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When it comes to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and finding funding for needed assistive technology (AT), it has been my experience that the MS Society is an often overlooked funding source.   According to the Upper Midwest MS Society webpage (which is the chapter that serves ND, MN, SD, Iowa and several counties in western Wisconsin and Nebraska),

“The Society can help cover a portion of the cost of a wide range of products and services that support the independence, safety, health and quality of life for people with MS. For more information or to apply for assistance, call 800-582-5296 (option 1). An MS Navigator® will talk you through the process and send you an application and/or referrals for eligible aids or service providers in your area. They’ll also help you evaluate other options you may have available.

We can help cover the cost of products, such as:

  • Scooters, power chairs, walkers and other mobility devices;
  • Cooling vests, air conditioners and other cooling aids;
  • Ramps, grab bars,bath safety products and other home modifications;
  • Auto modifications such as hand controls and lifts;
  • Tools and devices to simplify day-to-day tasks;
  • Exercise equipment; and
  • Much more.”

IPAT has worked with several individuals in the past who have received AT such as voice recognition software for the computer and daily living aids from the MS Society.  These items have been paid for in their entirety by the MS society or in conjuntion with other funding sources such as IPAT’s Pedaling for Possibilities Fund.  So if you have MS and are in need of assistive technology, find your local chapter and inquire.

About Author

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Jeannie Krull is the Program Manager for ND Assistive (formerly IPAT). She is an ASHA certified speech/language pathologist and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, who has worked with people with disabilities of all ages since 1991.