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Assistive technology is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices with a focus on facilitating communication (sometimes also called Alternative and Augmentative Communication, or AAC). Modern new electronic machines (hi-tech) have become the new way for many individuals to communicate. However, assistive devices do not have to be expensive or electronic, they can be lo-tech (picture cards, communication books, sign, objects), and often the simpler lo-tech option is the better more functional option depending on the client and their disability. Whatever assistive device is used the end goal is to improve communication and independence.
- There are some great resources for people who have had strokes. The best way to start is to ask his physician to request an AAC evaluation. The speech language pathologist (SLP) who works for the facility can do that so that he ends up with the right communication aids and (even more importantly) the support to be successful.
- About AAC.Tools. This website is for individuals who want to learn about AAC. It was created by Heidi Miller and Virginia Ingram, two SLP graduates from the University of Tennessee Health and Science Center, under the tutelage of Dr. Jillian McCarthy.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can be used when an individual has difficulty with spoken communication. More information on AAC can be Specialised AAC services provided by Barnsley AT team. Referral for specialised AAC assessment and provision of specialised communication aids. To purchase and install adaptive equipment for individuals with disabilities who purchase a General Motors vehicle. Hear Now Starkey Hearing Foundation. 6700 Washington Ave. South Eden Prairie, MN 55344 866-354-3254 [email protected] Provides hearing aids for individuals with very limited financial resources and limited family support.
Assistive technology can be a huge facilitator to children with learning difficulties, helping them learn and communicate. Assistive technology can be broken into 2 sub-categories – hi-tech and lo-tech:
Hi-tech generally refers to electronic devices. These tend to be a more expensive option, but encompass powerful machines which can include voice output. Hi-tech options can also include software which includes applications to help with literacy difficulties, sound discrimination and auditory memory. Specialised software can also be added to computer and hi-tech machines to provide voice output and word prediction. To access hi-tech devices some individuals may need scanning options, special switches or an eye-gaze system. More recently, smaller more portable devices such as ipads have become popular options for individuals with learning and communication difficulties. For a fact sheet giving a greater explanation of some of these devices, go to our Download Section.
Lo-tech refers to less technical options such as picture communication cards, communication books or an E-TRAN frame. Although often overlooked because of the obsession with technology, these options can actually be more effective than a hi-tech option for many children. For a fact sheet giving a greater explanation of some of these devices, go to our Download Section.
The important aspect to note when choosing an assistive communication option is that it is crucial that you do a thorough trial of several different options to really find the best fit. The higher tech, most expensive option is not always the best. You have to take account of many variables including portability, functionality and speed of use.
The use of assistive communication devices, both hi-tech and lo-tech, are very much part the icommunicate philosophy. This website is all about communication and a total communication environment. This means we focus on every modality that can be used to facilitate communication. At icommunicate we plan to have a heavy focus on assistive communication and technology.
Using ipads and tablets as communication devices
In recent years ipads and tablet devices have started to contain apps that turn the simple tablet into a dynamic communication device for individuals with speech difficulties caused by disorders such apraxia, stroke, autism, neurological disease etc. This portable device now contains apps that provide voice output, visuals, and pre-recorded words and messages.
For more information about special needs and other communication difficulties, and ideas and strategies to help communication, see our Resources, or for specific fact-sheets with helpful hints about Special Needs go to the Downloads section.
For a wider range of books, click here to see our Bookshop.
Below are some apps that provide assistive communication options (Click on the pics for more information:
Proloquo2Go is a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution for people who have difficulty speaking. Proloquo2Go provides natural sounding Text to Speech voices and a high resolution library of over 14,000 symbols, word prediction, multiuser support, and the ability to fully customize vocabularies for users along a broad continuum of abilities, from beginning symbolic communication to full literacy. The vocabularies are based on language development research, and have been carefully designed and reviewed by Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) with extensive AAC experience. The vocabularies are easily customizable to suit the personal needs and preferences of individual. Proloquo2Go is for anyone who cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on a dedicated AAC device and yet wants a solution that is just as good if not better. SLPs, teachers, and parents recommend it for children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, developmental disabilities, apraxia, ALS, stroke, or traumatic brain injury. Proloquo2Go can be used on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Educational institutions can get a 50% discount on Proloquo2Go if they purchase 20 or more licenses through Apple’s Volume Licensing Program for Education.
TouchChat HD – AAC TouchChat HD – AAC with WordPower
TouchChat HD for iPad is a full-featured communication solution for individuals who have difficulty using their natural voice. TouchChat is designed for individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, ALS, apraxia, stroke, or other conditions that affect a person’s ability to use natural speech.
The TouchChat HD with WordPower series contains vocabularies designed by Nancy Inman. WordPower24 is a word-based vocabulary that allows for easy and intuitive communication. WordPower24 with Phrases incorporates phrases for easier language generation.
Words, phrases and messages are spoken with a built-in voice synthesizer or by playing recorded message. Page sets are linked pages, each of which is divided into a number of buttons. The buttons are programmed to have specific actions. Text generated with TouchChat pages can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or via text message and email. It’s simple too, just generate a message, push on the text and choose a service. Touch send and the message is automatically posted. Text from other applications can be copied to TouchChat so that it can be spoken out loud. Also, text generated in TouchChat can be copied to other applications. The pages, grid layout, buttons, messages, and symbols are fully customizable. Over 10,000 Symbolstix symbols are included for customizing buttons. Use any image or take a photo with the built-in camera. Users can program buttons to play audio files such as music from the media library or video files from the Photo Roll.
Tobii Sono Flex is an easy to use AAC vocabulary app that turns symbols into clear speech. It offers language to nonverbal users who are not yet in full control of literacy. Sono Flex combines the benefits of structure and flexibility, providing a framework for language development, quickly matching individual and situational communication needs.Tobii Sono Flex has been designed to be easy to operate and easy for SLPs, teachers, parents, caregivers or other communication partners to setup and customize. It comes with more than 11,000 SymbolStix® symbols. Use the camera and photo albums of the iPad to create your own symbols.
For other apps, see our ipad / android section.
The information provided in this section is designed to help persons with disabilities, families, advocates, and providers identify sources of funding for the individual with a disability to obtain assistive technology. Programs change over time, so we welcome any new information for this focused funding guide. Anyone having questions about any listings, or wanting to share new or additional funding options for individuals with disabilities to obtain assistive technology, may contact Missouri Assistive Technology at (800) 647-8557.
State and Federal Programs
Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT)
The State of Missouri offers a consumer-responsive, comprehensive assistive technology service delivery system. Missouri Assistive Technology Council offers the following funding and lending programs for Assistive Technology:
Show Me Loans
Missouri’s low-interest loan program is for assistive technology devices, hearing aids, home access modifications and vehicle access. For more information, see the Show Me Loans page on this Missouri Assistive Technology site or by phone, toll-free at (800) 647-8557. You may also send an e-mail to [email protected]
Kids Assistive Technology (KAT)
The KAT Program can provide some funding assistance for assistive technology, minor home access modifications, and vehicle access modifications needed for children who are under 21 years of age and are in families of low and moderate income. For an application or more information, contact Missouri Assistive Technology at (800) 647-8557, or you may send an e-mail to [email protected]
Telecommunication Access Program (TAP)
TAP for Internet
The TAP for Internet program provides adaptive computer equipment and software at no cost to enable a person with a disability access the internet. Items needed by persons with any disability for access such as screen reading software, enlarging software, adapted keyboards, and voice recognition software are examples of the types of items available in the program. For an application or more information, call Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT) at (800) 647-8557 or visit the TAP website.
TAP for Telephone
This TAP for Telephone program provides adaptive phone equipment at no cost for persons with disabilities who have problems using traditional phone equipment. Examples of items available are TTYs, amplified phones, amplified ringers and visual ringers, hands free phones, amplified speech phones, phones with enlarged or Braille numbers on the dial pad, and others. For an application or more information, call Missouri Assistive Technology at (800) 647-8557 (Voice) or (800) 647-8558 (TTY) or visit the TAP website.
Equipment Technology Consortium (ETC)
This is a statewide assistive technology loan program where schools or agencies can check out equipment for a person with a disability for up to six weeks. The program can help a person try out equipment before buying, or for a device to serve as a replacement while their own equipment is in for repairs. Types of equipment available for loan include augmentative communication devices, many types of switches and mounts, environmental controls, hearing devices, home modifications, telecommunications, vision devices, and others. For an agreement application or more information, call Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT) at (800) 647-8557 or visit Equipment Technology Consortium.
Swap ‘n’ Shop
This is a consumer-to-consumer equipment exchange program coordinated by Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT). This program is designed to match up those individuals who are looking for equipment with those who have it for sale or donation. Many agencies get a monthly listing. The current listings are available on this MoAT website under the Swap’n Shop heading. Persons interested in listing equipment may contact MoAT at (800) 647-8557. MoAT handles the statewide recycling efforts. To determine what statewide program is currently funded, visit Swap n Shop.
The Department of Veterans Affairs
The Dept. of VA provides assistance for home modifications and independent living assistance for veterans. They offer 3 grant programs for; accessibility design, home modification or home repair. To find out more about the benefits, contact your local Veterans Service Officer or call (800) 827-1000.
Jefferson Barracks, Spinal Cord Unit Bldg. 52,Veterans, Saint Louis, MO on Jefferson Barracks Dr., St. Louis, MO 63125-4101. Phone number is 314-894-6677. Kansas City, MO location is 4801 Linwood Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64128. Phone number is 816-861-4700.
Mo HealthNet (formerly MO Medicaid) provides coverage for durable medical equipment (DME). Medicaid eligibility is based on certain income guidelines and other factors such as disability. In order to be covered, DME must meet MO HealthNet’s definition of “durable medical equipment”. Some devices typically covered in Missouri include: manual and power wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, augmentative communication devices, hospital beds, orthotics, prosthetics and eyeglasses. Hearing aids for adults are not currently covered in Missouri.
Missouri’s children under 21 can receive broader range of DME devices through MO HealthNet than adults can receive. Children and adolescents aged birth to 21 years are covered for hearing aids. In fact, any device that can be shown to be medically necessary can be provided to children and adolescents through MO HealthNet under federal law.
Items not covered under MO HealthNet can sometimes be obtained through the MO HealthNet Exceptions process. To obtain a device or service through Exceptions, the item has to meet certain criteria such as being needed to keep an individual from moving to a higher level of care such as a nursing home. There is an application form for Exceptions on the MO HealthNet website in the Dept. of Social Services.
If a service is denied, reduced, or terminated, you may ask for a State Fair Hearing (800) 391-2161. If you disagree with the hearing decision you may ask for an appeal. Individuals in some parts of the state will receive their care through MO HealthNet “health plans” or “managed care plans”. Covered services are the same as for those who are not in health plans.
Division of Developmental Disabilities
The Division of Developmental Disabilities offers a waiver for Assistive Technology.Review the waiver guidelines. See more about their waiver services.
Money Follows the Person
Money Follows the Person is a demonstration program in Missouri that helps persons transition out of nursing facilities or habilitation centers back into the community. For more information, you may contact your local center for independent living.
This is a federally funded health insurance program which can help some persons with disabilities fund certain assistive technology devices and services. Persons must be age 65 and older OR must be eligible for monthly Social Security benefits due to disability. In order to be covered, assistive devices must meet Medicare’s definition of “durable medical equipment” (DME). An individual must have Medicare Part B, the supplemental Medicare medical insurance which covers durable medical equipment. Under Part B, an individual must generally meet an annual deductible of $100 and pay co-insurance of at least 20% of the Medicare approved amount for the device. Manual and motorized wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, seat lift mechanisms, augmentative communication devices, oxygen equipment, artificial limbs, braces and ostomy supplies are some of the items covered.
Devices and equipment that have NOT been commonly covered by Medicare include eyeglasses, hearing aids, assistive listening systems, telecommunication devices, environmental control devices, home modifications and vehicle modifications. For more information or to enroll in Medicare, contact you local Social Security Field Office listed in your phone book. The Social Security Administration has a web page where you can type your zip code for their nearest office.
Department of Economic DevelopmentThe Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) offers grants to small Missouri communities to improve local facilities, address critical health and safety concerns, and develop a greater capacity for growth. CDBG offers funds for projects that can range from housing and street repairs and more. This can be used for home modifications. Contact the Department of Economic Development or at (573) 751-3600.
Missouri’s early intervention program for infants and toddlers with disabilities is First Steps. The First Steps Program is mandated under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and is a system of early intervention services for all infants and young children, from birth to age 3 years who have special health care needs. An Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) is developed for each child and his/her family, and includes a description of what services needed by each child/family. Services provided include assistive technology. Information about First Steps, including referring a child to First Steps, may be obtained by calling (866) 583-2392.
Local School Districts
School districts have certain obligations under IDEA to provide assistive technology for children with disabilities when needed to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Each decision must be made on a case-by-case basis based on the educational needs of the student. If the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team determines that he/she needs some type of assistive technology in order to receive FAPE, the child’s IEP must contain a specific statement of such services. A school’s or district’s special education director is a point of contact to address the assistive technology needs of a student with a disability. Office of Special Education contact information.
Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
This agency can fund assistive technology devices and services when needed to assist adults with disabilities to gain or keep employment or to pursue college educations or other training programs that lead to employment. To be eligible for assistance through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program: 1) a person must have a physical or mental disability; 2) the disability must be a substantial impediment in getting or keeping a job; and 3) the person can benefit in terms of employment outcome from Vocational Rehabilitation services. There is no age limit for eligibility. Since gainful employment is the goal, most clients are between the ages of 16 and 65. Medical information must be obtained to document the disability. Financial status of the individual is considered and full or partial funding assistance for assistive technology may be provided on a sliding scale depending on income. Contact your district Vocational Rehabilitation office for more information or (877) 222-8963.
Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind
This department can provide vocational services including assistive technology devices and services for persons with varying degrees of visual impairment. Persons may contact their district office of Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, or contact the State office at (800) 592-6004.
Rural Development (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Here you will find a Home Repair Loans and Grants (Section 504) program that can be used for home access modifications as well as general home repairs. To be eligible for loans, the household must have income below 50% of the county median income and must have an acceptable credit history. To be eligible for a possible grant, the individual must be aged 62 or older and not able to afford a loan. The USDA Rural Development State office is in Columbia. The phone number is: (573) 876-0976 (voice) or (573) 876-9480 (TTY). Or contact Columbia Department of Planning and Development at (573) 874-7239. You can find information about the programs in Missouri here.
Community Action Agencies
The CAA regional agencies are throughout Missouri that work in collaboration with other community agencies to provide services to low-income area residents. Some Community Action Agencies provide funding assistance for minor home access modifications. To see a list of agencies with contact information and the regions covered, you can call the Missouri Association of Community Action Agencies at (573) 634-2969.
Centers for Independent Living (CIL)
Missouri has 22 centers for independent living that provide a variety of advocacy, and other services to help individuals live more independently. Many centers have programs that can provide limited funding for home access modifications as well as some assistive technology (AT). Some also have durable medical equipment (DME) recycling programs to help consumers get low-cost or no-cost DME. Centers can also provide demonstrations of adaptive telephones that are provided through MoAT’s Telecommunication Access Program (TAP). At least eight centers also have AT demonstration centers for individuals to get hands-on guided demos of AT. Specific funding assistance offered varies from center to center. Contact information for the centers in each region of the state can be found at: MOSILC
Missouri AgrAbility Project
This project was created to assist people with disabilities employed in agriculture. The project provides practical education and assistance that promotes independence in agricultural production and rural living. The AgrAbility Project assists people involved in production agriculture who work both on small and large operations. For Project Information, call: (800) 995-8503 or visit the website for Missouri Agrability Project.
National Disability Organization Resources
United Cerebral Palsy
UCP can be reached at their website or by phone at (800) 872-5827.
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation offers several grant programs, some of which is for Assistive Technology. The Assistive Technology Program may help locate, partially fund, or provide full funding for one of a wide range of devices. These allow those with MS to function more independently in their daily lives, as well as more easily participate in recreational, educational, and vocational activities. These include: aids for daily living; communication devices; computer aids; environmental control systems,; home and vehicle modifications; orthotics; seating, positioning, and mobility devices; aids for vision and hearing; cooling aids. Their contact information is 888-673-6287
Multiple Sclerosis Society
MS Society provides resources such as an equipment loan closet and can be reached by phone at (314) 781-9020 St. Louis area or (913) 432-3926.
United Spinal Association - Spinal Cord Resource Center
NSCIA offers educational assistance for individuals that have spinal injuries. They can be reached at spinalcord.org or Toll free (800) 962-9629.
ALS Association – Adaptation & Equipment Program
This program offers the evaluation of equipment needs and home adaptations needs for devises and adaptations. They also have a loan pool of primarily used equipment that can be used if other sources are not available. To find your local ALS chapters visit their website and enter your zip code.
The Travis Roy Foundation
This foundation offers assistance for individuals that are paraplegics or quadriplegics paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury. There must be financial need and be a USA resident. There is no age requirement. A grant application can be obtained on their website and mail the completed application to: Travis Roy Foundation, C/O Hemenway & Barnes, LLP, 60 State St, Boston, MA 02109.
Kelly Brush Foundation
Kelly Brush Foundation is dedicated to making active lifestyles a reality for anyone with paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries. The grant option is specifically for purchase of adaptive sports equipment. You can find out more information on their website about their application deadlines, eligibility details, how to apply and more. Their website is Kellybrushfoundation.org or (802) 846.5298.
The Melvin Weinstein Parkinson's Foundation
The Melvin Weinstein Parkinson's Foundation ('MWPF') is a not-for-profit organization that raises money to purchase medical equipment and health supplies for Parkinson's patients to help with the maintenance of safe and healthier living environments. Contact them by phone at 757-313-9729.
Computers for the Blind
For individuals that are blind or low vision and need assist purchasing a low cost computer, there is a resource based in Texas, called Computers for the Blind. Contact number is 214-340-6328 and email address is [email protected]
Bank of America
Bank of America offers access Loans offers financing for accessible vehicles and access for homes.
Digital Federal Credit Union
Digital Federal Credit Union offers a financing option for accessible autos.
Service Organization Resources
Some national disability organizations have small grant programs or equipment loan programs for persons with disabilities. These kinds of programs vary depending on the local branch of the disability organization and may change frequently, depending on available funds. Organizations associated with particular disabilities should not be overlooked as possible funding resources. Missouri’s Governor’s Council on Disabilities publishes a Directory of Resources for Missourians with Disabilities that includes phone numbers and addresses of various disability organizations. The Governor Council’s phone number is (800) 877-8249. They have a resource directory web page that allows searches by county.
Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Children’s Fund
This a statewide fund that can provide necessary medical equipment that is not covered by other funding sources such as wheelchairs, braces, prosthetic, walkers, or other rehabilitative equipment for disabled children up through 18 years of age. The fund will match dollar-for-dollar the recipient’s contribution up to $500 per request. For more information or an application, contact the Heartland Regional Community Foundation at (816) 271-7200 or by mail at 801 Faraon Street, St. Joseph, MO 64501. Contact: Joyce Weight, Accounting Support or view their website: Missouri Cattlemen's Association Fund
Variety Club, Kids on the Go!
This is a charitable organization that can sometimes provide funding to children with disabilities for assistive devices, services and medical expenses. Both the Kansas City and St. Louis areas have a Variety Club affiliate. The Kansas City Variety Club affiliate can be reached at (913) 558-2309, or by letter at P.O. Box 3446, Shawnee, KS 66203. The St. Louis Affiliate, Variety, The Children’s Charity provides therapeutic bikes to kids with physical disabilities. They be reached by telephone at (314) 720-7700 or by letter at 2200 Westport Plaza Drive, Suite 306, St. Louis 63146.
First Hand Foundation
This First Hand Foundation program is sponsored by the Cerner Corporation out of Kansas City offers a kids grant. This grant provides funding for treatment, medical equipment, Assistive technology devices, vehicle modifications and displacement costs for families during medical care. You can also call (816) 201-1569 to determine eligibility and the application process.
The Caring Program for Children
This is offered by the Blue Shield Blue Cross in Kansas City. This program provides assistance to children 18 years or younger who live in the Blue KC service area. The program helps children when state, federal programs or private insurance does not cover what the child needs. A third party professional such as a social worker, counselor or teacher must submit the request on behalf of the child. Contact the Blue KC Community Relations Department at 816-395-2792.
United Healthcare Children’s Foundation
This program assists with medical services and some types of assistive technology only for children who have private insurance and whom are not covered by Medicaid. United Healthcare Children's Foundation offers qualifying families up to $5,000 annually, per child ($10,000* lifetime max) to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapies, counseling services, surgeries, prescription medications, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids. Visit their website for more information of eligibility guidelines and the application process.
Bridging Apps from Easter Seals out of Texas offers a funding list. Eligibility is specific to disability, location or other. Read through the listing and contact the source directly to determine if funding is available.
The Arya Foundation
Arya Foundation out of Saint Charles. MO accepts applications from parents or legal guardians on behalf of a child who is 18 years of age or younger and lives in St. Louis or the surrounding area. The request must qualify as a valid health care need and be referred by a social worker or case manager. Most awards are for up to $1,000. Here are some examples of what might be covered for the direct use of the child with special needs: Stander, specialized walking aids, portable ramps, specialized seating, electronic communication aids, adaptive toilet seats, specialized beds or mattresses and more. They do not typically cover AT such as: home modifications of any kind, garden adaptations, or software or apps for communication devices. Their contact number is (314) 445-2792.
Children and Adults
NOTE: Due to economic challenges, some of the funding sources might not be able to provide assistant year round. Do clarify up front with the agency if they are accepting applications at the time you place your call.
Midwest Special Needs Trust General Charitable Grants
Midwest Special Needs Trust General Charitable Grants are available for a wide range of needs. Grants up to $1,500 can be provided for durable medical equipment and other purposes and must meet the Trust’s low-income guidelines. An application can be obtained off their website. Contact phone: (573) 256-5055.
Kansas City’s Metro Lutheran Ministries
This program may be able to provide minor home repairs for seniors and wheel chair users that are home owners. This includes minor access modifications. Contact: (816) 931-0027 extension 249. Their website is: http://www.mlmkc.org/
Aac Equipment Sitesaac Resources Llc
Friends of Man
The Friends of Manprimarily offers assistance for individuals and children in Colorado but will consider out of state requests. Families must apply as a referral from a professional or school representative only. Individuals can not apply directly. This charity offers assistance for medicine, prostheses, wheelchairs, eye glasses, dentures, medical equipment, daycare, training and education, hearing aids and more. They no longer assist with accessible vehicles. Their contact information is as follows: Friends of Man, P.O. BOX 937, Littleton, CO 80160-0937, (303) 798-2342.
SLICE is a regional organization for the Springfield area. If you have a spinal cord injury and live near Springfield Missouri, contact them about their services. They offer peer to per support as well as a home modification program such as building ramps. Their priorities are to educate the general public about issues related to spinal cord injuries, and to provide funds and other resources to assist individuals covering the needs and expenses not covered by available resources.
Steelman Family Foundation
The Steelman Family Foundation can help with converted vehicles under 50,000 miles and typically 5 years old or newer. Review their website for details such as eligibility, the application process and their funding priorities. Their phone number is 1-888-222-5113.
MO Better primarily assists the following: Missouri children with physical disabilities/disorders, Missouri adults w/physical disabilities/disorders and Missouri children and adults with permanent physical impairments due accidents or incidents. Applicants may have a diagnosed physical impairment including (but not limited to) the diagnosis in their policy. Eligible Items/Equipment including any piece of equipment that allows an applicant to be active and participate in. Examples are: Assistive Technology Equipment, Communications devices /speech recognition software, evaluation and training costs for adaptive vehicle modifications including wheelchair lifts, driving controls, stair lifts, smart home devices/environmental controls, Speech recognition software, Portable Ramps, lumber/materials/labor costs for minor home modifications including building ramps, widening doors, bathroom modifications, etc.
Mo Better can be reached at 636-387-3109 or visit their website at http://mobetter.org
The Bentley Trust
This program is a grant for people over 60 who live in the Springfield City limits. This trust can provide help with hearing aids, dentures, lift chairs, rent and more. For questions about the Bentley Trust contact Southwest Center for Independent Living at 417-886-1188.
Cuivre River Electric Cooperative offers Operation Round Up Grant
Cuivre River Electric Coop offers grants to their community. One of their grants is for individuals and families designed to meet a variety of needs for eligible applicants. The deadline is the last day of each month except for scholarships. Grant applications are available at Cuivre River Electric Cooperative offices or can be downloaded by selecting one of the links below.
Civic organizations in your county or city may also be a source of funding for assistive technology. Local groups, such as Lions Clubs, Jaycees, Kiwanis, etc., may have charitable giving priorities, but are worth contacting for possible assistance. Many area Chambers of Commerce maintain listings of civic organizations in the community.
Refurbished Computer Programs
This program obtains donations of computers from corporate and other sources and refurbishes them, if needed. The computers then can be provided to persons with disabilities for a low fee. Available computer systems depend on what systems have been donated to the Institute. A letter of necessity written by a case manager, doctor or similar individual on their stationary is required. You must be able to pick up the equipment from their Kansas City office and there is not an option for delivery or shipping. For more information, call the Arts Tech at (816) 461-0201 or write to them at 1522 Holmes St., Kansas City, MO 64108. Visit their website at: http://www.artstech-kc.org/ComputerRedistribution/ComputerRedistribution.html
Aac Equipment Sitesaac Resources Inc
Voluntary Action Center Phone
This program provides recycled computers for residents in Columbia, MO on occasion. Their eligibility changes from time to time so contact them directly if you are a resident of Columbia, MO at (573) 874-2273. To qualify you must: live within Columbia city limits; Have a school aged child living at the address (K – 12) and do not currently have a computer at home.Visit there website at: vacmo.org
Disability Specific Resources
The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) offers a Hearing Aid Distribution Program for low-income Missourians. The program will accept applications from individuals interested in obtaining hearing aids. The application can be found on their website or contact [email protected] to obtain a copy.
Hearing Aid Loaner Bank
This program is operated by the Missouri School for the Deaf. Hearing aids are donated, and then fit by an audiologist for children who have difficulty obtaining hearing aids. The program requires the child have a documented hearing loss, a current copy of an audiogram and their own ear molds. Mo School for the Deaf Program Resource Center provides free hearing aid loans for children to use at school when their family cannot afford to purchase them or while a child's hearing aids are being repaired. Hearing aids are donated by community organizations. The Mo School for the Deaf audiologist fits and programs the hearing aids for each student. For more information, call (573) 592-2543.
Aac Equipment Sitesaac Resources List
This program provides hearing aids for US residents that are of low income and have no other resource to acquire hearing aids. (This is not a matching funds option). Starkey Hearing Foundation offers the Hear Now program that coordinates a national hearing aid bank and accepts hearing aid donations from people all over the country. Hear Now works with local hearing healthcare providers throughout the US who volunteer their time and service to test, fit and follow up on the patient and their adjustment to the hearing aids. The applicant is responsible for finding a provider in his/her area to provide the professional services through the process. There is an application processing fee of $125 per hearing requested. When an application is approved, aids are given to the applicant at no additional cost. The hearing aids provided are Behind the Ear models and are new. Custom hearing aids are not provided by Hear Now. To learn more about the program, or request materials for the program, call Hear Now at 800-328-8602
Gift of Sound
Miracle Ear Foundation, Gift of Sound Program, offers a last resort grant for hearing aids to individuals that cannot afford hearing aids within their guidelines. For example: applicants must have a hearing loss that requires amplification (hearing aids), children who have a mild or greater hearing loss, and adults who have a moderate or greater hearing loss. Applicants must complete an application form and provide a current audiogram. Children 18 years and younger must have medical clearance dated within the last 6 months signed by a physician (MD, ENT). While medical clearance is encouraged for adults, a signed medical waiver is acceptable. There is a non-refundable application fee of $150 for adults the age of 19 or older. Visit their website for more information on eligibility requirements.
Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment is a national charity that can be a funding resource for hearing aids and assistive listening devices for children up to age 20. To receive an application, persons may call (402) 592-7987 or may write to: The HIKE Fund, c/o the International Center for Jobs Daughters, 233 W. 6th Street, Papillion, NE 68047.
This program is an international charity that focuses on helping people find hearing aid resources. Sertoma has numerous clubs in Missouri. To find out if there is a local chapter in your area and to inquire about assistance from Sertoma, contact the International Sponsorships Director at (816) 333-8300 or e-mail Sertoma the email should contact the individual’s contact information, a brief description of need and location of residents. Their website contains a listing of funding resources for hearing related assistive devices.
The Travelers Protective Association of America
This program is scholarship trust for the deaf and near deaf. It is a provided to US residents on a one time nonrecurring fund. Priority is given to those demonstrating the greatest financial need. Applications can be obtained by calling (636) 724-2227 or toll free (877) 872-2638 or visit their website at Travelers Protective Association of America
Help America Hear Program
This program is administered by the Foundation for Sight & Sound. It is a last resort funding option for hearing aids. Eligibility is based on income and no other funding options. There is a nominate fee. Contact the Foundation for Sight & Sound, P.O. Box 1245, Smithtown, NY 11787, By Phone: 631-366-3461.
Missouri Council of the Blind
MCB operates the Adaptive Technology Grants Program that covers both hardware and software based adaptive technology, including upgrades and maintenance agreements, and narrowly covers computer systems as required by or used in conjunction with accompanying adaptive technology, such as screen magnification software, screen reader software, or a scanning system. Purchase of a computer along with or for use with accompanying adaptive technology is only eligible for up to a four hundred dollar matching funds grant. Only new adaptive technology and computers are covered, including adaptive technology upgrades to newer versions; used or previously owned adaptive technology and computers are not covered. An application form and other information can be obtained by calling the Council’s main office at (800) 342-5632 or visit their website at The Adaptive Technology Grants Program.
National Federation for the Blind
NFB offers the NFB Scholarship program for post-secondary bound students. Each year at its national convention in July, the NFB gives scholarships to recognize achievement by blind scholars. They also provide the Free White Cane Program.
American Foundation for the Blind
AFB offers college scholarships and computer lessons for the elderly.
The Wolfner Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is a library service to anyone in the State of Missouri who is unable to use standard print materials due to a visual or physical disability provide audio books with readers - (800) 392-2614 or Toll-free within Missouri.
Radio Reader Services
Free radio receivers are available for those who are blind or print disabled to provide content access to daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, and best-selling books. To find out if reception is available in your area, for western Missouri residents may contact Kansas Audio Reader or (800) 772-8898, or for eastern Missouri residents contact MindsEye. MindsEye’s radio broadcasts reach a 75-mile radius around the south end of St. Louis City. The signal reaches as far west as Hermann, Missouri, as far north as Louisiana, Missouri, as far east as Centralia, Illinois, and as far south as Murphysboro, Illinois. Phone number is 618-394-6444.
Saving Sight (Lion’s Club)
Saving Sight offers a service for eye glass recycling and redistribution. They are located in Columbia, MO. To donate glasses, contact them at: Saving Sight, Attn: Eyeglass Recycling, 404 Portland Street, Columbia, MO 65201. To receive a pair of donated eye glasses you can contact them at 800-753-2265 Visit their website at: Saving Sight
OneSight is a scholarship program for centers that aid in the delivery of eyewear and genuine eye care to global and national eye clinics. http://onesight.org/
Developmental Disabilities Resources
Aac Equipment Sitesaac Resources Management
This program is for persons with developmental disabilities provide or help obtain needed services for Missourians with developmental disabilities. A Regional Center staff person will be assigned to work with individuals and their families. Eligible persons may gain access to a variety of services through the Regional Centers including therapies, family support, and residential services. Case coordinators may be able to assist individuals obtain assistive technology through a home and community-based waiver, program, stipend or other resources. Choices for families prevent or delay out of home placement. The Regional Centers operate under the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Department of Mental Health. If you need more information about eligibility or available services contact one of the Missouri Regional Center offices nearest your residence.
County Developmental Disability Boards
SB40 boards can be a funding resource for assistive technology, depending on the county. Some provide only residential services and sheltered workshops, while others can help fund items such as assistive technology and housing access modifications. For more information, member county boards of the Missouri Association for County Developmental Disability Services.
This agency assists the elderly and individuals with disabilities for minor home repair and access needs around the KC metro area. Visit their website at: HopeBUILDERS or call them at 1 (888) 467-3001
The Safelink program is a program that provides free low minutes cell phone to those that meet the eligibility criteria. You are required to fill out an application and provide the requested supporting documentation. To inquire about the program in your area, and to find out how to apply visit their website or call (866) 902-5756.
CLAIM is a nonprofit group that can help with questions about Medicare. They offer a statewide network of volunteers since 1993. Their services are free of charge and they can help with claim forms, benefit questions and more. You can reach them at (800) 390-3330 or visit their website.
Human Development Corporation
This program offers a weatherization and utility program across the state. They have several locations in various counties handled by the Community Action Agencies. The main contact number is (573) 443-8731.
The HeRo program is a home repair opportunity program. This program provided assistance for funds rehabilitation of the building, accessibility, weatherization and lead risk reduction. Income level requirements vary by county. You must meet the eligibility requirements. Visit their website to get the contact information to see if you meet the eligibility requirements at the home office is based in Kansas City and you can reach them at 1-816- 759-6600 or TTY at 1- 816-759-6839.