Assistive technology (AT) helps people with disabilities live more independently.
Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment or system – whether purchased off the shelf, modified or customized – which is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with disabilities.
Assistive technology includes things like:
- wheelchairs or scooters that help you get around
- talking computers, iPads, communication boards and other devices that make it possible for you to communicate
- computer equipment
- hearing aids, personal FM units and other devices to help you hear
- devices that allow you to independently control your home environment
- lifts and stair glides that help you get around your home
- ramps to help you get in and out of your home
- wheelchair lifts and hand controls for your car or van
- workplace changes and equipment to help you work
- equipment and modifications for school
There are things not listed here that could also be assistive technology.
The AT Tryout and Access Center at the University of Vermont’s Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI) provides information, referrals and hands-on experience with assistive technology for Vermonters of all ages and abilities.
Paying for Assistive Technology
- Your health insurance (Medicaid, Medicare, Veteran’s benefits or private insurance) may pay for assistive technology.
- Vermont’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VocRehab) also pays for AT.
- Public schools pay for AT for students who receive special education services.
- Some programs give grants to pay for AT. One grant program is run by the Vermont Center for Independent Living. There is often a waiting list of people who need this money.
- The State of Vermont’s Assistive Technology Program helps people get the assistive technology they need.
Appealing a Denial
Have you been denied funding for assistive technology by Medicaid, VocRehab, Medicare or private insurance? You can tell them that you disagree. You can appeal the denial.
- To appeal decisions by the State of Vermont under programs such as Medicaid or VocRehab, see the Appeals for State/Medicaid Decisions page of our website.
- To appeal a private insurance denial of funding for assistive technology, visit the Appeals for Private Insurance page of our website.
- You can also contact us for help. Fill out our form and we will call you back. Your information will be sent to Legal Services Vermont, which screens requests for help for both Vermont Legal Aid and Legal Services Vermont. You can also call us at 1-800-889-2047.