Thursday, September 30, 2010

Not a true blog, but still usefull

The UCP Elsie S. Bellows Fund

  • Wheelchairs (manual and electric)
  • Computer equipment
  • Lifts in the nominee’s own/parent’s van or home
  • Hearing aids

Please check out these jeans for wheelchair users designed by a wheelchair user?  Who would know what would work better then being her on client.

The IMAGE Center of Maryland - Changing the Meaning of Disability for Everyone
300 E. Joppa Road, Suite 302, Towson, MD 21286 · Get Directions
1 410.982.6311

Developmental Disabilities Administration Low Intensity Support Services (LISS)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Low Intensity Support Services (LISS)?
Low Intensity Support Services (LISS) - formerly known as Rolling Access- are support services established under Maryland Health-General Article ñ7-717. The program is designed to enable a family to provide for the needs of a child or an adult with developmental disabilities living in the home or to support an adult with developmental disabilities living in the community. LISS Services are flexible to meet the needs of individuals or families.

Is LISS the same across the State?

Yes. The process for accessing LISS funding is the same in every cotmty in Maryland.

How is the program funded?

The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) funds this program with State only funding.

Who administers the LISS program?
The DDA contracts with five DDA licensed Family and Individual Support Service providers to administer the program. LISS providers, their contact information, and the county they provide services for is listed at the bottom.

Who can apply for LISS?

Maryland residents who have a developmental disability or their family can apply.

Does every person with a developmental disability get help?

No, because there is a limited amount of funding available.

Is there an application?

The program uses a request form to gather the necessary infomation about the person and the services they are seeking. Individuals must complete a Medical Assistance application unless the service is for a minor.

Do I have to provide any other information?

People applying will need proof that they are a resident of Maryland and have a developmental disability.

Do I have to provide information about my income?

The infomation is optional and does not impact eligibility or service decisions. The data collected allows DDA to report to Legislators how these funds benefit people with disabilities and their families.

Where can l get the LISS Request Form?
The form can be found on the DDA Web site, or by calling any of the LISS providers attached. If you have a DDA resource coordinator, they can also help provide a copy of the form.

How do I apply for LISS?

By completing the LISS Request Form and submitting it to a LISS provider.

Grants for Assistive Technology

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
If your child is under 6 and has a moderate to profound hearing loss, you can apply for money to pay for intervention, educational and/or rehabilitation services. There is also money available for children with hearing loss between the ages of 5 and 19 to attend art or science courses during the summer, weekends, or even after school. For more information, contact: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, 3417 Volta Place, NW, Washington, DC 20007; Telephone: 202-337-5220, TTY: 202-337-5221.
Association of Blind Citizens
Assistive Technology Matching Grants
The Association of Blind Citizens has established the Assistive Technology Fund. The Assistive Technology Fund (ATF) will provide funds to cover 50%of the retail price of adaptive devices or software. The ABC board of directors believes that this program will allow blind and visually impaired individuals to access to technology products that will have a significant impact on improving employment opportunities, increase the level of independence and enhance their overall quality of life. The products covered by this program must retail for a minimum of $200 with a maximum retail price of $6,000. Persons eligible to apply for assistance must have a family income of less than $50,000 and cash assets of less than $20,000. Applications will be reviewed by the Assistive Technology Committee (ATC) and recommendations will be submitted for board approval. If applicants are selected to receive a technology grant, applicants will be asked to provide documents such as tax returns, bank statements and any other documents that the ABC board or its designee would deem necessary to assess financial need for the grant. Applicants must be legally blind and a resident of the United States to qualify for this program. Applications must be submitted by June 30th, September 30th and December 31st for each grant period (three per year). Applicants will be notified if their request for a grant is approved. Applicants may submit one request per calendar year. All applications must be submitted via e-mail. You will be notified by ABC within 45 days after the application deadline.
Developmental Disabilities Administration
State agency that provides grants for people with developmental disabilities who have a highly urgent need for services.
• Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)- Central Maryland
Serving Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Wicomico, Talbot, Somerset, Queen Anne's, and Kent County.
• Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)- Southern Maryland
1-888-207-2479, 301-362-5100
Serving Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's, Prince George's, and Montgomery County.
• Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)- Western Maryland
1-888-791-0193, 301-791-4670
Serving Allegany, Carroll, Fredrick, Garrett, and Washington County.

Disabled Children’s Relief Fund (DCRF)
DCRF focuses special attention on helping children throughout the U.S. that do not have adequate health insurance, especially the physically challenged. In some cases, DCRF may be the last resort. DCRF grant applications may be used for modest awards for assistive devices, rehabilitative services, arts and humanities projects, or for efforts to bolster compliance with existing laws for the benefit of children with disabilities. Applications may be submitted by families (parent or guardian) for an individual child, or by a non-profit organization for a small group of children. Applications are available between April and September.

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)
Under their Vocational Rehabilitation Program, DORS provides grants for vehicle adaptations and other assistive technology necessary for an individual to return to work or continue employment with a job. Under their Independent Living Program, DORS helps individuals with disabilities live independent lives; may provide grants for assistive technology. An individual should call their local DORS office and open a case to be considered for any DORS assistance. 1-888-554-0334 (Central Office, ask for an office near you)

HIKE Fund, Inc. - Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment
Any hearing impaired person between the ages of newborn and twenty years, with financial need, may apply for a hearing aid. With proper application, other hearing devices, as needed, on an individual basis may be considered for funding. Included may be enclosed caption converters for television, tactile units, FM units (into which a hearing aid is plugged for amplification), computers to assist deaf children in communicating, as well as other technical devices may be prescribed. Supported by the International Order of Job's Daughters.
352-688-2579 (FL),

Jill Fox Memorial Fund: The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore
Jill Fox is a last resort grant, which grants funds for extraordinary needs of individuals who cannot otherwise obtain the necessary funds to meet these expenses. Their average grant is $400. A referral is required. All grant requests must be made on behalf of individuals by health care professionals, hospitals, or community-based social workers. Individuals should not call Jill Fox directly for information; only the person making the referral should contact them directly. The individual making the referral can call Jill Fox directly at 410-727-4828 x322. Individuals seeking a referral can have their local Center for Independent Living (CIL) refer them. MD TAP can provide individuals with their local CIL’s contact information. MD TAP can be reached at 1-800-832-4827 (Voice) or 1-866-881-7488 (TTY).

Kya’s Krusade
Contacts: Kylie Miles – or 614-735-9703, Ashandra McLymont – or 614-323-6399
Offers financial assistance to families for additional physical and occupational therapy sessions and equipment that are not covered by insurance. Eligibility requirements: (1) the child must be under 18 years old and have a confirmed diagnosis of Arthrogryposis or a less publicized physical disability, (2) the physical or occupational therapist must be licensed and registered with the American Physical Therapy Association or the American Occupational Therapy Association, and (3) the equipment must be available at the time of the request, from a verified retailer.

MDA-ALS, Friedreich's Ataxia, Oculo-pharyngeal Muscular Disorder Communications Fund
MDA is helping to pay for communications technology for people who are primarily affected with ALS, Friedreich's ataxia, and oculo-pharyngeal muscular disorder and over 30 other neuromuscular disorders which cause muscle weakness and extends to the tongue and muscles involved in speech. MDA will allow up to $2,000 for the one-time purchase of an augmentative communication device. Purchase may be covered by Medicare or Medicaid but MDA will assist with the costs not covered. For more information contact Paula Orandash at 800-393-8552.

M.O.R.G.A.N. Project, Inc. – Quality-of-Life (QOL) Grant Program
QOL grants provide families with a wide variety of supports related to their medically fragile child with lifetime physical special needs. Applications will be accepted only for children under the age of 18. The grant does not pay medical bills, insurance premiums or out of pocket expenses, partial funding, nor provide funds for therapy, schooling or emergency assistance. Examples of qualifying requests would be uncovered DME-type items (such as an adaptive shower chair or an adaptive car seat), or travel expenses to attend a medical conference or support group meeting (such as airfare, hotel room, meals, etc.) in order to network with other families in the same situation. Currently this cap is set at a maximum of $1,000 per recipient, and subject to available funds. The average grants approved are between $250 and $500 per recipient. If you meet our organization's criteria and have all the documentation items required, then you can apply to be pre-qualified online at

Multiple Sclerosis Foundation: Brighter Tomorrow Grant Program
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of those diagnosed with MS. The Brighter Tomorrow Grant is an award of up to $1,000 to provide goods or services that will help improve the quality of life of someone with MS. In past years, the program has provided items for improved daily life such as appliances, personal items, car repairs, and home modification. Education and improved health and well-being were also encouraged through the presentation of exercise equipment and classes, hobby supplies, and financial assistance for educational purposes. Recipients desiring greater independence have received wheelchairs, ramps, and other assistive technology equipment. Deadline for grant applications is October 1st.

Multiple Sclerosis Society
The MS Society provides partial grants to individuals with multiple sclerosis for assistive technology and durable medical equipment. A prescription is needed. There is a $400 fiscal year cap on grants. The MS Society can be reached at 410-527-1770 (Central MD), 410-543-0007 (Eastern Shore), or 301-228-3808 (Western Maryland).

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
MDA provides grant money to individuals with muscular dystrophy or one of 42 other neuromuscular disorders.
Eligible individuals can receive up to $200 is available for occupational therapy evaluations. Additionally, individuals can receive a one-time payment, every five years that is up to $2,000 of individual’s cost for augmentative communication devices, wheelchairs, leg braces, etc. Up to $500 per year is available for individual’s costs for wheelchair repairs and modifications. MDA can be reached at 410-494-7072 (Baltimore area) or 1-888-484-7072 (toll-free).

Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation (MDFF)
MDFF is a fund of last resort. All other available funding must be exhausted before or used in conjunction with MDFF. Applicants must have one of 43 neuromuscular diseases or dystrophies covered under the MDFF program. Grants are provided for: purchase and repairs of equipment, respiratory devices, camperships, accessibility and vehicle modifications. If item is paid for by more than 50%, the item is considered property of MDFF and must be returned when no longer needed. Insurance deductibles do not qualify. Maximum amount for ramp grants is $5,000 (only temporary ramps are allowed for rental properties). Maximum for vehicle modifications is $4,000. Maximum for home modifications is $5,000. Payment is made directly to the vendor. Call 1-800-544-1213 for an application. Find MDFF online at

National Transplant Assistance Fund & Catastrophic Injury Program (NTAF)
NTAF talks with patients to determine whether or not fundraising is feasible given their unique circumstances. NTAF can help tailor a plan to meet both ambitious and modest fundraising goals, and can work with fundraising groups both large and small -- even if the committee comprises only the patient and a few family members or friends. NTAF will help patients and their volunteers develop everything from tribute sheets with a personal and persuasive story, to online donation materials, flyers, press coverage and other materials. Once patients read through the material NTAF provides and decide to fundraise with our organization, patients begin planning individually-tailored fund-raising campaigns with their NTAF patient services coordinators. Patients complete an application which includes questions concerning financial need. This application is reviewed by a transplant or catastrophic injury medical professional who adds relevant insurance information. Funds raised come to NTAF where they are held in Regional Restricted Funds in honor of the patient, for the region where the patient lives, together with other funds raised in that region. Once the completed application demonstrating financial need has been approved, a patient may submit a request for assistance (Fund Request Form) with appropriate proof of expense. The NTAF Board of Directors has final approval over the disbursement of funds, based upon patient financial need. NTAF charges a 4% administrative charge on all funds raised. Contact NTAF at 1-800-642-8399 for more information.

TPA Scholarship for Deaf and Near Deaf
The Travelers Protective Association of America established the TPA Scholarship Trust for the Deaf and Near Deaf in 1975 to provide financial aid to children and adults who suffer deafness or hearing impairment and who need assistance in obtaining mechanical devices, medical or specialized treatment or specialized education as well as speech classes, note takers, interpreters, etc. and in other areas of need that are directly related to hearing impairment. Completed application must be returned to the Trust by March 1st each year. Trustees review all applications on file in April, notify recipients in May and scholarship checks are mailed after August 1st.

Travis Roy Foundation
Provides individual grant funds to modify vans and to purchase wheelchairs, computers, ramps, shower chairs, and other adaptive equipment to help paraplegics and quadriplegics live their lives. Applications are accepted year-round and are considered at quarterly Trustee meetings. Grants typically range from $4,000 to $7,500; there is no minimum award. Assistance is awarded to paraplegics or quadriplegics paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury (Please Note: paralysis must be due to a spinal cord injury; paralysis due to other causes, such as MS or spina bifida, is not eligible). Applicants must demonstrate financial need and may be required to provide documentation. There is no age requirement. Applicants must reside in the United States. Applications are available online at and should be mailed to: Travis Roy Foundation, Attn: Brenda Taylor, Foundation Coordinator, 111 Huntington Avenue, Prudential Center, 19th Floor, Boston, MA 02199-7613. No phone calls are accepted.

United Cerebral Palsy Equipment Fund
United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland, Inc.
Provides grants to individuals with Cerebral Palsy and physical disabilities.
Average grant: $300
No referral is required. Call directly for an application.
410-574-7696 ext. 217

United Healthcare Children’s Foundation
To be eligible, families must reside in the United States and be covered by a commercial health insurance plan; Medicare and Medicaid do not qualify. The child must be 16 years old or younger. Generally, awards will be granted to individuals in families whose adjusted gross income per individual does not exceed $20,000. The Foundation provides financial assistance toward the family's share of the cost of medical services. These grants, up to $5,000, can help families pay for the costs associated with therapies such as speech, physical and psychotherapy sessions; for medical equipment such as wheelchairs, braces, hearing aids and eye glasses; and for orthodontia and dental treatments. The amount awarded to an individual within a 12-month period is limited to either $5,000 or 10% of 85% of the fund balance, whichever amount is less. Awards to any one individual are limited to a lifetime maximum of $7,500. Apply online at

Veteran’s Administration (VA)
The VA helps veterans to obtain prosthetics, hearing aids, eyeglasses, low vision aids, guide dogs, adapted computers, housing modifications and vehicle modifications. Contact the VA at 1-800-827-1000.

Service Organizations

Check your local service organizations such as the following for mini-grants for assistive technology: Business and Professional Women's Associations, Exchange Club, Kiwanis, Elks, Lions, SERTOMA, JayCees, Church Groups, "A Dream Come True", "Make-A-Wish", Masons/Shriners, Churches, Knights of Columbus, and the Quota Club.

- The Benevolent & Protective Order of the Elks-
The Elks offer many services available to veterans.
Check out their website for local lodges near you at

- Maryland Jaycees-
Since 1933 the Baltimore Junior Association of Commerce has been helping professionals age 22-40 develop leadership skills through community service by involving young professionals in civic, government and business organizations and working as a team to accomplish common goals. Today the BJAC organizes community and business activities that make Baltimore a better city in which to live, work, and play. The projects and programs of the BJAC provide its membership with rewarding opportunities for involvement in many areas of life in Baltimore. Locate your local chapter detail at or call the Maryland Service Center at 410-876-1244.

- Lions Clubs International
Services provided by Lions clubs for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing include: hearing awareness, hearing screenings, communications aids for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, recreational camps for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, support for the Deaf or hard of hearing community.
Many Lions Clubs also provide vocational assistance to persons who are legally blind. The international office refers requests for equipment or other assistance to the appropriate district offices.
Look for a Lion’s Club in your area by using the Club Locator on the website.
The Lions Clubs International can be reached at (800) 747-4448.

- Kiwanis Club International
Kiwanis Club International is a thriving organization of service and community-minded individuals who support children and young adults around the world. Kiwanis International can be reached at (317) 875-8755 (IN). Find your local club information on their website at

- Knights of Columbus Headquarters
Catholic men's fraternal benefit society that was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Knights are Catholic men, 18 years of age and older, who are committed to making their community a better place, while supporting their Church. In the past decade, the Knights have raised and donated nearly $1 billion to numerous charitable causes and volunteered nearly 400 million hours of service. The Knights of Columbus Headquarters can be reached at (203) 752-4000 or

- The National Exchange Club
Exchange's Program of Service is divided into the categories of Americanism, Community Service and Youth, with Child Abuse Prevention emphasized as our national program. If you would like to arrange to visit a club meeting, contact National Headquarters, at 800-924-2643, or e-mail for more information.
Maryland Clubs: 1555 Baltimore, 1556 Highlandtown-Baltimore, 1557 Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 1560 Catonsville, 1563 Fruitland, 1565 Hagerstown, 1566 Antietam-Hagerstown, 1568 Liberty and Owings Mills, 1569 Salisbury.

- SERTOMA (SERvice TO Mankind)
SERTOMA’s primary service project is assisting the more than 50 million people with speech, hearing and language disorders. Every year SERTOMA clubs raise more than $20 million for local community service projects. Through these projects, as well as grants and scholarships, SERTOMA clubs return those funds to their respective communities. Local clubs will often “adopt” a person who needs hearing aids or other AT related to speech, hearing and language disorders. SERTOMA International can be reached at 816-333-8300 (MO) or you can email to have a Sertoman in your community contact you with information on a club near you.

- Quota Club International
An international service organization that links members of all ages, occupations, and nationalities in a worldwide network of service and friendship. The Quota Club can be reached at 202-331-4395 or Their Maryland clubs are currently in Cambridge, Ocean City, and Salisbury.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gimp Is trible and Strong!

I often get asked what is the correct terminology when referring to one’s disability. I question to myself if I am the right person to offer my opinion. Don’t forget I am the guy that introduced him self as king gimp to millions of people around the world. At first the producer really did not know what to think of the name. They asked if I really want people on the street to call me gimp, sure why not. Then my mom did not like the name, because it referred to being homosexual. I asked around in my many circles of friends and none of them have heard of this. Maybe in some under ground fetish culture, like in Pulp Fiction gimp does label some one’s sexuality. But ten years later I still have not heard gimp used in that way. Then there is the opposite end of the spectrum, in the age of political correctness people demanded not to call a disability an illness, decease, or condition. I guest, they wanted a disability by its prober name, so should I get upset when people say that I have M.S. and not C.P. No Dena and I just take the time to explain the difference between the two. According to the lawyer on T.V., C.P./Cerebral Palsy is a very expensive mistake! Yes, life with a disability is expensive, but not a mistake. It is a challenge to make life more interesting. I think if from the start the family and the disable person look at this as a mistake. They are sure to fail in life for not accepting the challenge and live life to the fullest. When I was about 14 I would go to camp and I saw a shirt that had X over dis in the word disability. To this day I still cannot figure that out, because it was like cutting off a part of who I am. I think of my disability, it help makes me the person that I am and would not have it any other way.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An OT Class Project

I often receive emails from students in every field of study and professionals from various fields. I do not mind repeating my advice, I figured, if I keep blogs with general ideas they can email me questions that are more in depth. This week a class of OT students saw the film and now are doing a project on me.

“We just have a few questions for you. Have you ever participated in occupational therapy? If so, from your perspective, what advice can you give us regarding the relationship between the therapist and client? For example, what qualities do you like to see or admire about OT? What are things you remember most from your interaction with OT, whether positive or negative?”

I regularly received OT until the age of 13. Most of it was benefit, I learn how to use the head stick for typing, art and other things. I also work on using the straw and I still use these skills today. The other day I was eating a yogurt and Dena said how cute it was that I stuck my tongue out when she put the spoon in my mouth. Yeah but if you were an OT, you be going nuts from the tongue thrust.

I think, as kids get older they should become more of the team and have some input. I might have been shown a new solution to a problem. When I got home I may use the same tools, but find a new way to use that tool. I was about 22 before I could but my head stick on by myself. I just got home with a device that held the head stick up for me. It broke the first time I used it. I figured out to wedge it between my desk and keyboard so I could just slide my head into it.

I only had one thing that I really hated in OT. When I was about 7, they tried me taking myself to the bathroom. At that time jeans still had snaps, so I could undo that. They put a ring on my zipper; even at that age I was aware how other people see me. Why make myself more odd with rings on my pants zippers. Now I just buy my pants a bit loose, I can just slip them up and down.