When beginning the process of applying for a grant for assistive technology like an adaptive bike or power wheelchair, it can feel difficult to know where to begin. From ensuring you have all of the required paperwork, to keeping track of the do's and don'ts, it may feel like there is so much to know.
Having been through this process time and again, Tamara Simmons, author of The Funding Guide for Children with Disabilities, has compiled her list of favorite Quick Tips for Success to ensure all of your t's are crossed and i's are dotted. The list below is an excerpt from her book.
1. The very first step in the funding process is to choose the most appropriate assistive technology (AT) needed.
2. Always try before you buy.
3. Save time and get more than one price quote for the same item from different vendors. Most funders will require three quotes from different vendors.
4. Take a photo of your child with the AT that you are trying to get funding for. The adorable image of your child enjoying the device that will change his or her life will get you a long way in receiving the monetary assistance you need.
5. When researching a funder, the first thing you should consider is geographic location; you must be a match.
6. Submit all required paperwork to your insurance right away; they need time to process your denial letter. Some funders require this, some don’t—but get it anyway.
7. Follow instructions! If the funder asks for only three typewritten pages and you give them four, they will file your inspiring prose under “G” for garbage.
8. Go big or go home. Apply to multiple funders for the same item and drastically increase your chances of being funded.
9. Don't forget to donate the AT that your child has grown out of to a friend, a neighbor, a school, a therapy center or even a lending library. If you donate it to someone else, you can also put that in your application. Funders love to see people paying it forward and it increases your chances of getting that same item again in a larger size from the original funder.
To learn more about fundraising and grants, check out these articles:
Learn more about the steps you can take to get funding
Check out the services, technology and experiences grants can provide