According to the National MS Society, there are nearly a million people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the United States. Symptoms vary widely and may include vision changes, loss of strength and balance, reduced stamina, cognitive impairments, and depression. March is MS Awareness Month. If you know someone impacted by MS, don’t forget your Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program for assistance finding tools and strategies for living well.
In 2020, “Anna” contacted the MD Assistive Technology Act Program (MDTAP) looking to find a manual wheelchair that she could better manage. Her MS had progressed and the chair her insurance had provided required more physical strength than she had and was too large and unwieldy for her petite frame. Rather than take up the process of appealing to her insurance for a new chair, Anna reached out to MDTAP’s reuse program. The program located her a gently-used manual wheelchair that is smaller and easy to maneuver. Anna was delighted. Her problem was solved swiftly and her original equipment would not go to waste. She donated her original chair to the program so someone else might benefit!
In 2021, the Arkansas Alternative Financing Program (AFP) financed a modified vehicle for Susan whose existing van was experiencing numerous mechanical failures. Susan has MS, uses a wheelchair, and needs the van to get to work and for all her vital appointments. She had dreaded financing another van, but after hers became a continuous headache, she learned about the AFP through one of the local van vendors. What a relief! She was able to finance a vehicle with all the equipment she needed: a transfer seat, hand gear, a knob-steering wheel, and an easy-lock device. Her AFP loan has a low-interest rate and affordable monthly payments. Since obtaining the new van, Susan says she is no longer concerned about maintaining her employment and is feeling much more confident and independent!
The AT3 Center, the Association of AT Act Programs (ATAP), and the Administration on Community Living (ACL) make no endorsement, representation, or warranty expressed or implied for any product, device, or information set forth in this blog. The AT3 Center, ATAP, and ACL have not examined, reviewed, or tested any product or device hereto referred.
The Assistive Technology Act Training and Technical Assistance Center(AT3/AT3 Center) is a project funded under grant award # 90ATTA0001 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living (ACL). AT3 provides technical assistance and supports to State Assistive Technology (AT) Programs funded under Section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended (P.L. 108-364). The AT3 Center is a sponsored project of the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP) The information on this website does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of ACL, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
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