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Getting Funding for Equipment

by Allan Wilson

on Tue Jun 19, 2018

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CALL Scotland course,
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Access to technology for learners with physical support needs

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We regularly receive enquiries from parents (and schools, acting on their behalf) asking about funding for specialist equipment for learners with additional support needs. If the school or local authority are not able to provide equipment from their regular budgets, e.g. for home use, where should people go?

Pupil Equity Fund

If a school receives money from the Pupil Equity Fund, while it might not be right to use it to purchase a specialist item for one pupil, it could be very appropriate for a support base to be given money to purchase, e.g. a small number of iPads for use by pupils with additional support needs.

ILF Scotland Transition Fund

The ILF Scotland Transition Fund provides money to support young people living with disabilities to mprove their lives. People aged between 15 and 21 can apply, though people who are aged 15 won't receive the money until they reach 16. Money can be used for a number of purposes, including:

  • art or music lessons
  • a device or piece of technology to help with an impairment
  • joining a class and / or club
  • travel training
  • driving lessons and training courses.

The Family Fund

The Family Fund provides grants for families with disabled children across the UK. Grants can be used for basic needs, e.g. a washing machine, or bedding, but can also be used for laptops and tablets.


AbilityNet are a charity that advise on technology to support people with disabilities. They are not able to provide equipment, or funding, but have produced an excellent guide to Finding Funding for an Adapted Computer System. This gives useful advice on applying to charities for funding and includes information about a number of charities that you could apply to. Note that many of these are large charities that will receive lots of applications. but the list also has some more local charities, e.g. the Challenger Children's Fund, which provides grants of up to £500 to provide equipment for physically disabled children in Scotland.

Pass IT On

If you live in the Edinburgh (EH) postcode area and are looking for a computer for a person with a disability, Pass IT On may be able to help. They collect surplus, high quality computer equipment from companies and individuals, refurbish it and give it to people with disabilities, after carrying out an assessment to identify their needs and any adaptations they may require.

Scottish Charity Regulator  (OSCR)

OSCR regulates and maintains the register of over 24,000 charities based in Scotland. The register is available online and allows you to search for local charities that may have funding available to help a parent buy equipment for their child. Some charities, set up many years ago, have restrictions on who can benefit, e.g. residents of a particular parish, or the family of a person with a particular occupation, but if you meet the particular criteria an application could be successful. Here's how to search the register:

  • On the OSCR home page, click on About Charities, then Search the Register.
  • Now enter your local authority under Local Authority Area.
  • Under Charitable Purposes, select 'The advancement of education' and 'The relief of those in need by reason of age, ill health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage.
  • There are further options to select under Additional Filters. For Beneficiaries, select either 'Children / young people' or 'People with Disabilities or health problems'. For Activities, choose 'It makes grants, donations, loans, gifts or pensions to individuals'.

You should end up with a manageable list of local charities. Some will not be appropriate, but there should be others worthy of further investigation - click on the name of the charity to see the full OSCR record, and then check on any link to the charity's web site.


Tags: funding, equipment

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