Special Needs Resource Directory

  • Durable Medical Equipment

    Children and young adults with special healthcare needs often require various forms of assistive technology and/or durable medical equipment (DME). This includes items or services that help those with disabilities improve or keep their ability to function in everyday life.

    The Complex Care Center at Cincinnati Children's provides information and resources to patients and families that can assist individuals with a broad range of challenges.
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    Choosing a Medical Equipment Company

    • Does my insurance / Medicaid pay for the home equipment my child's needs? Will I have a co-payment?
    • Will someone teach me how to operate the equipment before my child is discharged from the hospital?
    • Does the equipment company have pediatric staff experience in working with both newborn infants and young children?
    • What happens if there are equipment problems after regular office hours or on weekends? What is the response time? What provisions are made for back-up equipment?
    • Note: Many equipment companies can provide diapers and formula and can deliver them with you other supplies.

    Choosing a Wheelchair

    • Why is it needed?
      • Are there special considerations for patient weakness and positioning (tilting, raising up, standing)?
      • What design is needed to carry equipment and supplies?
      • Will the wheels need to move easily over bumps, mud, snow, ice, grass or gravel?
    • Should it be power or manual?
      • Is the patient capable of driving it accurately and safely?
      • Is the patient often alone or have a strong desire to be independent?
    • How easy is it to transport the wheelchair?
      • What is the size and weight of the wheelchair and is it easy to collapse?
      • How easy will it be to maneuver the chair at home and into a vehicle?

    DME Companies

    • Cincinnati Children's Home Health Care: 513-636-4663
    • Acapella, is a device used to mobilize pulmonary secretions and can be used in virtually any spatial orientation.
    • ActivStyle provides incontinence supplies including diapers, pullups and underpads. They also have resource information on incontinence.  
    • American Discount Home Medical Equipment provides wheelchairs, scooters, adjustable and hospital beds, walkers, lifts, respiratory aids and a variety of other equipment options. 
    • American Home Patient has infusion therapy, nutrition and respiratory products and equipment. They also have wheelchairs, lift chairs and scooters. You can reach their Cincinnati office at 513-769-7500 or 800-418-9512. You can also find their other locations.  
    • Apria Healthcare: 513-772-1907
    • Bernens (Western Hills): 513-471-7575
    • Bioworks has multiple locations throughout Cincinnati and provides braces and orthotics.
    • Care Medical provides a wide variety of customized equipment including wheelchairs, specialty strollers, lift chairs, bath equipment, hospital beds and custom seating. They serve Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky. 
    • Chartwell Home Medical of America: 513-794-7590
    • Cornerstone Medical provides equipment including wheelchairs and hospital beds: 513-554-0222
    • Cough Assist, manufactured by JH Emerson Company, safely and effectively clears retained broncho-pulmonary secretions, reducing the risk of respiratory complications.
    • CribBed provides safer sleeping and greater comfort for children* and adults with special needs.
    • Easter Seals Tristate offers a medical equipment loan program and a car seat training and loan Program.
    • EnableMart offers a wide range of products for children with special needs, including hearing, mobility and communication devices.
    • Equipment Shop offers a variety of products for children with special needs, including therapy and exercise balls, seating and positioning devices and eating aids.
    • E-Z-ON Adjustable Vest positions children and adults in a car, van or bus. It can be used to restrain children with psychiatric / behavior issues during vehicle transport.
    • Hamilton Assistive Technology Services: 513-923-3300
    • HandiExchange helps connect individuals so they can buy, exchange and sell pre-owned equipment and find local service and equipment providers.
    • Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, evaluates and provides a variety of prostheses, braces and supports. They have multiple locations in the tri-state area.
    • Health Care Solutions: 513-271-5115 
    • Kunkels / Anderson: 513-231-1943
    • Lincare: 513-272-6050
    • Lynder Medical, located in Covington, Kentucky provides mobility and home health care medical equipment including wheelchairs, lifts, beds, walkers, scooters, monitors and incontinence supplies.
    • Mobility Unlimited has Kayserbetten beds for children with special needs. The IDA bed is designed for the patient who is non-ambulatory and needs a secure bed to sleep safe in and receive care.  
    • MyMedMart provides home health care equipment and supplies to home care patients, clinics, home care providers and organizations through direct access to their interactive web site.
    • Ohio Valley Goodwill loans medical equipment to anyone for $5. They can keep it as long as they need it, if they return it they get the $5 back and if they keep it there is no additional fee. The main office is located at 10600 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45215. Please call Abby Bradburn RN with any questions, 513-771-4800 ext 6251.
    • The Percussionaire Impulsator (IPV) provides for a total Pneumatically powered (self-contained) therapy system for administrating Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV") for long-term cardiopulmonary care.
    • PercussiveNEB , manufactured by Vortran Medical Technology, is a high-frequency intrapulmonary percussive nebulizer intended for the clearance of endobronchial secretions.
    • Posey has products for fall management, bed safety, wound prevention, wheelchair seating and patient restraint.
    • Quake, manufactured by Thayer Medical, offers comprehensive and convenient secretion clearance therapy in a portable, easy-to-use, handheld device.
    • ReUzIt Medical, located in Covington, Kentucky, has incontinence supplies, personal care items, beds, walkers, lift chairs, stair lifts as well as wheelchair and scooter rentals. They also have gently used durable medical equipment including beds, wheelchairs, walkers and scooters. Call 859-322-8595.
    • Rothert's: 859-431-5900
    • RSVP Home Care: 859-727-7600
    • Second Home is a nonprofit organization in Cincinnati that takes in and recycles general equipment including wheelchairs, standers, lifts, hospital beds, and walkers, in addition to unopened supplies such as formula, catheters, incontinence supplies, tracheostomy and gastrostomy tubes. The cost to a family in need is based upon their ability to pay with many receiving the items for free. Donations are picked up on Mondays and Tuesdays by calling 859-322-8595.

    • Safety Sleeper

      bed is a fully enclosed and portable bedsystem for children and adults with special needs.
    • SleepSafe Bed offers a safe alternative to a hospital bed.
    • Snug Seat provides a variety of seating systems, wheelchairs, standing supports, transportation aids and toilet and bath accessories. Their Stingray wheelchair is a well designed option. A catalog is available on their website.
    • Sunrise Medical provides wheelchairs, walking aids, daily living aids, lifts, beds and related equipment.
    • TheraPEP is the easy-to-use system for mobilizing secretions in children with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including cystic fibrosis (CF), as well as patients recovering from surgery.
    • The Vest is an easy-to-use airway clearance device for both children and adults.
    • Walgreens-Health provides all DME except incontinence supplies. 
    • The Wheelchair Foundation is an international nonprofit organization that assists children and adults with financial needs obtain wheelchairs.

    Child Alarms and Locators

    Keeping children safe is a challenge for parents and caregivers. Fortunately, there are specially designed alarms that provide a warning when a child wanders away.

    • Amber Alert GPS Armor helps you locate your child. It has a smart-phone application (available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Droid, and any web enabled phone) that lets you see the most recent location of your child. You can receive alerts anywhere you receive email.
    • Brickhouse Child Safety has a variety of alarm options, including a child locator device.
    • Care Trak perimeter alarm and locator package can alert you when your child wanders from your yard or your home.

    Monitors for Life Threatening Conditions

    In the hospital setting, oximeters and other life saving medical equipment, are monitored by staff at a central nursing station. At home, this responsibility falls to the parent or caregiver. We strongly urge you to use portable baby monitors, such as those made by Fisher Price and Graco, that can be worn or carried to provide additional backup. The baby monitor will enable you to hear the other monitors and/or equipment alarms if they should happen to go off. You will be able to hear the warning alarms even if you have to momentarily leave the room or fall asleep. Some models also have a video screen and camera. It is extremely important to not mute or turn down alarms on equipment. While these monitors are convenient, they are not meant to replace direct observation.

    Movement monitors can alert a family member or caregiver to an individual who, during sleep, may experience certain types of movements or seizures.

    • Emfit Movement Monitor detects abnormal movements such as muscle spasms and seizures associated with a sleeping person. Emfit also has a variety of Fall and Wandering Alarms for use with dementia patients but can also be used with children to alert parents if the child falls out of bed or leaves. 

    Additional Resources

    Medicaid and private insurance companies are increasingly recognizing medically necessary forms of durable medical equipment. Unfortunately, there is often not a clear answer on who should pay, and obtaining funding usually requires patience and creativity.

    • A New Chance Foundation helps children with disabilities in the Cincinnati area live more independent lives by increasing mobility, creating access at home, and improving activities of daily living. They will assist with funding when insurance does not cover the cost of equipment/home modifications and the parents are experiencing financial hardships
    • American Occupational Therapy Association provides suggestions on modifying your home to support independence.
    • The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) offer AAPD members a wide range of easily accessible financial loans for products that assist people with disabilities.
    • Assistive Technology Law Center provides information about resources that provide funding assistive technology devices.
    • Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH) may provide funding for certain types of assistive technology deemed medically necessary, including braces, hearing aides and medical supplies. For children ages 0-3 years, BCMH may fund augmentative communication devices. Funding is only provided after the other funding sources such as private insurance, Medicaid, special education services and Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) have been denied. See Financial Assistance for information about eligibility and additional services.
    • Family Support Services Program, sponsored by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, may fund equipment that promotes self-sufficiency or inclusion, prevents or reduces inappropriate institutional care, or furthers family unity. In order to be eligible an individual must qualify for Developmental Disabilities services. Also, there may be a percentage of cost share depending on taxable income.
    • First Hand Foundation provides grants for eligible children whose clinical, health care needs are not adequately covered by insurance and state aid. They can assist with expenses associated with assistive technology equipment, care devices and hearing aids. The child must be 18 years of age or younger (a child 18 – 21 can be considered if under the care of a pediatrician and in a child-like state) and the family must meet financial guidelines.
    • Medicaid will pay for some assistive technology / durable medical equipment devices that are necessary for daily function. See Financial Assistance for more information about eligibility for Medicaid services.  
    • National Organization Caring for Kids (NOCK) provides grants for communications devices for children with severe communication impairment caused by a chronic illness.
    • Ohio County Boards of Developmental Disabilities may fund assistive devices for consumers employed in a workshop setting through one of its adult centers or who are receiving supported employment services. While they focus on communication devices, they will consider funding other types of assistive technology. Referrals must be made through one of their service coordinators. 
    • Special Kids Therapy provides funding assistance to Ohio children for alternative therapies that are not covered by insurance. They will also assist eligible families with the purchase of special medical equipment such as wheelchairs, communication devices and auditory equipment.