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Aids and Equipment

If your child would benefit from specialist equipment or other aids, these should be identified by the health, social services or another children’s services team who is supporting your child. In each case it is important that you are told who has responsibility to provide it and details of who to contact should any problems arise.

While some aids and equipment may be provided by statutory services, there are several organisations that provide information about different models/types that are on the market. In some cases, these organisations may also provide the equipment directly.

Assistive technologies are products and services that empower disabled people to become more independent. Under the Equality Act 2010, assistive technology is recognised as a ‘reasonable adjustment’ which should be made available to prevent discrimination in a wide variety of contexts. The term covers a diverse range of technologies from wheelchairs and walking sticks to environmental controls which enable users to operate door openers, computers and other household appliances with a single accessible device.

Navigating the specialist equipment and technology market

Specialist aids and equipment and assistive technology can be purchased directly from suppliers. However, it can be difficult to choose between products or even know what is available. The following websites have been designed to provide buyers with a starting place in their search for suitable products.

Independent Living

Independent Living provides a website and a catalogue containing a full range of aids to support daily living, mobility and independence. It also offers a free weekly newsletter on the latest developments in independent living.

Living Made Easy

Living Made Easy is an advice and information website maintained by the Disabled Living Foundation. The website aims to provide comprehensive and impartial information about daily living equipment.

Helpline: 0300 999 0004

Useful charities


Newlife helps disabled and terminally ill children in the UK by providing equipment to help individual children as well as providing nurse led information, service and funding research. They have a special ‘Just Can’t Wait’ equipment service for families of terminally ill children.

Helpline: 0800 902 0095


Whizz-Kids provides disabled children with customised mobility equipment, training, advice and life skills and gives them the independence to be themselves.

Tel: 020 7233 6600



AbilityNet is a charity dedicated to helping disabled people access digital technology at home and in education and the workplace. It provides a range of free services to disabled people and their families, friends, carers and employers.

Helpline: 0800 269 545


Disabled Living

Disabled Living is a charity which provides impartial information about equipment (assistive technology) and services for disabled adults, children, older people and the professionals who support them.

Tel: 0161 607 8200


The Disabled Living Foundation

The Disabled Living Foundation is a national charity that provides impartial advice, information and training on independent living. Its website hosts a range of factsheets on different types of equipment, assistive technology suppliers and sources of funding.

Helpline: 0300 999 0003


ERIC (Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence)

ERIC’s Helpline service provides support for children, parents and professionals who deal with childhood continence issues.

Helpline: 0845 370 8008 on a Monday and Wednesday (9.30am-4.30pm)


The Sequal Trust

The Sequal Trust fundraises on behalf of its members to provide communication aids, which can be in the form of a specialised computer system, voice synthesiser to relay pre-recorded messages, and many other items of communication equipment. They also maintain, repair and update equipment as necessary.

Tel: 01691 624222


Useful commercial providers

The British Healthcare Trade Association

The BHTA is the UK’s largest association of companies that manufacture and sell assistive technology. Its members work in a wide variety of assistive technology fields including wheelchairs, stairlifts, orthotics and communication aids. Companies registered with the association can be found on the ‘Find Member’ section of its website, which can be a useful way of locating reputable suppliers.

Tel: 0207 702 2141


Inclusive Technology

Inclusive Technology is an online retailer that specialises in providing computer access equipment and software for disabled users. Its catalogue includes switches and other computer access devices, communication aids, eyegaze, and educational assistive technology for people with physical, sensory and learning impairments.

Tel: 01457 819 790


Government schemes that are there to support you

The government runs a number of services and programmes to assist those needing housing adaptations or specialist equipment. In most cases they provide access to expert assessors and finance both the acquisition and maintenance of the equipment supplied.

Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) are administered by local councils and aim to finance changes to a disabled person’s home to make the residence more accessible. You must be assessed for these grants by a trusted assessor. For children under 18 this is likely to be their physiotherapist or occupational therapist. This can include widening doors and improving access to rooms, installing ramps and adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to operate. The DFG is means-tested, based on household income and savings for adults. Children under 18 can get a grant without their parents’ income being taken into account. The maximum amount of funding available varies by region. It is not available in Scotland.

Further information

England and Wales:

Northern Ireland:

Frequently asked questions

I’ve been told I’ll need some new equipment for my child now he has been diagnosed. How do I go about getting it?

You may need specific pieces of equipment to help you care for your child and you should be assessed by someone from your local authority, primary care trust or children’s team who can inform you about the options and services available to you. This assessment should be on-going and equipment needs to be assessed on a regular basis

You may need specialist bedding or clothing, particularly if your child experiences difficulties with continence. Your local health service may provide continence aids including nappies, but the age of qualification for this varies from service to service. Your health visitor or another member of the care team should be able to give you advice about equipment.

Equipment that is deemed necessary to daily living as a result of an assessment should be provided to you free of charge. If you require other aids or equipment not catered for by the local authority, you may need to pay for this yourself. If this is the case, and you cannot afford it, you can make an appeal to your local authority – you should contact a member of your care team about this. There are also grant giving organisations that may be able to help in this situation, such as:

Family Fund

REACT Children’s Charity

Independence at Home


I need a specially adapted car for my child, but because they're not yet three they don't qualify for the mobility component of disability living allowance. Is there anything I can do?

If you have a disabled or seriously ill child under three, and would benefit from access to a car, the Family Fund Mobility Support programme could help. Please visit the Family Fund’s website to get more details and begin the application process.