I Want an SGD but How Do I Get It?: Funding an AAC Device

Funding devices can be the most intimidating piece of the AAC process. Well, maybe not for everyone, but for me it was a huge obstacle! I see posts on Facebook all the time asking how to get a device, where to get one, how to fund one… And the truth is, it is dependent on your insurance, your location, your available resources, and maybe even your school (if the individual needing AAC is currently attending school).

Here is what I have learned from funding devices this year:

  1. Devices are expensive. If you don’t know this already, the “dedicated” devices can be upward of 5k. Yes, $5,000. Some people can pay out of pocket for these. Some cannot. I don’t know many people that can say they have $5,000 lying around that they won’t miss. So, paying out of pocket for a device is usually out of the question.
  2. Medicaid can be a Godsend. Medicaid will fund SGDs with the proper paperwork in many cases. What medicaid decides to fund and decides to deny is...
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Step-By-Step: How to Start and Finish Funding for a High-Tech SGD


This is a process many SLPs need to know if they work with non-speaking clients. Here, I will walk you through funding a high-tech AAC device. This is tried and true (by me!). Going outside of the sequence will create more work for you (believe me, I have been there!). This is the most efficient way I have been able to go through the funding process.

1) AAC questionnaire to parent/client

This step is so important. Find out the insurance the client has and if it covers speech generating devices (you may need to call the insurance company). I also recommend finding out the co-pay (if there is one). You need to know what previous devices the client or student has had, how long they had it, when they received it, and how it was purchased (e.g., private pay or insurance funded). You also need to know the current interest and knowledge the parent or client has of AAC devices.

2) AAC evaluation

Perform an AAC evaluation with a loaned device from a lending library (I use the AT...

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