For more ideas on "How to Finance Communication Devices for People with Disabilities," go to our NHU FAQ: Communication page
AAC Funding Help posts information about programs that cover and provide funding for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, also known as speech generating devicesť (SGDs). The website offers SGD or AAC Device Funding Fast Facts finding solutions for funding assistive technology Speech Generating Divces (SGDs) and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices, includes costs, funding rsources and more, as well as funding programs, general resources and how to get funded.
Adaptive Technology Centers and Programs (compiled by NHU), State Assistive Technology Centers offer assistance in technology equipment exchange programs, information about funding resources, training and technical assistance, demonstration programs where you can try a device or low-interest loan opportunities, and the Assistive Technology Loan Program, which will assist you to purchase the device you need.
Centers for Independent Living resource page (compiled by NHU) offer equipment demonstration programs and/or low interest loan opportunities. Find the CIL closest to you and find out more about their funding communication devices programs.
Department of Education If your son or daughter has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), they may be eligible for funding for communication devices through their public school.
Job Accommodation Network Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies if you are seeking employment training and opportunities through your state vocational rehabilitation program, you may be eligible to obtain funding for communication accessories for your computer or adaptive communication devices for your training or work. Search Vocational Rehabilitation program by state at the link above.
Medicaid will pay for the rental and purchase of augmentative communication devices to assist a person who is a Medicaid beneficiary when the person is unable to effectively communicate their needs, especially medical needs. Medicaid will also pay for an Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) evaluation if a physician prescribes it and the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) completing the evaluation works for an agency, practice or hospital that acceps Medicaid or is an active Medicaid provider (for beneficiaries under the age 21). If there is an other insurance (e.g., Medicare, private insurance), Medicaid is the payer of last resort. This means you must request the other insurances, including Medicare, to pay for the device and receive a written explanation of denial (Explanation of Medical Benefits- EOMB) before asking Medicaid.
Medicare will cover certain (through Part B funding) assistive technology (AT) devices such as power wheelchairs and augmentative communication devices. If an adult has coverage by both Medicaid and Medicare, the request for funding must go to Medicare first. If approved, Medicare will pay for 80% of the Medicare approved rate. Medicaid may then cover the rest, up to its allowable rate. If you have specific questions, you can contact Medicare customer service by calling: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). A good reference for Medicare information is AAC-RERC: http://aac-rerc.psu.edu/index.php/pages/show/id/5.
National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center Phone: (919.962.2001)RESNA Catalyst Project is a sponsored project of RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. RESNA operates the Catalyst Project under a new grant from the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Th project is funded to provide technical assistance to the Assistive Technology (AT) Act Grantees to assist them in increasing awareness, access, acquisition, and advocacy to AT devices and services for consumers with disabilities of all ages. The Project works with the 56 Statewide AT Programs, the 57 Protection and Advocacy for AT Programs, and the 39 Alternative Financing Programs. It also works with 19 access to telework financial loan programs. Click on the following link for a list of State Programs Social Security - can obtain technology through the Administration's Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) program, which enables income set-asides to fund work-related goals such as education, vocational training, or assistive technology. Individuals who set aside Supplemental Security Income via PASS may receive additional SSI payments to cover living expenses.Another Social Security incentive program, the Impairment-Related Work Expense (IRWE), enables employees receiving SSI or SSDI to deduct work-related expenses from gross income. This enables the employee to continue receiving benefits if the IRWE amount keeps income below the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Test. This enables individuals to buy assistive devices with their own money. TAPP Focus Center on Assistive Technology - Phone (800.222.7585). Telecommunications Assistance Program (TAP) People who are deaf or hard of hearing may qualify for funds to purchase communications devices such as TTY phones under the Telecommunications Assistance Program (TAP), part of the Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP).
United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC) promotes alternative communication methods for people with severe speech impairments. They try to offer information, tips, insights and tools for novices, experienced professionals, family members and, of course, the many diverse individuals who use This is the national chapter of ISAAC, the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. They are also dedicated to answering the needs of individuals who support the AAC community through therapy, special education or the creation and manufacturing of technology. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Using Mini-Grants to Fund Assistive Technology for Students with Severe Disabilitiesis an article that describes how mini-grants can be developed to help fund augmentative communication devices and computers with adaptive access devices beyond what my be available through the child's IEP. Mini-grant proposals can be written and submitted to businesses and civic groups such as Lions clubs, the Junior League, Rotary International and Kiwanis International. The article describes how to go about writing, submitting a proposal.
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