How to Obtain Assistive Technology Devices

Assistive Technology in Education

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) educators must consider assistive technology for all students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Family Services Program (IFSP) and provide assistive technology for students who require it.  Parents can request an assistive technology evaluation at any time, and devices are provided at no cost to families whose child qualifies.

By law, the use of a school-purchased AT device can also be used in the student’s home or other setting if the IEP team determines it is necessary to ensure a free and appropriate education (FAPE).





Funding through Insurance or Medical Assistance

If a student does not qualify for AT through the schools, private insurance and/or medical assistance (MA) may pay for a device. Consult your private insurance policy for information on AT coverage. The Department of Human Services has specific criteria that must be met in order to approve funding for assistive technology under medical assistance, including a letter from a doctor explaining that the AT device is medically necessary. There are appeal processes available if an AT device is denied under private insurance or medical assistance.MA is now able to consider the purchse of an iPad as a communication device. Contact your speech therapist for more information.

Funding through Waivered Services

Contact your child’s case manager for specifics on coverage of AT devices through Waivered Services.

Funding and Appeals For Assistive Technology Under Medical Assistance is a fact sheet from the Minnesota Disability Law Center explains in detail the process of funding AT and the appeals process if the request for funding is denied.

Funding through the Family Support Grant Program

The Family Support Grant Program provides cash grants to eligible families for the purchase of services and items, which can include assistive technology, necessary to maintain children with developmental disabilities in the family home. The program services school-age children.

Lending libraries & other resources

Bellows Fund UCP of Minnesota

This Elsie S. Bellows Fund was established in 1995 to provide assistive technology equipment to individuals with disabilities.  Examples of eligible assistive technology might include: wheelchairs, augmentative communication devices, environmental controls, computer equipment, lifts in parent's van or home, and hearing aids.

Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota

Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota lends assistive living medical equipment to anyone in need. They offer wheelchairs, commodes, walkers, crutches and more free of charge in this temporary loan program.  Borrowing medical equipment can be helpful for individuals who:  want to try the equipment before buying it, are waiting for insurance coverage, or are a visitor to the area who may not be able to transport their own equipment.

Minnesota Assistive Technology Loan Network (MATLN)

The Minnesota Assistive Technology Loan Network is a program of United Cerebral Palsy of Minnesota.  MATLN is a loan library containing over 50 augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, and more than 200 total items to meet special communication needs.

Simon Technology Center (PACER Center)

The Library offers Minnesota families and professionals the opportunity to preview educational and disability-specific software and assistive technology devices for children and young adults. There is a fee for this service.

Steps of Hope Support Grants

Through the Steps of Hope Support Grants, the Autism Society of Minnesota provides grants to stimulate creativity, encourage successful programming and expand opportunities for individuals living with autism spectrum disorders for many years to come.

SUPER (Still Useful Product and Equipment Referral) 

The PACER SUPER Service connects people seeking to buy used assistive technology with sellers. Buyers must contact sellers of used equipment directly.  PACER does not provide technical support for products. PACER requests all items for sale are clean and in working condition, but cannot in any way guarantee the quality of the product.