Assistive technology and grants

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What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology – sometimes called ‘access’ or ‘adaptive’ technology – is specially designed to help people with visual impairments learn and access information, as well as support development.

With technology playing such a significant role in our everyday lives, finding the right tech for your child can be bewildering – that’s why we’re here to help. Whether it’s off the shelf or specialised, we can provide support and guidance that help you make the most of your child’s tech for study and play.

How Guide Dogs can help you

From laptops and computers, to Braille devices and multi-sensory equipment, assistive technology and equipment can open up a world of opportunities for children and young people with sight loss. We help families like yours choose the best possible devices and software to meet your child’s individual needs at home and at school. And because we don’t sell any equipment, our advice is always independent and unbiased.

As well as guidance, we also offer a grant that can be put towards assistive technology and sensory items, so you can encourage your child’s development at home. We consider a range of technology from portable magnifiers, to laptops with magnification and speech software.

For full details, please download our Assistive technology grant criteria pdf.

Guide Dogs holds family events throughout the year, where you can meet a member of our team and ask questions. At some events, we also have suppliers and equipment with us, giving you the opportunity to try the products yourself.

Giving young people skills to thrive

Rebecca Miller was just a toddler when she started losing her sight due to a rare condition. As she grew up, Guide Dogs helped improve Rebecca’s mobility and independent living skills, including travelling from home to her local shops.

Rebecca has embraced the use of assistive technology – I’ve seen a big improvement in her mobility and confidence.
Tracy Dryburgh, Habilitation Specialist
Guide Dogs has given Rebecca the freedom and independence she needs as a young adult.
Claire Thomson, Rebecca’s mum

Criteria for grant application

Before applying for an assistive technology grant, please make sure you understand the following:

  • We will consider grant applications for items where no sources of statutory funding will pay for the required item
  • All equipment and software provided by Guide Dogs’ children and young people’s services are for home use only
  • Your application will need to be supported by a VI professional
  • If successful, you will need to make a 10% contribution towards the total cost of the items
  • A 50% contribution towards the total costs will be required in the case of refreshable braille devices

One application, including an unsuccessful application, can be made per year and if successful you can't apply again within a four-year period for the same or similar item. It’s really important you tell us how the item you’re applying for will improve your child’s day-to-day life. The more detail you can provide, the more informed the grant board will be when making a decision about your application.

All the information you need can be found in our assistive technology grant criteria PDF – be sure to read it ahead of applying.


We’ll help you every step of the way

Have questions about assistive technology, or need support with your application? Get in touch with us today.

0800 781 1444