Finding the Money
Assistive technology offers people with disabilities
the promise of increased independence and an enhanced quality of
life. This isn't news. Nor is it news that access to technology
has been a problem.
A lack of information about assistive technology
is a major impediment to access. (The Infinitec Inc. Web site is
an attemptone of manyto help solve that problem.) Another
major obstacle is money. Assistive technology devices can be very
simpleas simple as a modified drawer pullor very sophisticatedsuch
as a programmable communication device. Whether a device or piece
of equipment is purchased as-is, custom-made, or modified, as it
increases in sophistication, its cost goes up. Often, the cost of
a much-needed device or piece of equipment is far beyond a family's
or individual's ability to pay.
Limitations on personal financial resources should
not prohibit a person with a disability from developing his or her
full potential to live as independently as possible in a community
setting, get an appropriate, free education in the least restrictive
setting, and hold a productive job. In the U.S., those are rights
supported by law.
As a person with a disability, or as the parent,
teacher, therapist, etc. of a person with a disability, you must
become familiar with these rights under the law and then learn how
those rights dovetail with the various assistive technology funding
options which are available.
It can be done. You can do it.