MDA will help buy communications aids

MDA will help buy communications aids

By By Bob Mackle, MDA Director of Public Information

TUCSON—The Muscular Dystrophy Association will help pay for communications technology for people whose neuromuscular disorders have robbed them of the ability to speak, the Association’s president


MDA President & CEO Robert Ross said the new coverage in MDA’s services program was added because “communication is so essential to quality of life.

“Now, there’s a large array of technological devices that enable people to continue communicating even when neuromuscular disease has severely limited their vocal abilities. We’re pleased that we can help those we serve obtain this vital equipment,” Ross said.

MDA will allow up to $2,000 for the one-time purchase of a communication

device such as a speech generator or speech synthesizer. These aids, known as alternative and augmentative communication devices, must be prescribed by MDA clinic physicians. Their purchase is covered by Medicare and by some private insurance policies, and MDA will assist with costs not covered by these programs.

The assistance is expected primarily to benefit people affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Friedreich’s ataxia, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy and other disorders in which muscle weakness extends to the tongue and other muscles involved in speech.

Those who receive MDA assistance with speech devices are asked to return

them to the Association when they’re no longer being used. They’ll then be

added to MDA’s loan closet program. MDA also assists those it serves with the purchase and repair of wheelchairs and leg braces.

MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat more than 40 neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services, and far-reaching professional and public health

education. The Association’s programs are funded almost entirely by individual private contributors.

* Note: To profile a person who has benefited from a communications device

in your area, call Bob Mackle at (520) 529-5317 or e-mail at

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