacher or talk with her friends. It means a worker can converse with others in his office.
Open Options Financial Assistance
Open Options offers financial assistance to individuals and families in financial need. Individuals with disabilities who reside in the Open Options chartered territory are eligible. Click HERE to apply.
Each state has a federally-mandated AT program. These programs were set up to provide technology related assistance to people with disabilities. They will have information about low cost computers, loan programs, AT evaluations and more.
Find your State AT Program and your State Assistive Technology Financial Loan Programs.
• Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association
• AMBUCS, adapted trykes
• AssistiveTech.net, database of assistive technology (AT) and disability-related information
• Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City Caring Program, durable medical equipment and related items for children not covered by insurance and/or state or federal programs
• Challenged Athletes Foundation, grants for adaptive sports equipment & transportation expenses with sports competition
• The Family Center on Technology and Disability, information and services
• First Hand Foundation (Cerner)
• Fox 4 Love Fund, funding for durable medical equipment, home & vehicle modifications, ramps, clothing, furniture, & more for children
• Friends of Man, funding for medical equipment, home & vehicle modifications, ramps, medical procedures
• HopeBUILDERS, volunteer organization that builds wheelchair ramps
• Kansas Department of Transportation
• Midwest Special Needs Trust, For Missouri Residents Only
• Missouri Assistive Technology, Missouri resource for device loans, information, conferences, and many other equipment resources
• Missouri Developmental Disability Resource Center, comprehensive services and information for Missouri
• Missouri Swap 'N Shop Equipment Exchange Program
• Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, a Medicaid service
• Parenting Children With Special Needs Grant
• Variety of Greater Kansas City, provides mobility and adaptive equipment for children with special needs