There are a lot of different styles of adaptive cycles and options to address the needs of the rider. Some examples of adaptive cycles include:
1. When looking for a bike, online research can be a great way to review styles and options. But we strongly suggest trying it out first if possible. Where can you do this? Outdoors for All Foundation is a Seattle-based non-profit that has one one of the nation’s largest fleets of adaptive cycles. They can arrange for you to visit their Adaptive Cycle Center and try out OR rent for a day in Magnuson Park (near Seattle Children’s Hospital.)
2. If you are looking for a cycle for a child who attends public school and has an IEP with related services, talk to your child’s teacher about trying out an adaptive bike at school. School-based physical therapists, occupational therapists, or PE teachers may be able to help with this process. Not all schools have the resources to provide a bike for every student, but it is worth asking about. Adaptive cycling may enhance participation and inclusion in some school events. It is a wonderful life skill and can promote lifelong health/fitness and social engagement.
3. Physical and occupational therapists may be able to guide you in researching and choosing the right cycle. These professionals can help assess your body structure, function, strength, and family/caregiver support system to help you choose the right bike for your specific situation.
4. Recreation Therapists may have additional training and certification in adaptive cycling. A Certified Adaptive Recreation & Sports Specialist (CARSS) may be able to help advise you.
Adaptive cycles are very expensive and they are not typically covered by medical insurance. Below are some resources for funding. Please know that applications can be very comprehensive and time consuming. We recommend that you know which cycle you want to acquire before applying. Know the brand and make, the purchase price including shipping, the retail website, the size, extra options, etc. Riding the bike first if possible would allow you to make a strong case when it comes to pursuing funding support.
State Funds: DDA: If you are qualified for DDA, talk to your case manager about the possibility of using DDA funding to assist in your bike purchase. A letter from a healthcare professional such as a physical therapist, an occupational therapist or physician may be necessary. Funds are variable depending on the situation.
Ben's Fund: The Ben's Fund Mission is to provide support to children and young adults with autism through financial assistance and guidance. Ben's Fund grants are available for up to $1,000.00 per qualifying child or young adult, per award year.
Sisu Children’s Fund: Sisu Children’s Fund is a public charity able to give grants directly to needy families in Whatcom and Skagit Counties who have medical problems or physical disabilities. A letter from a physical or occupational therapist or other health professional may be necessary. Scholarship amounts vary.
Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Access for Athletes Grants: Steps in where rehabilitation and health insurance end by providing funding grants for adaptive sports equipment such as sports wheelchairs, handcycles, mono skis and sports prosthetics, and resources for training and competition expenses directly to physically challenged individuals.
Disabled Sports USA - Grants: Providing funding in three main areas (Youth, Military, and Training/Education), Disabled Sports USA distributes close to $1M in cash grants to its chapters for adaptive sports equipment.
Wheel to Walk Foundation: A non-profit organization that helps children and young adults (20 years and younger) with disabilities obtain medical equipment or services that is not provided by their insurance companies. We purchase items such as therapy tricycles, adaptive strollers, shower chairs, pumper cars, zip zac chairs, selective communication devices, gait trainers, speech therapy and wheelchairs, to name a few. Our organization strongly believes that no child or young adult with special needs go without items that could improve the quality of his or her daily life. Contact them if you live in Oregon, Washington, Idaho or California and need assistance with anything from leg braces, bath chairs, gait trainers to therapy tricycles and wheelchairs.
Challenged America: Challenged America offers funding to disadvantaged, physically or developmentally challenged children (or their parents). You can submit requests for medical attention, rehabilitative therapy, and/or assistive devices they would otherwise be unable to obtain. The benefits to the children go far beyond the physical. Assistance from Challenged America can improve their quality of life, help them gain confidence and self-esteem, and ease their reentry into the community.
Giving Angels Foundation: The mission of the Foundation is to assist special needs children with a physical disability or illness aged 21 or younger throughout the United States. The Foundation awards grants to lower income families to enhance the everyday life of the child. Funds are awarded on a case by case basis. Families who wish to receive assistance must complete an application and demonstrate financial need. Applications are accepted throughout the year.
Gracie's Hope Inc: A non-profit organization committed to help improve the lives of children with special needs. They help provide funding for therapies such as, but not limited to, PT, OT, Speech, Chelation, and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. They also help provide needed equipment and assist families in finding respite care, and other needed services.
The Kiddie Pool: The Kiddie Pool program is an online fundraiser. Your family joins the program and a custom webpage is created for your child with special needs. Included on the webpage is a photograph of your child, your child's story, products desired for your child and fun facts about your child. This webpage is designed to be shared with friends and family through an email campaign. Once friends and family members visit your child's webpage, they can read about your child and learn about the products he/she needs. They can then make a donation for your child that will be put into an account on Adaptivemall.com. You will receive an email each time someone has donated to your child's fund so that you can keep track of where you are with your goal. Once your child has received enough donations, you can redeem them for the products desired.
Maggie Welby Foundation: Offers grants for children and families that have a financial need for a particular purpose. Grants may extend to children and families in need of help with bills, athletic opportunities, medical needs, or an opportunity that a child would not otherwise have. All grants are awarded to the family, but are paid directly to the specific purpose for which the grant was applied.
Prayer Child Foundation: The Foundation seeks to provide assistance to living children that are eighteen years old and younger with physical and emotional challenges. The Foundation provides support to national children's charities, individuals and organizations located within supporters' local communities.
Variety the Children's Charity: Variety's Freedom Program delivers vital life-changing equipment and services for mobility, independence and social inclusion to individual children and children's organizations. Together through the Freedom program, we change children's lives by granting items and services that provide independence, mobility and freedom. Grants under the Freedom program are made to individual children and children's organizations.
Apply now to win a scholarship for a free adaptive ski or snowboard lesson at Mount Baker. Scholarships are available to youth and adults with special needs and disabilities.