A question about this thread, financing assistive equipment

Walter Ramage

Hi. I've not been following this thread so don't know what has already been
discussed. The question is regarding the pricing of the type of equipment
in question.

I live in the UK and there are two ways we get help with funding equipment,
maybe even 3. Firstly, All equipment that has been adapted or designed for
the disabled (in this case, the blind) is exempt from any sales tax and that
can be a large saving on larger, more expensive items. The second way is
for those in employment. The UK government has a scheme called "Access To
Work" and this scheme will fund whatever equipment a person needs to enable
them to do the job they are employed to do. Some people have been provided
grants for equipment costing £20,000, £30,000 and more. This scheme also
and in addition will provide personal assistants to help you do your job and
also will fund taxis to get you to and from work. Often the equipment
bought under this scheme becomes yours to keep. I think you are supposed to
return it if and when you leave employment but I've never heard of anybody
either giving it back or being asked to do so. The third way is to apply to
charities for grants. A few years ago I needed a trekker maestro to do some
volunteering work. I applied to two different charities and between the two
charities I got the money so I could by the Trekker. While I was writing
this I just thought of another scheme over here that helps us with getting
equipment. In the UK the disabled benefits we get are broken into 2
components; a care component and a mobility component. The UK government
has a scheme called Motability. This means if an individual chooses then
they can lose half of the mobility component and in exchange they are given
a car for their personal use. Of course a blind person can't drive but
family or friends can drive for you. The car is not adapted in any way
unless the individual needs such adaption's and these adaption's are also
provided. The cars are regular cars that you will find at any dealer.
These cars are provided without any extra cost, they are maintained and
insured as part of the scheme. The only thing one has to do is buy the
fuel, everything else is free of charge. You can if you wish pay some extra
and you can get a top of the range vehicle. I'm not sure of the charges but
it is something in the range of say £2000, or £3000 and you can get a top of
the range range rover. After 2 or three years, the car is returned and if
you have looked after it, you get some cash back which you can put towards
another brand new car of your choice. If you are happy though with a family
sized car then you need pay nothing up front. My question is; Does the
state authorities or the Federal Government in the United States , or any
other country have any similar schemes to help you purchase tech equipment
that is needed by you? Walter.

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