Accessibility equipment and modification funding:
State and Local Centers for Independent Living Centers for Independent Living (CIL) offer grants and low interest loans to individuals for home accessibility modifications. Furthermore, CILs provide online courses, webinars, peer mentoring, community advocacy programs, to educate local organizations on disability policies and foster community awareness of disability rights.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds urban neighborhood and housing improvements through the Community Development Block Grant Program and State Administered Community Development Block Grants Program. Block grant funds have few restrictions and may be used in support of community accessibility projects of public places and facilities. Additionally, non-profit building renovation grants are available for building modification of non-profit facilities, as well as ACHP Federal Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects Grant for the renovation of historic sites.
The RESNA Catalyst Project provides a database of organizations by state that fund individuals through grants and loans for assistive technologies. The website also provides links to the U.S. Administration for Community Living Department who promotes healthy independent living for aging individuals with disabilities.
Medicare will pay 80% of the cost of lifts prescribed by a doctor, as well as other assistive equipment such as wheelchairs. However, be aware that not all medical suppliers participate in the Medicare program.
A State Office of Vocational Services will offer funding for assistive technologies and modifications that may be deemed crucial for adults with disabilities in order to acquire or maintain employment, or to pursue education or other training programs which lead to employment. There are specific criteria for receipt of these funds. Please visit your local vocational resources website for further information.
The process for acquiring funding is often highly competitive, involving grant writing and strict accounting. Fortunately, Government Grant Information Services has a great outline of the grant writing process from start to finish, as well as many additional resources for grant information and opportunities.
Rebuilding Together is a non-profit organization whose aim is to provide modification and home repair for low-income families and communities with a focus on neighborhood renewal. Though no direct form of financial assistance is offered, Rebuilding Together operates through volunteer efforts to provide construction services to individuals and neighborhoods. Get in touch with your local Rebuilding Together organization to get involved or see what they can do for you.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, through the Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH) and the Special Housing Adaptation Grant (SHA) provide funding to military veterans and service members for the purchase of accessible housing or the modification of a home to be accessible.
Grants.gov is the a large database featuring most federal grants afforded to private organizations, non-profits, state and local agencies and educational institutions in the U.S. The website offers information on eligibility for potential candidates, a glossary of types of assistance available, and a search tool for finding grants by keyword and affiliations.
Other Resources (Sites, Apps, or otherwise useful links):
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is civil rights law prohibiting discrimination due to disability. As such, the ADA defines disability and the meaning of appropriate accommodation to regulate the design of places and systems for accessibility. Additionally, each state institutes its own accessibility policies in conjunction with the ADA. Be sure to get in touch with your local agency regarding any specific questions you may have.
The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) are enforceable standards for design criteria required for accommodations outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These standards are developed by the United States Access Board and are used by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).
The World Health Organization (WHO) website provides information for the global awareness of disability and health concerns. As such, data is available on subjects concerning both the physical and social well being of individuals. Additionally, WHO’s website offers further resources for assistive technologies, community outreach projects, publications, and news updates on health and policy.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement process used to estimate the body fat of an individual. Though the BMI is not completely accurate for individual use, it is an effective tool used in the practice of bariatric medicine and nutrition. A BMI calculator can be found through the National heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Ramps are an option for overcoming architectural barriers and an alternative to wheelchair lifts. The construction and use of ramps are also regulated by the ADA in terms of their appropriate size and placement. Ramp requirements can be found in chapter four, section 405, of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. It is strongly recommended that you consult the building office in your area to be certain all requirements are met before installing a ramp.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) outlines heath concerns and tips when traveling as well as accessible options for any method of travel, i.e., cruises, flights, road trips, etc. Furthermore, the website gives advice for pre-travel planning with a disability. The CDC even provides links to accessible travel companies specializing in accessible cruise liners and airlines.
Accessible Design Theory is a broad concept influencing architecture, engineering, film, audio and a host of other interests. Fortunately, the University of Washington has built a comprehensive database clearly defining the principles of accessible design.
The Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH) website is a great resource for anyone traveling with a disability. SATH offers advice for traveling with autistic family or friends, foreign wheelchair accessibility laws, boarding preparation events for the blind, and much more.
Disability.gov is a nearly exhaustive collection of information pertaining to education, employment, and assistive technologies. The site provides financial planning guides and links to funding sources for healthcare and tuition. Additionally, information is available on civil rights laws, emergency preparation, transportation, and features a continually updating stream of news articles focused on disability laws, unemployment, and healthcare changes.
Disabled Sports USA is a national organization providing adaptive athletic resources for individuals with disabilities and their families. As such, Disabled Sports USA maintains chapter locations across the nation to educate communities and sponsors events year round. Their website provides a calendar of activities, as well as information on how to become involved with their numerous programs and chapter locations.
Other Possible Resources The Institute for Human Centered Design http://humancentereddesign.org/