Chapter 1: Accessibility and Assistive Technology
Section 4: Assistive Technology Funding
Local resources available. Based on financial need, Ability Connection provides help for purchase of adaptive devices and medical equipment including wheelchairs and mobility aids, adapted toys, computer related assistive technology, environmental controls and other items. Training, information and help locating other funding sources may also be provided.
Based on financial need, Ability Connection provides help for purchase of adaptive devices and medical equipment including wheelchairs and mobility aids, adapted toys, computer related assistive technology, environmental controls and other items. Training, information and help locating other funding sources may also be provided.
Nonprofit organization loans medical equipment to needy persons. Equipment available may include electric wheelchairs and scooters, bath transfer benches, shower chairs, bedside commodes, raised toilet seats and grab bars. Equipment donations are accepted. All items are repaired, sanitized and inspected for safety.
Any Oklahoman with a disability could apply for a loan from BancFirst of Stillwater to purchase any type of assistive technology at a 5% fixed interest rate for up to 36 months. The most common types of assistive technology purchased through the AFP are: hearing aids, modified vehicles, and specialized computer related products.
Oklahomans can access the low interest loan by contacting BancFirst of Stillwater. A BancFirst consumer loan application is provided for individuals to complete. If the loan applicant meets the BancFirst underwriting criteria, the loan can close as soon as BancFirst of Stillwater receives the client’s signed loan documentation and an invoice from the vendor. If the applicant is denied a BancFirst loan or required to have the loan collateralized, with a release of information, the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT) determines if the person qualifies for a guaranty loan. OkAT has a fiduciary responsibility to maintain a permanent loan program and an expectation that the borrower will repay his/her loan.
Medicare is the health benefit available to persons receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security retirement and to some other connected individuals.
Medicare generally covers Durable Medical Equipment (DME) that:
- Can stand repeated use;
- Is primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose;
- Is generally not useful to a person in absence of illness or injury; and
- Is appropriate for use in the home.
Medicare typically pays 80% of the Medicare allowable charge for an item or service. The patient may have to pay a deductible and co-payment. A doctor's prescription and in some cases a Certificate of Medical Necessity are required for Medicare payment for medical equipment.
Palmetto Government Benefits Administration handles Durable Medical Equipment (DME) claims for Medicare in this region. Questions on Medicare DME coverage can be directed to 800-213-5452.
Select a state supplier list at this site. The suppliers listed are those who have agreed to accept what Medicare pays and to charge the patient no more than the Medicare allowable charge. The beneficiary still must pay the normal Medicare co-payment for medical equipment, but "participating" suppliers will not charge more than that.
Note: Medicare beneficiaries can also use "non-participating" Durable Medical Equipment (DME) suppliers who have Medicare supplier numbers. These suppliers have not agreed to charge no more than the Medicare allowable charge. For a list of both "participating" and "non-participating" DME suppliers go to the following link: https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/part-b/competitive-bidding....
Medicare and You, the Medicare Handbook
Follow this link to Medicare's online resource, https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-and-you/medicare-and-you.html
To report Medicare fraud, call 800-447-8477 or follow this link to the Medicare Fraud webpage, https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-and-resources/report-fraud-and-abuse....
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Center
Palmetto Government Benefits Administration handles Durable Medical Equipment (DME) claims for Medicare in this region. Questions on Medicare DME coverage can be directed to 800-213-5452. For more information on Durable Medical Equipment follow this link, https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/part-b/durable-medical-equ....
The Dallas Regional Office (Region 6) should be your initial point of contact on any Medicare, Medicaid, or State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). For general inquiries, use the telephone number listed below. For more specific issues, review the Contact List under the Downloads section at the bottom of this page.
CMS - Region 6
1301 Young St., Ste. 714
Dallas, TX 75202
There is a wide range of services available under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program which has established a schedule of exams to ensure the continued health of Medicaid eligible individuals up to age 21.
Persons under 21 who are receiving medical benefits may receive health and dental screenings and follow-up treatment for certain conditions. Providers include physicians, health departments, schools and some local health clinics. These exams are available on a periodic schedule based on the age of the individual.
Financial assistance for hearing aids and ear surgery for deaf and hard of hearing persons.
Links employers and provides technical expertise on job accommodations for employees with disabilities.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, these anti-discrimination laws do not provide funds for assistive technology or accessibility, but they can provide a means for individuals with disabilities to obtain assistive technology or needed accessibility on the job, in the marketplace and in the delivery of government services. Employees with disabilities may ask an employer to provide reasonable accommodations to enable the employee to perform his or her job. Accommodations could include adaptive equipment.
JAN’s free online workplace accommodation toolkit (http://prod.askjan.org/toolkit/#) provides employers with the tools needed to create a more disability-inclusive and compliant workplace.
Services for amputees in financial need include provision and repair of prosthetic and orthotic devices, including artificial limbs.
Serves eastern Oklahoma residents who have any of the 40 neuromuscular diseases covered by MDA. Provides financial help to purchase wheelchairs and other mobility aids when other payment sources are unavailable. Maintains an equipment lending program.
Serves individuals with any of 40 neuromuscular diseases. Financial assistance may be provided for wheelchairs, braces and other mobility aids when other payment sources are not available. Loan and repair of equipment may be provided. MDA also provides diagnostic and other medical services through its network of clinics. Summer camps held.
Programs and services include:
- Assistive technology information and referral;
- Equipment Exchange (adaptive equipment for resale);
- Assistive tech demonstrations;
- Electronic discussion list;
- Publications including Oklahoma Funding for AT; and
- Information on AT solutions for many needs.
Oklahoma Assistive Technology (AT) Device Short Term Loan Program: ABLE Tech and its partners will provide specialized equipment to Oklahomans with disabilities or those that have a dependent with a disability, regardless of their type of disability, age, income level or location of residence within the state and/or appropriate targeted individuals and entities statewide. Consumers have the opportunity to borrow AT devices they would not have otherwise been able to access because no such program exists for specialized equipment. This program will provide Oklahomans with disabilities assistive technology for the purpose of allowing consumers and agencies to "try before they buy," assessment, meeting interim needs when devices go in for repair and for personnel development activities.
Information and Referral: The ABLE Tech INFO-line helps people find the assistive technology they need and keep up with new developments in the field. The ABLE Tech INFO-line provides free information and referral services on assistive technology for people of all ages with disabilities. Family members, service providers, and others who work in fields related to disabilities or to assistive technology may use this service. ABLE Tech INFO-line's resources include a statewide computer database, national resources, in-house collection of catalogs and product literature. The number is 888-885-5588.
Direct link to Short Term Loan Program: http://oec.okstate.edu/home.php .
Injured victims of violent crimes or dependents of deceased victims may be eligible to receive assistance from the Oklahoma Crime Victims Compensation Board for medical expenses, income loss, replacement services and funeral expenses resulting from the crime (property loss not covered). Rehabilitation including assistive devices may qualify for reimbursement through this program. Compensation may not be paid for a loss or cost covered by insurance or other sources.
The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) expands opportunities for employment, independent life and economic self-sufficiency by helping Oklahomans with disabilities bridge barriers to success in the workplace, school and at home.
To connect to the DRS office in your area call 800-487-4042.
- Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR): Employment services for people with any disability, except blindness.
- Division of Visual Services (DVS): Employment and independent living services for people who are blind or visually impaired.
- Disability Determination Division: Determines medical eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Oklahoma School for the Deaf: Educational programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Oklahoma School for the Blind: Educational programs for children who are blind or visually impaired.
Counselors and technology specialists provide assistive technology evaluations, devices and services to agency clients based on individual needs related to achievement of employment goals. They also help employers locate appropriate adaptive equipment for employees with disabilities. Contact your local Vocational Rehabilitation or Visual Services counselor for information. See DRS Offices Statewide, Rehabilitation section for contact information.
DRS provides vocational rehabilitation, employment and limited independent living services to eligible individuals with disabilities. Medical equipment, assistive technology and related services may be provided if they are part of the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) developed with a vocational rehabilitation client. In some cases assistive technology devices and services may be provided for independent living purposes.
Assistive technology services which may be available based on a person's eligibility and plan of service include evaluation for assistive technology needs, recommendations for suitable equipment, worksite evaluation for adaptive equipment needs and training in use of specialized equipment.
Current DRS clients should discuss assistive technology needs with their DRS counselors. Applications for DRS services can be made by contacting local DRS offices. See DRS Offices Statewide, Rehabilitation and Independent Living section.
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) - Oklahoma School for the Deaf, Equipment Distribution Program
Equipment Distribution Program provides adaptive equipment for telephone and communications access for individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing or speech impaired. Items available include TTYs, phone amplifiers, ring signalers, visual signaling devices and other adaptive devices for use in the home. Equipment is free for those meeting income guidelines, with sliding scale charges for persons above set income levels. Call 866-309-1717 or 580-622-5850 for more information.
Hearing Aid Program for Seniors provides assistance purchasing hearing aids for income-eligible senior citizens. Persons exceeding the income criteria may receive partial assistance. For information and applications call 866-309-1717 or 580-622-5850.
Administers SoonerCare, Oklahoma's Medicaid Program.
Who to Call with Questions About SoonerCare (Medicaid):
SoonerCare Eligibility Questions
Call your OKDHS county office.
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Visually impaired and translation services available. General questions, enrollment information, benefits information for members.
SoonerCare members can call SoonerRide at 1-877-404-4500 or the Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-722-0353 (TDD).
SoonerCare members can call the OHCA Call Tree (Customer Service) at 1-800-522-0310, 405-522-7171 or 405-522-7179 (TDD) from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
SoonerCare is Oklahoma's state-funded managed care program. It is administered by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) and offers varying health benefit packages. These include:
SoonerCare Choice, in which each member has a medical home that provides basic health care services. Members have a primary care provider who takes care of most of their medical needs or refers them for specialty care as needed. Members with complex medical needs have access to exceptional needs coordinators to help coordinate and access appropriate care.
SoonerCare Traditional, a comprehensive medical benefit plan that purchases benefits for members on a fee-for-service basis. SoonerCare Traditional covers members who are institutionalized, in state or tribal custody or enrolled under a Home and Community-Based Waiver.
SoonerCare Supplemental, a plan for people who are covered by Medicare. SoonerCare Supplemental pays the co-insurance and deductible and provides medical benefits that supplement services covered by Medicare.
The Opportunities for Living Life program offers extra benefits to certain members in the SoonerCare Traditional or Supplemental plans. Those benefits may include long-term care facility services, intermediate care facility services for the mentally retarded (ICFMR), in-home personal care and other home and community-based supportive services that would give SoonerCare members an alternative to entering a long-term care facility.
TEFRA (Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982) helps children with disabilities who would not otherwise qualify for SoonerCare. It extends benefits to home-based children who meet an institutional level of care. Financial qualifications for TEFRA consider only the child's income, so the parent's income does not create an obstacle to enrollment. For more information, contact the SoonerCare Helpline at (800) 987-7767, (405) 522-7171 in the Oklahoma City area or (405) 522-7179 for TDD/TTY.
Oklahoma Cares provides SoonerCare benefits to women under age 65 who need further diagnostics or treatment for breast or cervical abnormal findings, precancerous conditions or cancer. Oklahoma Cares members are covered under either the SoonerCare Choice or SoonerCare Traditional benefit package until they no longer require treatment or qualify financially. Women who are interested should ask if their health care provider is a certified screening provider. If not, they can find a screening provider in their area by contacting the Oklahoma State Department of Health at (866) 550-5585.
SoonerPlan offers limited benefits for family planning services. SoonerPlan provides lab tests and office visits, contraceptive products, pregnancy tests, tubal ligations and vasectomies to women and men age 18 or older who do not usually qualify for full benefits under SoonerCare. For more information, contact your local county health department.
This program assists children from birth to age 18 who receive a Supplemental Security Income - Disability Payment (SSI) to receive assistance in getting needed equipment and services. This includes adaptive equipment and specialty formula from birth to age 18 and diapers from age 4 to age 18.
Volunteers who design and build adaptive devices for individual needs. Volunteers work closely with therapists, medical professionals and special educators in development of low-cost technology solutions for unique needs of individuals with disabilities. Client reimbursement of materials costs is appreciated, but there is no fee for P.A.L.S. design work.
Most standard health insurance policies pay a portion of the cost of medical equipment when medically necessary. Check your policy or contact your employee health benefits coordinator for information.
State law requires health insurance coverage of certain benefits, such as hearing aids for children under age 13, but all insurers may not be subject to such requirements. Check plan for coverage details.
Ambucs Share-4-Life Komputers (ASK): the program takes donations of used computers and gives them to individuals with disabilities. Software is installed on the computers but adaptive software and hardware is not provided.
SoonerStart is Oklahoma's early intervention program designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays. The program is a joint effort of the Oklahoma Departments of Education, Health, Human Services, Mental Health Services, the Commission on Children and Youth, and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.
SoonerStart is for infants and toddlers through 36 months of age who have developmental delays or have a physical or mental condition (such as Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.) which will most likely cause a developmental delay.
There is no direct cost to families for these services, regardless of their income. This program is mandated by federal and state law and is funded through various state and federal sources.
Some services may include:
- diagnostic and evaluation services,
- case management,
- family training, counseling and home visits,
- certain health services,
- nursing services,
- nutrition services,
- occupational, physical and speech-language therapy, and
- special instruction.
SoonerStart services are provided in the child and family's natural environment. This may include the child's home or daycare, and could extend to a relative's home, the grocery store, park, a restaurant, library, church or synagogue, etc. Direct link to the State Department of Education SoonerStart webpage.
The Special Education Services web site offers information and technical assistance to further enable family involvement, smooth transitions at all stages of the educational process and support for teachers and service providers in implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
IDEA Panel - States are required to establish and maintain an advisory panel for the purpose of providing policy guidance with respect to special education and related services for children with disabilities in the state. The panel is required to consist of members appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
A majority of the members of the panel shall be individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities (ages birth through 26). Duties of the panel include: advising of unmet needs in the education of children with disabilities; commenting publicly on any rules or regulations proposed regarding the education of children with disabilities; advising in developing evaluations and reporting on 618 data; advising in developing corrective action plans to address identified findings in Federal monitoring reports; and advising in developing and implementing policies relating to the coordination of services for children with disabilities.
Total Source for Hearing-loss and Access (TSHA) is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and provides comprehensive services to the Deaf and hard of hearing communities throughout Oklahoma. Their goal is to increase the independence of people with hearing loss.
TSHA's programs are far reaching. The Interpreter Referral Program provides sign language interpreters for the entire state of Oklahoma including both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Projects with Industry (PWI) offers job placement assistance to qualified individuals and serves a large portion of the state, while the Independent Living and the Information and Referral Programs focus mainly on the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.
Summer Day Camps for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children - children ages 7-13 may attend, and youth ages 14-15 can apply for counselor-in-training positions. A deaf education instructor leads camps, with volunteers assisting. Activities include speakers and hands-on activities organized around a central theme that is different each year. Sign language and voice communications are used.
Independent Living Camp - for deaf and hard of hearing teens ages 14 and up. The camp meets at TSHA and is free. Activities focus on developing independent living skills such as cooking, budgeting, making college arrangements, using transportation, etc. Field trips and fun activities are included.
Deaf Teen Club - for youth of middle-school age and up. The Club meets the third Friday of each month, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., and gives deaf and hard of hearing teens a chance to network, connect with peers, learn independent living concepts and have fun.
December Holiday Party - for children and youth who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired; children of deaf adults; siblings and families. Activities include free holiday stockings, games, crafts, prizes, food and a signing Santa.
DisabilityInfo.gov is the federal government's one-stop Web site for people with disabilities, their families, employers, veterans and service members, workforce professionals and many others. A collaborative effort among twenty-two federal agencies, DisabilityInfo.gov connects people with disabilities to the information and resources they need to actively participate in the workforce and in their communities.
Under Section 504 and the ADA, state and local government programs must make their facilities and services accessible and usable by people with disabilities. Businesses and commercial facilities must also make their goods and services equally available to persons with disabilities. Acquiring adaptive devices, such as a TTY for use by deaf or hard of hearing customers, may help agencies and businesses comply with the law.
Purchase of adaptive devices and medical rehabilitative equipment for children and adults. Aid is based on financial need. Other services include an inclusive Child Development Center; speech, occupational, and behavioral therapy for children; and an Adult Day Health Center for adults over the age of 21 with developmental or late onset disabilities such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.