Accessing Funding Sources for Equipment

  • Situation

    How can I find funding sources for the special equipment that my son needs?

  • Summary

     A good place to start is with your Lead Education Agency (LEA). IDEA 2004 requires IEP teams to consider the assistive technology needs of all children with disabilities. (20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(3)(B)(v))The IEP team makes decisions about assistive technology devices and services based on your child’s unique needs so that he can be more confident and independent. The law requires schools to use assistive technology devices and services “to maximize accessibility for children with disabilities.” (20 U.S.C. 1400(c)(5)(H)). If the IEP team determines that your child needs assistive technology devices and services, the school district is responsible for providing these.


    The next place to look is through your private insurance and/or medical assistance/social security benefits if applicable. Many states offer family support grants or cash subsidies to offset expenses. Depending, on the state you live in and after establishing eligibility for assistance, monthly cash benefits of other grants may be available for specific needs. Try contacting your State Office of Developmental Disabilities.


    After exhausting those resources you might want to explore what your local community agencies might offer in terms of equipment loans, rentals, etc. Many church, civic associations, and Shriner’s  have grant programs that assist individuals in obtaining either equipment or the resources to obtain equipment.


    Also, when it comes to specialized equipment, often the companies selling/renting the equipment are knowledgeable about grants or other funding streams available to assist in acquiring needed equipment.


    Others have explored more contemporary measures of obtaining resources through web fund raising sites such as

  • Definition

    Funding sources can be accessed through a variety of means. See summary (above) for suggestions and related resources (below) for links to aid in researching potential funding for specialized equipment.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 0-2, 3-5, 6-10, 11-13, 14-17
    • Planning Effort: Moderate
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Pre-requisites

    Library and or Internet Access

  • Process

    1. See summary above and related resources listed below.   Each paragraph in the Summary explains the following:

    2. Start with your Lead Education Agency

    3. Look through your private insurance/medical assistance/social security benefits.  Contact your State Office of Developmental Disabilities

    4. Explore your local community agencies

    5. Contact companies selling/renting the equipment regarding funding streams



  • Documents and Related Resources Website that includes a comprehensive state by state list of resources including advocacy, financial and legal resources.


    National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities Website that includes information and links to each states Council on Developmental Disabilities and resources within.


    Autism NOW Center/ Website that includes a partial list of states that continue to have Support Grants and Cash Subsidies identified.


    Go Fund Me  World’s #1 fundraising site for personal causes and life-events.


    Shriners International Website that has a search engine to locate a Shriner organization close to you. Shriners are committed to family, engaged in ongoing personal growth and dedicated to providing care for children and families in need.


    If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.