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Assistive Technology Funding From A to Z: Considering Your Options [Event Title] [Event Location] [Date] Authors: Mel Grant, AT Advocate, SCRS, Martin.

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Presentation on theme: "Assistive Technology Funding From A to Z: Considering Your Options [Event Title] [Event Location] [Date] Authors: Mel Grant, AT Advocate, SCRS, Martin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assistive Technology Funding From A to Z: Considering Your Options [Event Title] [Event Location] [Date] Authors: Mel Grant, AT Advocate, SCRS, Martin Sweeney, AT Network Presenter: [presenter] $ $ $ $ $ $

2 Please Note: The following presentation provides a general overview of Assistive Technology funding sources in the state of California. The goal of the presentation is to provide a conceptual framework for identifying and understanding available AT funding resources. The information contained in this presentation provides a general overview. The application and impact of laws governing the funding of assistive technology can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be omissions or inaccuracies in information contained in this presentation. Accordingly, the information is provided with the understanding that the AT Network is not herein engaged in rendering legal advice. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with legal or other competent advisers. © 2007 – AT Network - All rights reserved AT Network materials may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes provided their source is identified.

3 This training is provided by the AT Network and the Alliance for Technology Access in partnership with the Department of Rehabilitation and Californias Independent Living Centers. Thanks to Protection & Advocacy whose online publications provided the source material for this training presentation. © 2007 – AT Network - All rights reserved AT Network materials may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes provided their source is identified.

4 The AT Network is dedicated to expanding the accessibility of tools, resources and technology that will help increase independence, improve personal productivity and enhance the quality of life for all Californians. © 2007 – AT Network - All rights reserved AT Network materials may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes provided their source is identified.

5 5 Who Funds AT? Has this ever happened to you?

6 6 Lets (try to) Keep It Simple… Identify the AT need Identify the funding source Review the funding criteria and appeal process Consider your options

7 7 Identify the AT Need Assistive technology (AT) is any equipment that helps overcome the effects of a disability. Samples include: Wheelchairs Aids to Daily Living Braille Writers Hearing Aids Specialized software and hardware Computer and workstation modifications And much, much more from low- to high-tech equipment and devices

8 8 Is it an educational need? Special Education: IDEA AT is any item, piece of equipment, or product or system, whether bought off the shelf, changed or custom built, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. AT Service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device, including: Assessments Selecting & modifying equipment Repair Training

9 9 Is it a post-secondary educational need? Higher Education Any device that helps you overcome the effects of a disability but does not include prescribed devices such as medical equipment. The law does not use the term assistive technology or accommodation. Instead, it uses terms such as auxiliary aids for providing effective communication, or a reasonable modification of the schools policies, practices and procedures to avoid discrimination.

10 10 Is it a medical need? Health Insurance: Durable Medical Equipment (DME), prosthetic devices, or equipment associated with physical, occupational or speech therapy Equipment prescribed by your doctor to meet medical equipment needs. Health benefit plans will only buy AT and services that are medically necessary. Most plans do not list specific devices or equipment as plan benefits, but instead give a definition with some examples.

11 11 Is it a vocational need? Department of Rehabilitation: Services include any service or equipment that you need to achieve your employment goals. Benefits include: Rehabilitation technology services; Vocational and training services; Physical and mental restoration services; Occupational equipment and tools; Alternative modes of communication; Transportation services; and Other goods and devices you need, including architectural barrier removal.

12 12 Is it a need for accommodation in employment? Employers: Employers are required to make changes and adjustments so that you can enjoy equal opportunities in all aspects of employment. These changes and adjustments are called reasonable accommodations. The law governing private employers does not use the term assistive technology. Instead, it uses terms such as auxiliary aids for effective communication and reasonable modification to policies, practices, and procedures.

13 13 Is it an AT need related to a developmental disability? Regional Centers provide assessment and case management for people with developmental disabilities. Assistive technology is part of the services and supports offered by Regional Centers that can help in social, personal, physical, or economic habilitation or rehabilitation. The Lanterman Act calls assistive technology adaptive equipment and supplies and transportation services.

14 14 Does the AT need fall into another category ? Social Security Program: Social Security does not directly buy or provide assistive technology. However, Social Security has work incentive programs that allow you to work and limit the impact your earnings will have on your SSDI or SSI benefits: Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE) Blind Work Expenses (BWE). Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) program allows you to shelter any income to use to prepare for work or pay for equipment and other needs while you work.

15 15 Does the AT need fall into another category ? Veterans Administration If you are a veteran with a service-connected disability, you may be able to get assistive technology devices and services through the Veterans Administration (VA). VA Programs that provide assistive technology include: Vocational rehabilitation and education programs; Prosthetics and other medical supplies; Grants for automobiles and automobile adaptations; and Loans and grants for adapted homes and adaptations to existing homes.

16 16 Identifying AT Funding Sources $ PublicPrivateCommunity

17 17 Private Funding Sources $ PublicPrivateCommunity

18 18 AT & Private Funding Private Funding Health Insurance Most private health plans do not require coverage of DME. Education If a family chooses a private school, the public school district does not have to provide AT. Employment Businesses must make reasonable accommodations to insure equal opportunities in employment.

19 19 Private Funding Only limitation is price… and the terms of your policy.

20 20 Private Funding Eligibility: The terms of your policy will determine whether a private health benefit plan is required to buy assistive technology for its beneficiaries. Private plans typically do not require coverage of durable medical equipment or prosthetic devices. Most plans do not list specific devices or equipment as plan benefits, but instead give a definition with some examples. Some plans give examples of what is not covered.

21 21 Private Funding Coverage: Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California law say that a health benefit plan may not, solely because of a physical or mental impairment: –Refuse to insure, or refuse to continue to insure; –Limit the amount, extent, or kind of coverage available; or –Charge a different rate for the same coverage.


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