Many individuals with neuromuscular disease require medical equipment. Items such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, scooters, walkers, canes, and assistive communication devices can improve one’s health, quality of life, and ability to remain as independent as possible. The cost of equipment can be prohibitive, however, and medical insurance does not always provide good coverage.
Fortunately, there are programs available to assist individuals in obtaining the needed equipment. Below, you will find a partial list to help you to begin to locate resources, with the web addresses listed under ‘Resources.’
The Independent Living Research Utilization (IRLU) website provides a worldwide listing of Centers for Independent Living. Use their online listing to find a local office near you. Many of these offices can assist individuals in finding programs for obtaining assistance with their equipment needs, along with information about many other types of home and community based resources.
The Technical Assistance Project helps people in the U.S. with disability to obtain funding for assistive technology. Some of the state offices also have lending programs. You can find a state-by-state listing of offices, maintained by the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs, at the web address listed under ‘Resources.’
In the U.S., the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s national equipment program will provide ‘gently used’ equipment to individuals. The MDA may also be able to assist with repair or modification of equipment. Referral can be obtained through a physician at one of the MDA clinics. Use the ‘local office locator’ to find an MDA office near you or call (800) 572-1717.. Local MDA offices will also accept donations of equipment.
Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs, (n.d.). State AT Programs. Retrieved from http://www.ataporg.org/states_listing.html on 8/2/13.
Independent Living Research Utilization, (2013). ILRU Directory of Centers & SILCs –2013 (Vol. 35). Retrieved from http://www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html on 8/2/13.
MDA, (n.d.). Equipment Assistance. Retrieved from http://mda.org/services/equipment-assistance on 8/2/13.
MDA, (n.d.). ZIP Code Locator. Retrieved from http://mda.org/locate on 8/2/13.