Grants For Developmental Disabilities

Grants are funds or aid given by someone, usually a foundation or a trust or a government department, to a recipient who can be a non-profit entity, an educational institution or even a business. Developmental disability describes life-long physical or mental impairments. People who are mentally challenged and have cerebral palsy, autism and various genetic and chromosomal disorders like Down's Syndrome or Fragile X-syndrome are said to be suffering from some form of developmental disability. They are usually looked down upon as incompetent and incapable of doing any work. Earlier, they were often removed from their families and kept in separate institutions.

Most of these institutions provided just basic needs and did not take proper care of the inmates. During the 20th century, most countries tried to eliminate such forms of institutions. Now, many retarded children get the opportunity to attend special schools where they are taught the basic skills. Various educational programs and extracurricular activities are developed in these schools for them.

Today, many government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private players provide support services to these schools. These services are aided through government block funding or grants which are paid directly to the service providers, or through individualised aid packages that are paid directly to the individual. Individuals having some small form of developmental disability can also receive certain amounts of subsidies or discounts from the government. They are often not needed to repay the aid.

Grants for the disabled are not just money. Counseling, books and equipments are also provided for free. Another type of grant is tax relief. A disability grant can be used for certain adaptations that would provide the disabled person better freedom of movement and essential facilities. The process of getting a disability grant is quite simple as most government grants are federally administered. One has to apply to the nearest welfare officer. A medical test is usually conducted to check the level of disability. The grant stops once the disabled person dies or the disability gets cured.

Among the grants and scholarships that are on offer for individuals are 1800wheelchair Scholarship, Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf Financial Aid and Scholarships, American Council of the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind, Inc, American Speech Language Hearing Foundation, Anne Ford Scholarship, Bubel/Aiken Foundation, Caremark Eric Delson Memorial Scholarship, Casey Martin Award, Creating Options: A Resource on Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities, Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation (ELA), Everyday Miracles Autism Support Network Grant Application, Evelyn & Fredrick Weissman Education and Charitable Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) National Office Grants and Contracts Office, United Student Aid Funds, Access to Education Scholarship, etc. Many books, databases and websites can provide a comprehensive list of various grants and funds available for the disabled.

Both the government and private companies or individuals offer a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax relief, payments, grants and concessions. Among the main disability benefits come disability living allowance, attendance allowance, employment and support allowance, incapacity benefit, direct payment, equipment for independent living, personal equipment, prescriptions and hospital travel, value added tax (VAT) relief on equipment and services and independent living fund.