A lot of the possible equipment that might be helpful day-to-day is mentioned in the other equipment sections. There are many other items and accessories, sometimes small, which can also make a difference at home and work, including for example:
- Automatic page turners, book holders and adapted pencil grips
- Ramps and grab bars
- Specialised handles and grips to help with eating and reaching
Talk to your OT (Occupational Therapist) or physio about what help you need - they may well be able to come up with a solution. If you haven’t got an OT or physio, ask your GP to make a referral for you. Depending on the item(s) you need, your OT or physio should be able to guide you as to whether it’s something that could be funded either by Health or the Local Authority. This website also tells you more about funding and how to apply: www.gov.uk/browse/disabilities/equipment
LA budgets are though limited and may not cover every item that your OT suggests could be useful - and there can be delays. Also, new products are coming on to the market all the time. If you do want to see what the range is, and potentially buy something it’s best, if possible, to try it out first. You may find it helpful to visit one of the equipment exhibitions held around the country, where you’ll be able to talk with a range of providers. You’ll find details of these and other events and exhibitions that may be useful here: www.smauk.org.uk/equipment-exhibitions-sport-and-other-events (link now?)
If an item can’t be funded by the Health or Local Authority but your OT or other professional agrees it would be a good idea, you may be able to get help with funding. Support Services at SMA UK may be able to suggest charities that might provide a grant.
Most charities will need:
- a letter from your OT / physio to say that what you’ve chosen is suitable, safe and meets your needs and that the NHS / Local Authority is unable to provide funding
- your quote from the supplier detailing costs, including any extra accessories and delivery. Items are only likely to be exempt of Value Added Tax (VAT) if they’ve been ‘designed solely for disabled people’ (the general rule for whether an item is VAT exempt). Ask the supplier to check for you.
You can find related information in the Living With SMA section:
Funding For Equipment