A lot of the possible equipment you might find you need to support you 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 and help you at home and school, including for example:
- Automatic page turners, book holders and adapted pencil grips
- Ramps and grab rails
- Specialised handles and grips to help with eating and reaching
You can talk to your OT (occupational therapist) or physio about what help you need. They may well be able to provide what you need. If you haven’t got an OT or physio, ask your GP to make a referral for you. If you need something for a medical reason, the health authority should fund it. If you need equipment to help with personal care or daily living, your Local Authority should fund it via Social Services. Your OT should guide you.
These budgets are 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 ask your parents to buy it, it’s best if possible to try something out first. You may find it helpful to visit one of the equipment exhibitions held around the country, which is where you’ll be able to talk with a range of providers. Every year there are four ‘Kidz’ exhibitions in the UK specifically for children and young people (aged up to 25 years). You’ll find details of these and other events and exhibitions that may be useful here: Events & Exhibitions And Independent Living Centres.
If an item can’t be funded by the Health, Education or Local Authority but your OT or other professional agrees it would be a good idea, your parents may be able to get help with funding. Support Services at SMA UK can suggest charities that may 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
Page last reviewed / updated: April 2021
Nest review due: April 2022