Grant assists graduating students in need of communication devices
Special Education Foundation received a $50,000 grant from the Tilles Foundation to provide augmentative communication devices to individuals who complete their education with the Special School District in 2016. Funds from the grant will assist students with physical disabilities who need adaptive equipment to communicate with the outside world.
Students who rely on specialized equipment for their communication needs have continued access to devices through their school system. However, upon graduation, the equipment remains with the Special School District, thus creating an instructional deficit for each student. This, in turn, places significant financial weight on parents who must purchase the costly materials needed through private agencies. The Tilles grant eases this burden.
“The need to communicate is critical for all individuals,” states Diane Buhr, Special Education Foundation Executive Director. “Adaptive equipment provides the tools through which these students communicate. While imperative for speech and language, such devices are quite costly. We are both thrilled and grateful that the Tilles Foundation is giving students such an essential gift and parents such a meaningful relief!”
Students/parents may apply for funds to purchase adaptive equipment by visiting the specialized equipment page on the Foundation’s web site. In addition to the application, the following information is required:

  • a letter from the student’s teacher stating that the equipment is needed
  • statements in the attachment to the application that demonstrate:
    a) how the equipment will assist with employment – may include a workshop environment and
    b) how the equipment will assist in the individual’s path to independence.
  • statement of willingness to meet with individuals from the Special Education Foundation and the Tilles Foundation after equipment is received to show the successful use of the devices
  • copy of most recent IRS income statement

The Special Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that provides financial support to children with disabilities in areas not supported by tax dollars. The Foundation relies solely on private donations for support.
Completed applications, with accompanying information, should be sent to Special Education Foundation, 13545 Barrett Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Ballwin, MO 63021.