Chapter 1: Accessibility and Assistive Technology
Section 4: Assistive Technology Funding
Ability Connection Oklahoma is a non-profit organization serving children and adults with disabilities, statewide. Their mission is to...Advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities.
Based on financial need, Ability Connection provides help for purchase of adaptive devices and medical equipment including wheelchairs and mobility aids, adapted toys, computer related assistive technology, environmental controls and other items. Training, information and help locating other funding sources may also be provided.
Any Oklahoman with a disability could apply for a loan from BancFirst of Stillwater to purchase any type of assistive technology at a 5% fixed interest rate for up to 36 months. The most common types of assistive technology purchased through the AFP are: hearing aids, modified vehicles, and specialized computer related products.
Oklahomans can access the low interest loan by contacting BancFirst of Stillwater. A BancFirst consumer loan application is provided for individuals to complete. If the loan applicant meets the BancFirst underwriting criteria, the loan can close as soon as BancFirst of Stillwater receives the client’s signed loan documentation and an invoice from the vendor. If the applicant is denied a BancFirst loan or required to have the loan collateralized, with a release of information, the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT) determines if the person qualifies for a guaranty loan. OkAT has a fiduciary responsibility to maintain a permanent loan program and an expectation that the borrower will repay his/her loan.
Medicare is the health benefit available to persons receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security retirement and to some other connected individuals.
Medicare generally covers Durable Medical Equipment (DME) that:
- Can stand repeated use;
- Is primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose;
- Is generally not useful to a person in absence of illness or injury; and
- Is appropriate for use in the home.
Medicare typically pays 80% of the Medicare allowable charge for an item or service. The patient may have to pay a deductible and co-payment. A doctor's prescription and in some cases a Certificate of Medical Necessity are required for Medicare payment for medical equipment.
Palmetto Government Benefits Administration handles Durable Medical Equipment (DME) claims for Medicare in this region. Questions on Medicare DME coverage can be directed to 800-213-5452.
Select a state supplier list at this site. The suppliers listed are those who have agreed to accept what Medicare pays and to charge the patient no more than the Medicare allowable charge. The beneficiary still must pay the normal Medicare co-payment for medical equipment, but "participating" suppliers will not charge more than that.
Note: Medicare beneficiaries can also use "non-participating" Durable Medical Equipment (DME) suppliers who have Medicare supplier numbers. These suppliers have not agreed to charge no more than the Medicare allowable charge. For a list of both "participating" and "non-participating" DME suppliers go to the following link: https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/part-b/competitive-bidding....
Medicare and You, the Medicare Handbook
To report Medicare fraud, call 1-800-MEDICARE or follow this link to the Medicare Fraud webpage, https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-and-resources/report-fraud-and-abuse....
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Center
Palmetto Government Benefits Administration handles Durable Medical Equipment (DME) claims for Medicare in this region. Questions on Medicare DME coverage can be directed to 800-213-5452. For more information on Durable Medical Equipment follow this link, https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/part-b/durable-medical-equ....
The Dallas Regional Office (Region 6) should be your initial point of contact on any Medicare, Medicaid, or State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). For general inquiries, use the telephone number listed below. For more specific issues, review the Contact List under the Downloads section at the bottom of this page.
CMS - Region 6
1301 Young St., Ste. 714
Dallas, TX 75202
There is a wide range of services available under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program which has established a schedule of exams to ensure the continued health of Medicaid eligible individuals up to age 21.
Persons under 21 who are receiving medical benefits may receive health and dental screenings and follow-up treatment for certain conditions. Providers include physicians, health departments, schools and some local health clinics. These exams are available on a periodic schedule based on the age of the individual.
Starkey Hearing Foundation’s mission is to give the gift of hearing to those in need, empowering them to achieve their potential.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
Limbs for Life Foundation is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to providing fully-functional prosthetic care for individuals who cannot otherwise afford it and raising awareness of the challenges facing amputees.
Serves eastern Oklahoma residents who have any of the 40 neuromuscular diseases covered by MDA. Provides financial help to purchase wheelchairs and other mobility aids when other payment sources are unavailable. Maintains an equipment lending program.
Serves individuals with any of 40 neuromuscular diseases. Financial assistance may be provided for wheelchairs, braces and other mobility aids when other payment sources are not available. Loan and repair of equipment may be provided. MDA also provides diagnostic and other medical services through its network of clinics. Summer camps held.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech helps Oklahomans with disabilities with assistive technology.
Device loan program
Plus more services
The purpose of the Crime Victims Compensation Act is to provide a method of compensation for victims of violent crime.
The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) expands opportunities for employment, independent life and economic self-sufficiency by helping Oklahomans with disabilities bridge barriers to success in the workplace, school and at home.
To connect to the DRS office in your area call 800-487-4042.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: Employment services for people with any disability, except blindness.
- Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Employment and independent living services for people who are blind or visually impaired.
- Disability Determination Services: Determines medical eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.
- Oklahoma School for the Deaf: Educational programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Oklahoma School for the Blind: Educational programs for children who are blind or visually impaired.
Counselors and technology specialists provide assistive technology evaluations, devices and services to agency clients based on individual needs related to achievement of employment goals. They also help employers locate appropriate adaptive equipment for employees with disabilities. Contact your local Vocational Rehabilitation or Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired counselor for information. See DRS Offices Statewide, Rehabilitation section for contact information.
DRS provides vocational rehabilitation, employment and limited independent living services to eligible individuals with disabilities. Medical equipment, assistive technology and related services may be provided if they are part of the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) developed with a vocational rehabilitation client. In some cases assistive technology devices and services may be provided for independent living purposes.
Assistive technology services which may be available based on a person's eligibility and plan of service include evaluation for assistive technology needs, recommendations for suitable equipment, worksite evaluation for adaptive equipment needs and training in use of specialized equipment.
Current DRS clients should discuss assistive technology needs with their DRS counselors. Applications for DRS services can be made by contacting local DRS offices. See also Apply for Services on the home webpage.
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) - Oklahoma School for the Deaf, Equipment Distribution Program
To be eligible, a person must:
Be a resident of the State of Oklahoma
Provide proof of hearing loss
Provide proof of household income (see application for details)
Please specifiy if legally blind. This must be verifiable.
Requests for Captioned Telephones (CapTel) require an audiogram.
Direct link: https://www.osd.k12.ok.us/255639_2
Administers SoonerCare, Oklahoma's Medicaid Program.
Who to Call with Questions About SoonerCare (Medicaid):
SoonerCare Eligibility Questions
Call your OKDHS county office.
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Visually impaired and translation services available. General questions, enrollment information, benefits information for members.
SoonerCare members can call SoonerRide at 1-877-404-4500 or 1-800-722-0353 (TDD).
SoonerCare members can call the OHCA Call Tree (Customer Service) at 1-800-987-7767.
SoonerCare is Oklahoma's state-funded managed care program. It is administered by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) and offers varying health benefit packages. These include:
SoonerCare Choice, in which each member has a medical home that provides basic health care services. Members have a primary care provider who takes care of most of their medical needs or refers them for specialty care as needed. Members with complex medical needs have access to exceptional needs coordinators to help coordinate and access appropriate care.
SoonerCare Traditional, a comprehensive medical benefit plan that purchases benefits for members on a fee-for-service basis. SoonerCare Traditional covers members who are institutionalized, in state or tribal custody or enrolled under a Home and Community-Based Waiver.
SoonerCare Supplemental, a plan for people who are covered by Medicare. SoonerCare Supplemental pays the co-insurance and deductible and provides medical benefits that supplement services covered by Medicare.
TEFRA (Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982) helps children with disabilities who would not otherwise qualify for SoonerCare. It extends benefits to home-based children who meet an institutional level of care. Financial qualifications for TEFRA consider only the child's income, so the parent's income does not create an obstacle to enrollment. For more information, contact the SoonerCare Helpline at (800) 987-7767.
Oklahoma Cares provides SoonerCare benefits to women under age 65 who need further diagnostics or treatment for breast or cervical abnormal findings, precancerous conditions or cancer. Oklahoma Cares members are covered under either the SoonerCare Choice or SoonerCare Traditional benefit package until they no longer require treatment or qualify financially. Women who are interested should ask if their health care provider is a certified screening provider. If not, they can find a screening provider in their area by contacting the Oklahoma State Department of Health at (866) 550-5585.
SoonerPlan offers limited benefits for family planning services. SoonerPlan provides lab tests and office visits, contraceptive products, pregnancy tests, tubal ligations and vasectomies to women and men age 21 or older who do not usually qualify for full benefits under SoonerCare. For more information, contact your local county health department.
This program assists children from birth to age 18 who receive a Supplemental Security Income - Disability Payment (SSI) to receive assistance in getting needed equipment and services. This includes adaptive equipment and specialty formula from birth to age 18 and diapers from age 4 to age 18.
Practical Assisted Living Services (P.A.L.S.) is a non-profit organization to create and repair adaptive equipment for people with disabilities.
Most standard health insurance policies pay a portion of the cost of medical equipment when medically necessary. Check your policy or contact your employee health benefits coordinator for information.
State law requires health insurance coverage of certain benefits, such as hearing aids for children under age 13, but all insurers may not be subject to such requirements. Check plan for coverage details.
SoonerStart is Oklahoma's early intervention program designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays. The program is a joint effort of the Oklahoma Departments of Education, Health, Human Services, Mental Health Services, the Commission on Children and Youth, and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.
SoonerStart is for infants and toddlers through 36 months of age who have developmental delays or have a physical or mental condition (such as Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.) which will most likely cause a developmental delay.
There is no direct cost to families for these services, regardless of their income. This program is mandated by federal and state law and is funded through various state and federal sources.
Some services may include:
- diagnostic and evaluation services,
- case management,
- family training, counseling and home visits,
- certain health services,
- nursing services,
- nutrition services,
- occupational, physical and speech-language therapy, and
- special instruction.
SoonerStart services are provided in the child and family's natural environment. This may include the child's home or daycare, and could extend to a relative's home, the grocery store, park, a restaurant, library, church or synagogue, etc. Direct link to the State Department of Education SoonerStart webpage.
Information for Executive Director of SoonerStart/Early Intervention Mark Sharp:
The Oklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Services (OSDE-SES) is committed to providing guidance and support in order to promote excellence in education from infancy to adulthood for children with disabilities as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).
TSHA provides a variety of services to those who are deaf, hard of hearing, affected by hearing loss or simply have an interest.
TSHA's goal is to increase the independence of people with hearing loss. TSHA is a non-profit, Tulsa Area United Way member agency with 50+ years of experience in providing information and support programs for those who have a hearing loss. TSHA also provides services for interested individuals: family, friends, employers, employees, and those wanting to learn sign language.
everal U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) agencies assist people with disabilities in seeking meaningful work and succeeding once on the job. DOL also advises employers on effective strategies for recruiting and retaining qualified people with disabilities, as well as educates federal agencies and federal contractors and sub-contractors about their obligations related to affirmative action and nondiscrimination in hiring.
Purchase of adaptive devices and medical rehabilitative equipment for children and adults. Aid is based on financial need. Other services include an inclusive Child Development Center; speech, occupational, and behavioral therapy for children; and an Adult Day Health Center for adults over the age of 21 with developmental or late onset disabilities such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.