Helping your special needs child expand his world require a lot of heart. True. Good thing technology has come a long way coming up with such powerful assistive devices as the iPad. With GPS, touchscreen and Voice Over, the i-tablet seems to fit to a tee as a go-to device for your physically-challenged tyke.
But much as you want to expand possibilities, obtaining an i-tablet could be a daunting task in itself. Before you shell out much of those hard-earned cash however, you may want to consider getting one for free. Here’s how:
1. Tap Your Insurance Company
This one’s tricky. The proper way is for you to contact your insurance company and find out what would be allowable under Durable Medical Equipment. For starters, you should be talking to a case manager and not just to the customer service.
The thing is you will have to put up a strong case and show the company that i-tablet is not just a Plants vs Zombie device for your child. For instance, it would make perfect sense for insurance to cover the i-device if it is to be used as a communication device. In this regard, you may want to cite the app Proloquo2go as a much less expensive route to follow compared to getting a stand-alone equipment like Dynavox.
To this end, getting various letters of medical necessity from your child’s medical support team (e.g., pediatrician, neurologist, speech therapist) is wise for your child’s case. Any medical article supporting iPad-use for special needs children is also a shot in the arm.
Then again, it is imperative that you include the cost of the app Proloquo2go as this could run into hundreds of dollars.
2. Tap Your School
Another place worth looking into is your child’s school. As a learning institution, the school should have the best available assistive-devices for their students to learn. Of course, you will have to arrange so that the school will allow your child to bring the i-device outside of the 4 walls of the classroom.
To bring this about, you will have to follow the usual steps you do when getting a therapy or an express accommodation penned into your child’s IEP. First stop, seek an evaluation from a professional who can assess your child’s physical disability and one who knows the significance of an iPad as an assistive-device. Once this is done, you may contact the school for a meeting so you can once again present a strong case and discuss the details of the arrangement.
3. Get a Grant Going
There’s no guarantee that you’ll get a grant for your desired iPad with an endless stream of people queuing up to get them, but it’s definitely worth giving a shot.
Here are some of them: Little Bear Gives, Conover Company, Babies with iPads, Different Needz Foundation, Gracie’s Hope, The Lindsay Foundation.
4. Look Into Local Charities
Local charities may not be as popular as their big sister counterparts nationwide but they are bound to give you a better reception. Of course, identifying them might be a tall order. You can start with locating a local Lion’s Club or Rotary for that matter. And if you’re running out of options, you may want to check here.
5. Get Busy with Your Own Fundraising
Why not? Come to think of it, $1000 is really not that big. That’s just 20 people doling $50 each. Of course, getting someone to hand you a thousand-dollar check is a tall order.
And an i-tablet will cost you about $500. Throw in some protection (e.g., iPad mini keyboard case) and some key apps and you’re bound to add some dollars. But putting things in perspective, the total amount should never reach a thousand.
You can start with your inner circle, your friends and relatives or get fancy with an online fundraising website.
There’s no telling what you can do, when you are willing to move forward for your special needs child.