How to Ask Private Agencies for Help Paying for Assistive Technology

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Reaching out to private sources to help pay for Assistive Technology (AT) items can be hard. It can also be time-consuming. But it can work! If you have trouble reaching out for funding, you could try asking a family member, friend, or neighbor to speak for you. They might be able to help with your fundraising efforts.

Assistive Technology (AT) or adapted equipment means any item a person needs to keep up or do better in school or at work, or to help with daily activities. There are many kinds of AT items. They can help people walk, talk or hear, and more. AT services help a person to choose, get or use an AT item.

The Steps

1. Make a list of likely sources

Start by making a list of the private groups, clubs, or churches near you. Do you know someone in one of the groups? Is someone you know a member of one of the clubs or churches? Do you know someone at your local bank?

2. Match the goals of these groups with your fund-raising goals

Find out as much as you can about the goals of each group. Has the group said yes to others who have asked for funding?

3. Find out how to apply for funding

Some private sources of funding ask you to present to their group. Some ask you to write to them to ask for funding.

4. Get ready to tell why you need the AT item

Describe your disability well. Tell them how the AT will help you. Tell them what you will be able to do that you are not able to do without the item. Show pictures of the AT item. Let them know about other places you have asked for funding and have been denied. Here are some reasons to help you ask for funding. AT will help you:

  • Be more able to do things on your own.
  • Take part in your community.
  • Enjoy a better family life.
  • Build your self-esteem.
  • Have better health.
  • Deal with safety issues (for you or your family, at home, work or in the community).
  • Get a better model of an AT item.

5. Make your request

Ask for funding as near to October as you can. Many funders, such as those with federal money, make their awards in October.

6. Follow-up

Be sure to send a letter of thanks after you ask for funding. Even if the group cannot help you, thank them for thinking about it. If approved, follow up with a letter of thanks. Share stories. Show how the item is helping you.


Disclaimer: This tip sheet is for information only. It cannot guarantee funding. Iowa Compass makes regular updates to give current and accurate information. We cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information.

Developed by Iowa Compass. Last Update: April 23, 2020