We've talked about the Assistive Devices Program before, with regard to eligibility and broad coverage. For such an important program, so little is generally known—which is why we've decided to delve into the specifics a little more. You can never have enough resources!
Remember that the Assistive Devices Program is a program designed to help people with long-term disabilities get the products, supplies, and devices they need to improve their day-to-day lives. The important question, however, is what does it cover? We know it will cover some products, like wheelchairs for every day use, and will help people who need hearing aids, but it also covers over 8,000 different devices for varying conditions and illnesses. Though you can access the full list here, let's talk about some of the specifics.
Communication, Visual, and Hearing Devices
For many, being unable to speak, see, or hear properly without the help of equipment is an every day concern. Worse still, it can be an expensive every day concern, as some of the equipment is costly and difficult to find. Communication is such a fundamental part of life, and it shouldn't be one that we miss out on simply because of a lack of funds. That's why the Assistive Devices Program covers a wide variety of devices to provide support to those in need.
For people with speaking impairments or other illnesses that can impede communication, they cover electrolarynges, communication boards, teletypewriters, and voice amplifiers, as well as voice prostheses and writing aids. Most of the time, they will help to cover the cost of mounting systems for communication aids as well, for those that require hands-free or mounted products.
When it comes to hearing devices, bone anchored hearing aid replacement sound processors, cochlear implant replacement speech processors, hearing aids, and personal FM systems fall under the eligibility for funding, which is great news for those who need them.
There's a wide variety of visual aids available as well, including audiobook playback machines, braillers, specialized computer hardware and software, enlarged optical systems (CCTVs), and optical character recognition (OCR). Also eligible are magnifiers, telescopes, binoculars, and other devices that make it easier to see for those with vision impairments, as well as specialized glasses and contact lenses, low-vision and field enhancement aids, and of course, standard orientation and mobility canes.
Pressure Modification, Orthotics and Prosthesis
There is a wide range of pressure modification devices on the market, namely for concerns like lymphedema and hypertrophic scar management, but no matter how necessary they are, they're also very expensive. Luckily, the Assistive Devices Program covers compression garments and sleeves, pressure garments, and sequential extremity pumps for those with specific conditions and needs. They will also help to fund custom standers and standing frames, custom made braces for arms, legs, and spines, pediatric parapodiums, and reciprocating gait orthoses.
For those who need prosthetic devices, don't worry! Almost all conventional, electric, myoelectric, ocular and maxillofacial prosthetics are covered as well, meaning you don’t have to worry about body-powered legs and arms, silicon breast prostheses, palatal lifts, obturators, mandibular extensions, artificial noses, ears, and eyes.
Wheelchairs, Mobility and Positioning Aids
Of all the equipment on the list, wheelchairs and mobility devices can often be more expensive than others. That's when the Assistive Devices Program becomes an incredibly valuable tool. Not only does it cover manual wheelchairs, but power wheelchairs and electric scooters as well. It also encompasses power add-ons for manual wheelchairs, cushions, back and head support, power tilt and recline devices, and more to ensure you get the most out of your mobility device. It also includes forearm crutches, wheeled walkers, and specialized pediatric walkers.
If you're eligible, it's a good idea to take advantage of this program to help make your day-to-day life a little easier.