Adaptive Technology Grants

Our Adaptive Technology Grant Program provides assistance to individuals wishing to purchase adaptive hardware and software which make it possible for them to use computers etc. Adaptive hardware and software are very expensive when compared to “off the shelf” computers and programs. We believe that it is important for legally blind people to have this opportunity in order to compete on a level playing field with those who are sighted.
Applicants for this program are required to pay at least 50% of the cost of the adaptive software and equipment and MCB, if the application is approved, pays the remaining portion.


Approved January 12, 2010

I. Purpose

The Missouri Council of the Blind (MCB) created this Adaptive Technology Grants Program to help fulfill its mission of enriching the lives of legally blind Missourians. Adaptive technology can be very expensive so MCB understands why many legally blind Missourians are not benefiting from its use. Through its matching funds grant program, MCB helps legally blind Missourians obtain adaptive technology by matching each applicant dollar for dollar toward the purchase of adaptive technology.

II. Adaptive Technology

For the purpose of this grant program, adaptive technology is considered hardware, software, electronics, equipment, etc. that is standalone or works in conjunction with a computer that makes it possible for blind people to do things that sighted people can already do without using adaptive technology.

III. Coverage

The Adaptive Technology Grants Program widely covers both hardware and software based adaptive technology, including upgrades and maintenance agreements, and narrowly covers computer systems as required by or used in conjunction with accompanying adaptive technology, such as screen magnification software, screen reader software, or a scanning system. Purchase of a computer along with or for use with accompanying adaptive technology is only eligible for up to a $400 matching funds grant. Only new adaptive technology and computers are covered, including adaptive technology upgrades to newer versions; used or previously owned adaptive technology and computers are not covered.

IV. Guidelines

    A. Grants shall be awarded to legally blind Missourians.
    B. Each grant shall be matched dollar for dollar by the grant applicant.
    C. Any purchase made prior to grant application shall not be eligible for a grant.
    D. No person shall be eligible for more than a total of three thousand dollars of matching funds grants within a five-year period.
    E. The minimum grant award shall be fifty dollars.
    F. Members of the Missouri Council of the Blind shall receive the full benefits of the Adaptive Technology Program set forth by the Adaptive Technology Committee. Those who are not members of the Missouri Council of the Blind shall receive 50% of the benefits offered by the Adaptive Technology Program.

V. Application

    A. The applicant must submit the following documents to the Adaptive Technology Grants Committee Chair:
    A completed application.
    The exact specifications of the adaptive technology or computer to be purchased.
    A copy of an official price quote from two vendors or dealers (one quote will suffice if there is no other source for the item).
    Written verification of legal blindness from an ophthalmologist or other reasonable authority (obtained within the past year), including a description of the applicant’s eye condition, visual acuity, and field of vision.
    B. The Adaptive Technology Grants Committee Chair shall notify the MCB Headquarters in writing of the decision made by the Adaptive Technology Grants Committee. Upon receiving notification of an application approval, the MCB Headquarters shall prepare a check in the amount authorized for use toward the approved price quote accompanying the application, and such check shall be made payable directly to the vendor or dealer listed on such price quote. The MCB Headquarters shall forward this check to the MCB Treasurer for signing, who then shall forward it to the applicant. If, for any reason, this check is not used for its intended purpose within ninety days, then the applicant must return the check to:

    Missouri Council of the Blind
    5453 Chippewa Street
    Saint Louis, Missouri 63109

    Failure to return an unused check in a timely manner could adversely affect future consideration.
    C. If program funds are exhausted at the time of application, the applicant shall be notified no later than thirty days after the application is received by the Adaptive Technology Grants Committee Chair. Previous applicants declined due to lack of program funds will be notified when program funds are replenished.
    D. If an application is denied, then the applicant may submit a written appeal to the MCB Board of Directors at its next regularly scheduled meeting whereupon the Board would vote to accept or deny the appeal. The Adaptive Technology Grants Committee Chair would then notify the applicant of the decision reached by the Board.
    E. Applications for the Adaptive Technology Grants Program may be obtained by: