Your Education customers are familiar with the need for assistive technology in their classrooms, but they might not be familiar with the huge variety of funding resources available to get assistive technology solutions in students’ hands. Funds can be leveraged from a variety of sources, dependent on certain criteria, with resources available in both the public and private sectors. The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) provides the following funding examples:
- School systems pay for general special education learning materials as well as technology specified in an Individualized Education Plan.
- Government programs (whether Social Security, Veteran’s benefits, or state Medicaid agencies) pay for certain assistive technology if it is prescribed by a doctor as a necessary medical device.
- Private health insurance pays for certain assistive technology if it is prescribed by a doctor as a necessary medical device or used for rehabilitation.
- Rehabilitation and job training programs, whether funded by government or private agencies, may pay for assistive technology and training to help people get a job.
- Employers may pay for assistive technology that is determined to be a reasonable accommodation, so an employee can perform essential job tasks.
This is just a small selection of the possible funding scenarios that can develop in an assistive technology program, particularly when technological assistance is mandated by a physician or other healthcare provider. Another key point to bear in mind is that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that students are provided with a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). FAPE must align with a mandatory Individualized Education Plan (IEP) which is developed based on the student’s individual needs. The upshot of all these governmental regulations is that students with disabilities must be provided with assistive technology if their IEP demands it.
The ATIA classifies funding resources for assistive technology into the following sub-categories:
- Insurance Options
- Federal and State Programs
- Special Education and the Public Schools
- Advocacy Groups
- State Vocational Rehabilitation Centers
- Veterans Administration
- Fundraising Activity Ideas
- Other Private Pay Options
- Request for Proposals – RFPs
- Additional Funding Resources
Click any of the links above to view the ATIA’s overview of that funding resource, or click here to access their full funding resource guide. The ATIA website is a fantastic resource for resellers looking to break into the rapidly growing assistive technology market. The information provided by ATIA will help position you as the assistive technology expert that your customers rely on when they need to purchase a solution for students with special needs. Be sure to explore the whole website for free market research and webinar recordings that provide an insider’s perspective on the assistive technology industry!