ADA Frequently Asked Questions Knowledge Base - Technology (Accessible)

Medicare, Medicaid, private health or disability insurance, and Worker’s Compensation may pay for some assistive technology. Funding sources often require a statement of medical necessity for the product or equipment and a prescription from a doctor or other health professional. Public educational institutions may have funding for assistive technologies needed to meet educational goals.  State vocational rehabilitation agencies may provide assistive technology for their clients when it is needed to achieve vocational goals.  Many states have programs to provide adaptive telecommunications equipment for deaf and hard of hearing individuals and others who need adaptive equipment for telecommunications.  For more information about funding assistive technology, contact your state’s Assistive Technology Act Program.  A list of these programs can be found at https://www.at3center.net/stateprogram.

For home modifications, such as installing ramps or renovating bathrooms, funds may be available through vocational rehabilitation agencies, local independent living centers, and local volunteer organizations that offer labor or materials for construction.  To find contact information for your local center for independent living visit http://www.ilru.org/.

Veterans with disabilities may receive assistance for improvements necessary to make a home and essential lavatory and sanitary facilities accessible under the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) program. A HISA grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is available to Veterans who have received a medical determination indicating that improvements and structural alterations are necessary or appropriate for the effective treatment of his/her disability. The HISA program is available for both service-connected Veterans and non-service-connected Veterans.

Home improvement benefits up to $6,800 may be provided for a:

  • service-connected condition
  • non-service-connected condition of a Veteran rated 50 percent or more service-connected

Home improvement benefits up to $2,000 may be provided to all other Veterans registered in the VA health care system. The prosthetics department of the VA may also donate lifting equipment such as chairlifts or vertical porch lifts.  To learn more about the program, visit http://www.prosthetics.va.gov/HISA2.asp.


For additional information, take a look at the following resources:

FAQ: What is the definition of disability under the ADA?

FAQ: Does the ADA cover private apartments and private homes?

A wheelchair is a manually operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor, or of both indoor and outdoor, locomotion.  Individuals with mobility disabilities must be permitted to use wheelchairs and manually powered mobility aids, i.e., walkers, crutches, canes, braces, or other similar devices designed for use by individuals with mobility disabilities, in any areas open to pedestrian traffic.


For additional information, take a look at the following resources: 

Fact Sheet: The ADA & Accessible Ground Transportation

Power Driven Mobility Devices

Fact Sheet: Wheelchairs and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices

Appropriate auxiliary aids and services for individuals with hearing loss may include:

  • qualified interpreters on-site or through video remote interpreting (VRI) services;
  • notetakers;
  • real-time computer-aided transcription services;
  • written materials; exchange of written notes;
  • telephone handset amplifiers;
  • assistive listening devices;
  • assistive listening systems;
  • telephones compatible with hearing aids;
  • closed caption decoders;
  • open and closed captioning, including real-time captioning;
  • voice, text, and video-based telecommunications products and systems, including text telephones (TTYs), videophones, and captioned telephones, or equally effective telecommunications devices;
  • videotext displays;
  • accessible electronic and information technology;
  • or other effective methods of making aurally delivered information available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Appropriate auxiliary aids and services for individuals who are blind or have low vision may include:

  • qualified readers;
  • taped texts;
  • audio recordings;
  • Brailed materials and displays;
  • screen reader software;
  • magnification software;
  • optical readers;
  • secondary auditory programs (SAP);
  • large print materials;
  • accessible electronic and information technology;
  • or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals who are blind or have low vision.

For additional information, take a look at the following resources:

FAQ: What funding assistance is available for individuals with disabilities to purchase assistive devices, ramps, etc.?

Fact Sheet: Effective Communication