Grants for assistive technology for the blind support funding programs for buying assistive devices that help improve the life of an individual with a visual impairment.
According to the World Health Organization, in many middle-income and low-income countries, only 5-20% of people who need assistive technologies and devices have access to them. In the United States, a person who requires an assistive device can receive government funding for 75% of the costs of buying such devices, and even more if they are on some sort of social assistance.
Grants for Assistive Technology for the Blind – How Assistive Technologies Extend Your Abilities?
Assistive technology items are designed specifically to help individuals with vision loss or other disabilities. The items include braille watches and braille printers to screen readers for blind individuals, screen magnifiers, and video magnifiers for low-vision computer users to other devices for reading and writing with low vision.
The potential benefits of augmentation with technology amplify the abilities and experiences of the blind. The production of innovative assistive devices is based on the concept of universal design. The results can help anyone who can benefit from the affordances of the new assistive technology.
Assistive technologies for the blind are based on the abilities, limitations, and aspirations of an individual. With the strategic additions of the appropriate technology, it becomes remarkably easy to achieve the goals. However, it makes this technology expensive. Therefore, to support the purchase of these devices, grants for assistive technology for the blind are available.
Grants for Assistive Technology for the Blind – Ways to Fund Assistive Technology Purchases
Assistive technology can change the lives of people suffering from disabilities. However, these adaptive devices can cost thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there are grants for assistive technology for the blind that help with purchasing the solutions you need without paying the full price.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Special Education Programs
Students can get most assistive technology solutions through federally mandated programs such as Vocational Rehabilitation and Special Education. Schools receive these adaptive products as part of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or can get them through the Rehabilitation Act provisions.
Vocational Rehabilitation is a program designed towards self-sufficiency, where disabled students get help not only for paying the college but also to secure the adaptive devices and solutions they need to complete their coursework.
After college, Transition Programs are available to assist students with job placement and training, sometimes including assistive devices in an Individualized Transition Plan. For more information, contact your state’s Parent Training and Information Center (PTI).
Assistive Technology Fund (ATF)
The Association of Blind Citizens (ACB) runs the Assistive Technology Fund (ATF) to support blind and visually impaired people access technology. Grants cover half the price of accessible software or equipment.
Applicants must be legally blind, and the U.S. residents with annual household income below $50,000 and cash assets under $20,000. The application details and forms are available on the website. Visit https://www.blindcitizens.org/.
Alternative Financing Technical Assistance Project (AFTAP)
In the United States, funding to purchase assistive devices varies from state to state. The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) helps states offer low-interest loans under the Alternative Financing Technical Assistance Project (AFTAP).
The RESNA maintains a list of contacts for the financing of assistive devices in each state and territory.
Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program Technology & Evaluation Center (CAPTEC)
The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program Technology & Evaluation Center (CAPTEC) is the U.S. government support for the employees with a disability to purchase assistive devices. It is a facility dedicated to helping federal employees with disabilities find the best assistive technology (AT) solutions. For more information, visit https://cap.mil/Customers/CAPTEC.aspx.
National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP)
The NDBEDP is a pilot program for assistive devices. The idea is to provide people with combined hearing and vision loss access to modern telecommunication tools. The necessary training is also given so that they can communicate, interact, use the internet and contribute to their community.
The program provides outreach, assessments, telecommunications technology, and training free of charge to those who meet federal eligibility guidelines. For more information, visit https://www.fcc.gov/general/national-deaf-blind-equipment-distribution-program.
Technology is wonderful; however, if it is unaffordable for many people because of costs, its impact may be limited. Access to assistive devices is not a luxury, but a right! Grants for assistive technology for the blind help needy citizens to meet funding to purchase assistive devices. There are various programs that offer funding support for the latest assistive technology. Check them out!