Assistive technology (AT) may be funded and purchased in many different ways:
- Medical Health Insurance: If the equipment is considered Durable Medical Equipment (DME) with a HCPCS code and medically necessary, it is likely covered by your medical insurance. Examples include Speech Generating Devices (SGDs), iPads packaged as SGDs, and wheelchairs. Please work with your doctor and healthcare team on how to submit and call your insurance company to find out if the coded equipment is covered. You may have a co-pay and/or deductible for this equipment. Feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions about this process or talk with your healthcare team.
- County Funds – Developmental Disabilities (DD): For people with developmental disabilities, the Oregon Department of Human Services offers supports and services (including AT) through county Community Developmental Disability Programs. To find out if you are eligible for services, please contact your County Community Developmental Disability Program (CDDP) office. Once enrolled, you may qualify for AT supports. Certain criteria and limits apply.
- State Funds – Vocational Rehabilitation (VR): For people with disabilities who would like assistance in getting and keeping a job, Oregon Department of Human Services offers support (including AT) and services through county Vocational Rehabilitation offices around the state. If eligible, you will be assigned a VR Counselor who can help you navigate any AT equipment needs.
- State Funds – Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB): Oregon residents who are blind or visually impaired may qualify for supports (including AT) and services through the Oregon Commission for the Blind. OCB helps people work and live independently and helps youth transition from school to work or college.
- State Funds- Telephone: The Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP) is a program that loans specialized communications equipment at no cost and with no income guidelines to eligible Oregon residents who have a disability in hearing, vision, speech, mobility, or cognition. Examples of these devices include corded or cordless amplified phones, captioned phones, big button phones, speakerphones, electrolarynxes, cell phones, tablets, speech-generating devices (SGDs), and more.
- School District, ESD, or Regional Funds: Every child in the country is entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education. Sometimes for students with disabilities, AT is needed to access their education. In general, schools must provide and pay for AT for students who need it. This is true under both IDEA and Section 504. These are two laws that cover students with disabilities. In Oregon: the School District, Education Service District (ESD), or Regional Program may provide the equipment. Please contact your child’s IEP team or 504 coordinator for more information or call the AT Lab or FACT Oregon if you have more questions about your rights.
- Charity Grants for Children: There are several charity grants throughout Oregon and the Pacific NW that provide funding for AT if it is not covered by your medical insurance, school, county, or state funding. Please see the charts below to compare. We have done our best to compile this information but please verify on each organization’s website. Info could change over time. Feel free to Contact Us if you have other grants to suggest!
- Low-interest Loans: Please visit the NW Access Fund to find out about low-interest loans for AT, as well as adapted vehicles and home modifications.