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Obtaining Grants for Assistive Technology

written by: Rose Kivi • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 2/8/2012

Assistive technology for special needs children to function efficiently in the standard classroom is expensive. Schools often do not have the necessary assistive technology for special needs students nor have the funding to acquire it. Grants are an excellent resource for obtaining assistive technology for the special needs student. How do you obtain grants for assistive technology?

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    Assistive technology enables special needs students to function more efficiently in the standard classroom setting. Assistive technology devices are expensive and often parents of special needs children cannot afford to purchase them. Schools may not have assistive technology available for a student nor have funding to purchase it. Schools may not deem certain assistive technology necessary, contrary to the parent’s opinion.

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    Grants

    Grants can be an excellent way to obtain assistive technology for students. Insurance companies, community service organizations, foundations, government agencies and assistive technology suppliers offer grants. Talk to assistive technology suppliers, rehabilitation centers, doctors and school administrators to find information on agencies that offer grants in your area. Many times, churches will assist parents in acquiring assistive technology for their children. So don’t overlook churches as a source for funding.

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    Community Organizations

    Local community service organizations and churches can be an ideal source of funding due to the fact that they often have lenient requirements of how money is donated. A lot of them review every case individually. They also tend to be a quicker source of funding because there is not a lot of red tape to go through.

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    Parental Support For Grant Funding

    A parent’s involvement greatly increases the chances of success for a student receiving the assistive technology that they need to function in the classroom. The first thing a parent should do is determine the assistive technology that is most appropriate for their child. Talking with school administrators, teachers, doctors, assistive technology suppliers and rehabilitation centers is a great way to get the information you need on the newest assistive technology available.

    Once you have determined the most suitable assistive technology for your child, it is time to make a grant proposal. On your proposal you want to explain your child’s disability and list the assistive technology that will help your child successfully function in the classroom and possibly at home as well. Describe specifically how the assistive technology will help your child. Include the pricing information of the assistive technology.

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    Don't Give Up!

    Persistence is the key to success when it comes to helping your child acquire the resources that they need. If one agency turns you down, apply with another. Keep applying until you receive a grant for your child.

    Communication is another key factor that helps lead to success in funding. Talk to as many people in the medical and education community as you can to obtain valuable information that will assist you in obtaining information on assistive technology and organizations that offer grants.