State and Federal Programs
Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT)
The State of Missouri offers a consumer-responsive, comprehensive assistive technology service delivery system. Missouri Assistive Technology Council offers the following funding and lending programs for Assistive Technology:
Show Me Loans
Missouri’s low-interest loan program is for assistive technology devices, hearing aids, home access modifications and vehicle access. For more information, see the Show Me Loans page on this Missouri Assistive Technology site or by phone, toll-free at (800) 647-8557. You may also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kids Assistive Technology (KAT)
This is a program that can provide some funding assistance for assistive technology, minor home access modifications, and vehicle access modifications needed for children who are under 21 years of age and are in families of low and moderate income. For an application or more information, contact Missouri Assistive Technology at (800) 647-8557, or you may send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Telecommunication Access Program (TAP)
TAP for Internet
The TAP for Internet program provides adaptive computer equipment and software at no cost to enable a person with a disability access the internet. Items needed by persons with any disability for access such as screen reading software, enlarging software, adapted keyboards, and voice recognition software are examples of the types of items available in the program. For an application or more information, call Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT) at (800) 647-8557 or see this MoAT website.
TAP for Telephone
This TAP for Telephone program provides adaptive phone equipment at no cost for persons with disabilities who have problems using traditional phone equipment. Examples of items available are TTYs, amplified phones, amplified ringers and visual ringers, hands free phones, amplified speech phones, phones with enlarged or Braille numbers on the dial pad, and others. For an application or more information, call Missouri Assistive Technology at (800) 647-8557 (Voice) or (800) 647-8558 (TTY) or see this MoAT website.
Equipment Technology Consortium (ETC)
This is a statewide assistive technology loan program where schools or agencies can check out equipment for a person with a disability for up to six weeks. The program can help a person try out equipment before buying, or for a device to serve as a replacement while their own equipment is in for repairs. Types of equipment available for loan include augmentative communication devices, many types of switches and mounts, environmental controls, hearing devices, home modifications, telecommunications, vision devices, and others. For an agreement application or more information, call Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT) at (800) 647-8557 or visit Equipment Technology Consortium.
Swap ‘n’ Shop
This is a consumer-to-consumer equipment exchange program coordinated by Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT). This program is designed to match up those individuals who are looking for equipment with those who have it for sale or donation. Many agencies get a monthly listing. The current listings are available on this MoAT website under the Swap’n Shop heading. Persons interested in listing equipment may contact MoAT at (800) 647-8557. MoAT handles the statewide recycling efforts. To determine what statewide program is currently funded, visitSwap n Shop.
The Department of Veterans Affairs
The Dept. of VA provides assistance for home modifications and independent living assistance for veterans. They offer 3 grant programs for; accessibility design, home modification or home repair. To find out more about the benefits, contact your local Veterans Service Officer or call (800) 827-1000.
Jefferson Barracks, Spinal Cord Unit Bldg. 52,Veterans, Saint Louis, MO on Jefferson Barracks Dr., St. Louis, MO 63125-4101. Phone number is 314-894-6677. Kansas City, MO location is 4801 Linwood Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64128. Phone number is 816-861-4700.
Mo HealthNet (formerly MO Medicaid) provides coverage for durable medical equipment (DME). Medicaid eligibility is based on certain income guidelines and other factors such as disability. In order to be covered, DME must meet MO HealthNet’s definition of “durable medical equipment”. Some devices typically covered in Missouri include: manual and power wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, augmentative communication devices, hospital beds, orthotics, prosthetics and eyeglasses. Hearing aids for adults are not currently covered in Missouri.
Missouri’s children under 21 can receive broader range of DME devices through MO HealthNet than adults can receive. Children and adolescents aged birth to 21 years are covered for hearing aids. In fact, any device that can be shown to be medically necessary can be provided to children and adolescents through MO HealthNet under federal law.
Items not covered under MO HealthNet can sometimes be obtained through the MO HealthNet Exceptions process. To obtain a device or service through Exceptions, the item has to meet certain criteria such as being needed to keep an individual from moving to a higher level of care such as a nursing home. There is an application form for Exceptions on the MO HealthNet website in the Dept. of Social Services.
If a service is denied, reduced, or terminated, you may ask for a State Fair Hearing (800) 391-2161. If you disagree with the hearing decision you may ask for an appeal. Individuals in some parts of the state will receive their care through MO HealthNet “health plans” or “managed care plans”. Covered services are the same as for those who are not in health plans.
The Division of Developmental Disabilities offers a waiver for Assistive Technology. Review the waiver guidelines.
Money Follows the Person
Money Follows the Person is a demonstration program in Missouri that helps persons transition out of nursing facilities or habilitation centers back into the community. For more information, you may contact your local center for independent living.
This is a federally funded health insurance program which can help some persons with disabilities fund certain assistive technology devices and services. Persons must be age 65 and older OR must be eligible for monthly Social Security benefits due to disability. In order to be covered, assistive devices must meet Medicare’s definition of “durable medical equipment” (DME). An individual must have Medicare Part B, the supplemental Medicare medical insurance which covers durable medical equipment. Under Part B, an individual must generally meet an annual deductible of $100 and pay co-insurance of at least 20% of the Medicare approved amount for the device. Manual and motorized wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, seat lift mechanisms, augmentative communication devices, oxygen equipment, artificial limbs, braces and ostomy supplies are some of the items covered.
Devices and equipment that have NOT been commonly covered by Medicare include eyeglasses, hearing aids, assistive listening systems, telecommunication devices, environmental control devices, home modifications and vehicle modifications. For more information or to enroll in Medicare, contact you local Social Security Field Office listed in your phone book. The Social Security Administration has a web page where you can type your zip code for their nearest office.
Department of Economic Development
The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) offers grants to small Missouri communities to improve local facilities, address critical health and safety concerns, and develop a greater capacity for growth. CDBG offers funds for projects that can range from housing and street repairs and more. This can be used for home modifications. Contact the Department of Economic Development or at (573) 751-3600.
Missouri’s early intervention program for infants and toddlers with disabilities is First Steps. The First Steps Program is mandated under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and is a system of early intervention services for all infants and young children, from birth to age 3 years who have special health care needs. An Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) is developed for each child and his/her family, and includes a description of what services needed by each child/family. Services provided include assistive technology. Information about First Steps, including referring a child to First Steps, may be obtained by calling (866) 583-2392.
Local School Districts
School districts have certain obligations under IDEA to provide assistive technology for children with disabilities when needed to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Each decision must be made on a case-by-case basis based on the educational needs of the student. If the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team determines that he/she needs some type of assistive technology in order to receive FAPE, the child’s IEP must contain a specific statement of such services. A school’s or district’s special education director is a point of contact to address the assistive technology needs of a student with a disability. Office of Special Education contact information.
Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
This agency can fund assistive technology devices and services when needed to assist adults with disabilities to gain or keep employment or to pursue college educations or other training programs that lead to employment. To be eligible for assistance through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program: 1) a person must have a physical or mental disability; 2) the disability must be a substantial impediment in getting or keeping a job; and 3) the person can benefit in terms of employment outcome from Vocational Rehabilitation services. There is no age limit for eligibility. Since gainful employment is the goal, most clients are between the ages of 16 and 65. Medical information must be obtained to document the disability. Financial status of the individual is considered and full or partial funding assistance for assistive technology may be provided on a sliding scale depending on income. Contact your district Vocational Rehabilitation office for more information or (877) 222-8963.
Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind
This department can provide vocational services including assistive technology devices and services for persons with varying degrees of visual impairment. Persons may contact their district office of Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, or contact the State office at (800) 592-6004.
Rural Development (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Here you will find a Home Repair Loans and Grants (Section 504) program that can be used for home access modifications as well as general home repairs. To be eligible for loans, the household must have income below 50% of the county median income and must have an acceptable credit history. To be eligible for a possible grant, the individual must be aged 62 or older and not able to afford a loan. The USDA Rural Development State office is in Columbia. The phone number is: (573) 876-0976 (voice) or (573) 876-9480 (TTY). Or contact Columbia Department of Planning and Development at (573) 874-7239. You can find information about the programs in Missouri here.
Community Action Agencies
The CAA regional agencies are throughout Missouri that work in collaboration with other community agencies to provide services to low-income area residents. Some Community Action Agencies provide funding assistance for minor home access modifications. To see a list of agencies with contact information and the regions covered, you can call the Missouri Association of Community Action Agencies at (573) 634-2969.
Centers for Independent Living (CIL)
Missouri has 22 centers for independent living that provide a variety of advocacy, and other services to help individuals live more independently. Many centers have programs that can provide limited funding for home access modifications as well as some assistive technology (AT). Some also have durable medical equipment (DME) recycling programs to help consumers get low-cost or no-cost DME. Centers can also provide demonstrations of adaptive telephones that are provided through MoAT’s Telecommunication Access Program (TAP). At least eight centers also have AT demonstration centers for individuals to get hands-on guided demos of AT. Specific funding assistance offered varies from center to center. Contact information for the centers in each region of the state can be found at: MOSILC
Missouri AgrAbility Project
This project was created to assist people with disabilities employed in agriculture. The project provides practical education and assistance that promotes independence in agricultural production and rural living. The AgrAbility Project assists people involved in production agriculture who work both on small and large operations. For Project Information, call: (800) 995-8503 or visit the website for Missouri Agrability Project.
National Disability Organization Resources
Multiple Sclerosis Society
United Spinal Association – Spinal Cord Resource Center
ALS Association – Adaptation & Equipment Program
This program offers the evaluation of equipment needs and home adaptations needs for devises and adaptations. They also have a loan pool of primarily used equipment that can be used if other sources are not available. To find your local ALS chapters visit their website and enter your zip code.
The Travis Roy Foundation
This foundation offers assistance for individuals that are paraplegics or quadriplegics paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury. There must be financial need and be a USA resident. There is no age requirement. A grant application can be obtained on their website and mail the completed application to: Travis Roy Foundation, C/O Hemenway & Barnes, LLP, 60 State St, Boston, MA 02109.
The Melvin Weinstein Parkinson’s Foundation
The Melvin Weinstein Parkinson’s Foundation (“MWPF”) is a not-for-profit organization that raises money to purchase medical equipment and health supplies for Parkinson’s patients to help with the maintenance of safe and healthier living environments. Contact them by phone at 757-313-9729.
Computers for the Blind
For individuals that are blind or low vision and need assist purchasing a low cost computer, there is a resource based in Texas, called Computers for the Blind. Contact number is 214-340-6328 and email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Bank of America
Bank of America offers access Loans offers financing for accessible vehicles and access for homes.
Digital Federal Credit Union
Digital Federal Credit Union offers a financing option for accessible autos.
Service Organization Resources
Some national disability organizations have small grant programs or equipment loan programs for persons with disabilities. These kinds of programs vary depending on the local branch of the disability organization and may change frequently, depending on available funds. Organizations associated with particular disabilities should not be overlooked as possible funding resources. Missouri’s Governor’s Council on Disabilities publishes a Directory of Resources for Missourians with Disabilities that includes phone numbers and addresses of various disability organizations. The Governor Council’s phone number is (800) 877-8249. They have a resource directory web page that allows searches by county.
Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Children’s Fund
This a statewide fund that can provide necessary medical equipment that is not covered by other funding sources such as wheelchairs, braces, prosthetic, walkers, or other rehabilitative equipment for disabled children up through 18 years of age. The fund will match dollar-for-dollar the recipient’s contribution up to $500 per request. For more information or an application, contact the Heartland Regional Community Foundation at (816) 271-7200 or by mail at 801 Faraon Street, St. Joseph, MO 64501. Contact: Joyce Weight, Accounting Support.
Variety Club, Kids on the Go!
This is a charitable organization that can sometimes provide funding to children with disabilities for assistive devices, services and medical expenses. Both the Kansas City and St. Louis areas have a Variety Club affiliate. The Kansas City Variety Club affiliate can be reached at (913) 558-2309, or by letter at P.O. Box 3446, Shawnee, KS 66203. The St. Louis Affiliate, Variety, The Children’s Charity provides therapeutic bikes to kids with physical disabilities. They be reached by telephone at (314) 720-7700 or by letter at 2200 Westport Plaza Drive, Suite 306, St. Louis 63146.
First Hand Foundation
This First Hand Foundation program is sponsored by the Cerner Corporation out of Kansas City offers a kids grant. This grant provides funding for treatment, medical equipment, Assistive technology devices, vehicle modifications and displacement costs for families during medical care. You can also call (816) 201-1569 to determine eligibility and the application process.
The Caring Program for Children
This is offered by the Blue Shield Blue Cross in Kansas City. This program provides assistance to children 18 years or younger who live in the Blue KC service area. The program helps children when state, federal programs or private insurance does not cover what the child needs. A third party professional such as a social worker, counselor or teacher must submit the request on behalf of the child. Contact the Blue KC Community Relations Department at 816-395-2792.
United Healthcare Children’s Foundation
This program assists with medical services and some types of assistive technology only for children who have private insurance and whom are not covered by Medicaid. United Healthcare Children’s Foundation offers qualifying families up to $5,000 annually, per child ($10,000* lifetime max) to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapies, counseling services, surgeries, prescription medications, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids. Visit there website for more information of eligibility guidelines and the application process.
Danielle’s Foundation is offered to parents of children with cerebral palsy and brain injury to get their children the therapies and equipment. The child must have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy or brain injury, and must be requesting the grant for assistance towards a specific therapy or medical equipment. For more information and to receive an application please contact them at 1-800-511-2283.
Bridging Apps from Easter Seals out of Texas offers a funding list. Eligibility is specific to disability, location or other. Read through the listing and contact the source directly to determine if funding is available.
Children and Adults
NOTE: Due to economic challenges, some of the funding sources might not be able to provide assistant year round. Do clarify up front with the agency if they are accepting applications at the time you place your call.
The UCP Elsie S. Bellows Fund
Elsie S. Bellows Fund is a national program operated by UCP that provides funds to individuals with disabilities for assistive technology equipment. Individuals are recommended by UCP affiliates. UCP Heartland in Manchester, MO (636) 227-6030, UCP of Greater Kansas City in Kansas City, MO, (816) 531-4454 and UCP of Northwest Missouri in St. Joseph, Mo (816) 364-3836. UCP affiliates submit an application on behalf of an individual to the UCP national office. Applications are reviewed for funding by the Bellows Committee. If you would like more information about the Elsie Bellows Fund, please contact your local UCP affiliate or the national office at email@example.com.
Midwest Special Needs Trust General Charitable Grants
Midwest Special Needs Trust General Charitable Grants are available for a wide range of needs. Grants up to $1,500 can be provided for durable medical equipment and other purposes and must meet the Trust’s low-income guidelines. An application can be obtained off their website. Contact phone: (573) 256-5055.
Kansas City’s Metro Lutheran Ministries
This program may be able to provide minor home repairs for seniors and wheel chair users that are home owners. This includes minor access modifications. Contact: (816) 931-0027 extension 249. Their website is: http://www.mlmkc.org/
Friends of Man
The Friends of Man offers assistance for individuals and children by accepting a referral from a professional or school representative only. Individuals can not apply directly. This charity offers assistance for medicine, prostheses, wheelchairs, eye glasses, dentures, medical equipment, daycare, training and education, hearing aids and more. Their contact information is as follows: Friends of Man, P.O. BOX 937, Littleton, CO 80160-0937, (303) 798-2342.
Ralph Braun Foundation
The Bentley Trust
This program is a grant for people over 60 who live in the Springfield City limits. This trust can provide help with hearing aids, dentures, lift chairs, rent and more. For questions about theBentley Trust contact Southwest Center for Independent Living at 417-886-1188.
Civic organizations in your county or city may also be a source of funding for assistive technology. Local groups, such as Lions Clubs, Jaycees, Kiwanis, etc., may have charitable giving priorities, but are worth contacting for possible assistance. Many area Chambers of Commerce maintain listings of civic organizations in the community.
Refurbished Computer Programs
This program obtains donations of computers from corporate and other sources and refurbishes them, if needed. The computers then can be provided to persons with disabilities for a low fee. Available computer systems depend on what systems have been donated to the Institute. A letter of necessity written by a case manager, doctor or similar individual on their stationary is required. For more information, call the Arts Tech at (816) 461-0201 or write to them at 1522 Holmes St., Kansas City, MO 64108. Visit their website at: http://www.artstech-kc.org
Voluntary Action Center Phone
This program provides recycled computers for residents in Columbia, MO on occasion. Their eligibility changes from time to time so contact them directly if you are a resident of Columbia, MO at (573) 874-2273. Visit there website at: vacmo.org
Web Innovations & Technology Services (WITS, Inc.)
This community computer program is a volunteer program that offers free computers to St. Louis residents and this program will exchange for volunteer services. You will need to contact them directly to determine eligibility requirements and the commitment expected at (314) 382-1650. Visit there website at:
Disability Specific Resources
Hearing Aid Loaner Bank
This program is operated by the Missouri School for the Deaf. Hearing aids are donated, and then fit by an audiologist for children who have difficulty obtaining hearing aids. The program requires the child have a documented hearing loss, a current copy of an audiogram and their own ear molds. Mo School for the Deaf Program Resource Center provides free hearing aid loans for children to use at school when their family cannot afford to purchase them or while a child’s hearing aids are being repaired. Hearing aids are donated by community organizations. The Mo School for the Deaf audiologist fits and programs the hearing aids for each student. For more information, call (573) 592-2543.
This program provides hearing aids and cochlear implants for individuals with limited financial resources. Starkey Hearing Foundation offers the Hear Now that coordinates a national hearing aid bank and accepts hearing aid donations from people all over the country. For more information call (800) 648-4327.
Gift of Sound
Miracle Ear Foundation, Gift of Sound Program, offers a last resort grant for hearing aids to individuals that cannot afford hearing aids within their guidelines. For example: applicants must have a hearing loss that requires amplification (hearing aids), children who have a mild or greater hearing loss, and adults who have a moderate or greater hearing loss. Applicants must complete an application form and provide a current audiogram. Children 18 years and younger must have medical clearance dated within the last 6 months signed by a physician (MD, ENT). While medical clearance is encouraged for adults, a signed medical waiver is acceptable. There is a non-refundable application fee of $150 for adults the age of 19 or older. Visit their website for more information on eligibility requirements.
Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment is a national charity that can be a funding resource for hearing aids and assistive listening devices for children up to age 20. To receive an application, persons may call (402) 592-7987 or may write to: The HIKE Fund, c/o the International Center for Jobs Daughters, 233 W. 6th Street, Papillion, NE 68047.
The Travelers Protective Association of America
This program is scholarship trust for the deaf and near deaf. It is a provided to US residents on a one time nonrecurring fund. Priority is given to those demonstrating the greatest financial need. Applications can be obtained by calling (314) 371-0533 or toll free (877) 284-8691 or visit their website at Travelers Protective Association of America
Help America Hear Program
This program is administered by the Foundation for Sight & Sound. It is a last resort funding option for hearing aids. Eligibility is based on income and no other funding options. There is a nominate fee. Contact the Foundation for Sight & Sound, P.O. Box 1245, Smithtown, NY 11787, By Phone: 631-366-3461.
Audient is a program is a national nonprofit hearing care alliance that provides access to quality hearing aids and related care for low income hearing impaired people. Assistance is based on income and there is cost to the individual. EPIC Hearing Healthcare 3191 W Temple Ave Ste 200, Pomona, CA 91768, (866) 956-5400.
Missouri Council of the Blind
MCB operates the Adaptive Technology Grants Program that covers both hardware and software based adaptive technology, including upgrades and maintenance agreements, and narrowly covers computer systems as required by or used in conjunction with accompanying adaptive technology, such as screen magnification software, screen reader software, or a scanning system. Purchase of a computer along with or for use with accompanying adaptive technology is only eligible for up to a four hundred dollar matching funds grant. Only new adaptive technology and computers are covered, including adaptive technology upgrades to newer versions; used or previously owned adaptive technology and computers are not covered. An application form and other information can be obtained by calling the Council’s main office at (800) 342-5632 or visit their website at The Adaptive Technology Grants Program.
National Federation for the Blind
NFB offers the NFB Scholarship program for post-secondary bound students. Each year at its national convention in July, the NFB gives scholarships to recognize achievement by blind scholars. They also provide the Free White Cane Program.
American Foundation for the Blind
AFB offers college scholarships and computer lessons for the elderly.
The Wolfner Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is a library service to anyone in the State of Missouri who is unable to use standard print materials due to a visual or physical disability provide audio books with readers – (800) 392-2614 or Toll-free within Missouri.
Radio Reader Services
Free radio receivers are available for those who are blind or print disabled to provide content access to daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, and best-selling books. To find out if reception is available in your area, for western Missouri residents may contact Kansas Audio Reader or (800) 772-8898, or for eastern Missouri residents contact MindsEye. MindsEye’s radio broadcasts reach a 75-mile radius around the south end of St. Louis City. The signal reaches as far west as Hermann, Missouri, as far north as Louisiana, Missouri, as far east as Centralia, Illinois, and as far south as Murphysboro, Illinois. Phone number is 618-394-6444.
Saving Sight (Lion’s Club)
Saving Sight offers a service for eye glass recycling and redistribution. They are located in Columbia, MO. To donate glasses, contact them at: Saving Sight, Attn: Eyeglass Recycling, 404 Portland Street, Columbia, MO 65201. To receive a pair of donated eye glasses you can contact them at 800-753-2265 Visit their website at: Saving Sight
OneSight is a scholarship program for centers that aid in the delivery of eyewear and genuine eye care to global and national eye clinics. http://onesight.org/
Developmental Disabilities Resources
This program is for persons with developmental disabilities provide or help obtain needed services for Missourians with developmental disabilities. A Regional Center staff person will be assigned to work with individuals and their families. Eligible persons may gain access to a variety of services through the Regional Centers including therapies, family support, and residential services. Case coordinators may be able to assist individuals obtain assistive technology through a home and community-based waiver, program, stipend or other resources. Choices for families prevent or delay out of home placement. The Regional Centers operate under the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Department of Mental Health. If you need more information about eligibility or available services contact one of the Missouri Regional Center offices nearest your residence.
County Developmental Disability Boards
SB40 boards can be a funding resource for assistive technology, depending on the county. Some provide only residential services and sheltered workshops, while others can help fund items such as assistive technology and housing access modifications. For more information, member county boards of the Missouri Association for County Developmental Disability Services.
The Safelink program is a program that provides free low minutes cell phone to those that meet the eligibility criteria. You are required to fill out an application and provide the requested supporting documentation. To inquire about the program in your area, and to find out how to apply visit their website or call (866) 902-5756.
CLAIM is a nonprofit group that can help with questions about Medicare. They offer a statewide network of volunteers since 1993. Their services are free of charge and they can help with claim forms, benefit questions and more. You can reach them at (800) 390-3330 or visit their website.
The Missouri Rx Plan
The Missouri Rx Plan offers seniors and people with disabilities on a fixed income the option to save costs on prescription medication. This program works with Medicare Part D to help reduce the cost of medications. They can be reached at or call them at 1(800) 375-1406.
Human Development Corporation
This program offers a weatherization and utility program across the state. They have several locations in various counties handled by the Community Action Agencies. The main contact number is (573) 443-8731.
The HeRo program is a home repair opportunity program. This program provided assistance for funds rehabilitation of the building, accessibility, weatherization and lead risk reduction. Income level requirements vary by county. You must meet the eligibility requirements. Visit their website to get the contact information to see if you meet the eligibility requirements at the home office is based in Kansas City and you can reach them at 1-816- 759-6600 or TTY at 1- 816-759-6839.
Collaboration Works offers recycled items as well as donated medical supplies, medical goods and equipment at a low cost. This service can be free to caregivers, seniors and individuals with special needs. They are located in north Kansas City area. Visit their website or by phone at (816) 421-1305.