Jerry Vogel used assistive technology and understood how important access to technology was for learning, living in the community he loved—Lawrence, participating in church activities, maintaining his independence at work and at home, and for enjoying nature.
The Gerald “Jerry” Vogel Assistive Technology Fund, a trust managed by Central Bank of the Midwest and operated by Assistive Technology for Kansans, was established in 2012 to help persons with disabilities and health conditions who live in Jefferson, Douglas, or Franklin County acquire assistive technology devices. Each year on January 1st, a portion of the fund is made available. Recipients who reside in one of three counties may apply by filling out an application. Assistive technology devices are funded in the areas of hearing, vision, communication, mobility/stability/ physical access, environmental adaptations, recreation/sports/leisure. The Fund was established to help as many individuals as possible. Assistance may be provided for up to 50% of the cost of the technology but may not exceed $500. Checks will be made to the vendor or supplier of the technology being acquired. Assistive Technology Specialists can help applicants explore both public and private funders to help with the purchase. In Fiscal Year 2016 five applications were funded.
- A man needed a bariatric wheelchair so that he could get out and interact with his neighbors and volunteer at the local library. His local church and local Rotary club provided matching funds.
- A woman needed a heavy-duty lift chair and cushion to give her an additional positioning option during the day. Her history of skin breakdown required the specialized cushion. She continues to live in her own home. Matching funds were obtained with the Vogel commitment at $500.
- A man with a lumbar spinal cord injury needed funds for a trapeze bar with stand. With the device available he is able to reposition himself when in bed and his transfer from bed to wheelchair is easier and safer. He obtained matching funds through United Cerebral Palsy Fund.
- A mother applied for funds for a Sleep Safer Bed for her son due to his history of accidentally throwing himself out of bed while turning over or attempting to pull himself up. With this bed, he sleeps safely and his parents stress has been reduced. Funding was obtained through the Vogel Fund and other funding sources, including personal funds.
- A man filled out an application because he needed a Joey Lift to mount on the back of his vehicle and transport his scooter. Matching funds were obtained along with his personal funds and he is able to get to doctors’ appointments and maintain his health while being more involved in his community.
The Vogel Fund continues to be valuable to the residents in the three-county area. Applications have already been received and approved pending fund availability in the new year. For more information about the Jerry Vogel Fund and to access the application, go to http://atk.ku.edu/jerry-vogel-assistive-technology-fund.