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mobility, communication, and adaptive toy lending

Question: 

My doctor ordered some equipment for me/ my child, but it will take months to process the paperwork.  In the meantime, is there a way to borrow the equipment that we need?  Are there "loaner" wheelchairs available while ours is being repaired?  What kind of equipment might be available for me/my child to try out before we pay for Durable Medical Equipment?  Where can I donate equipment that we no longer need?

Answer: 

Durable Medical Equipment (DME) refers to any device or technology that meets the following requirements; 1. It is not designed for single use and thrown away, 2. Its sole purpose is to assist, support, or replace a mental or physical skill that non-disabled individuals can perform independently, and 3. The device or technology is not useful for a non-disabled individual. DME lending closets contain mobility and seating devices, Augmentative and Assistive Communication devices (AAC,) and adaptive toys, and are available in every state in the US as well as internationally.  Generally, this DME lending is free. However, many organizations do charge for delivery or shipping expenses, processing fees, or a suggested donation. Lending closets usually request a doctor or therapist's note or a copy of the prescription before you can receive the equipment.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association clinics have equipment loan closets available for use by adults and children who currently receive or have ever received MDA clinic services. For more information, follow this link: http://www.mda.org/equipment.htm 

The Pass It On Center is a national Assistive Technology reuse center. Durable medical equipment is located and lent free of charge (some centers may charge a nominal processing fee or request a donation, however.) http://passitoncenter.org/locations/search.aspx  

Most Independent Living Canters either have equipment lending closets or can direct you to an ILC in a neighboring region that offers the service. Click on the map in this state-by-state directory of Independent Living Centers: www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html

Most state-run Easter Seals programs include an equipment and toy lending library. Find your local program by simply entering your zip code on the Easter Seals home page www.easterseals.com

A short term lending/trial closet for AAC devices can be accessed by a Speech Language Pathologist or Special Education teacher at www.dynavoxtech.com/products/dream

Parents of children who live in MA and are enrolled in a Palliative or Hospice care team can borrow equipment by using the following link: www.endoflifecommission.org/end_pages/guide.htm

Equipment donated to any non-profit organizations, such as those organizations listed above, is tax deductible.

 

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