Assistive tech budgets, gifts, and the usefulness of PayPal

My friends and family have learned that gift cards pertaining to either books or computers are the best thing to do at birthdays or Christmas. Sometimes, though, these cards are more usefully stored in case of emergency, rather than spent on something more present-like. Recently, the internal DVD/CD drive on my computer fried, so I had to buy an external. The only reason I could do so without my budget screaming was that I had a Best Buy gift card to reduce the cost. Likewise, a discount combined with a gift card enabled me to buy Dragon 10 last year. Fortunately, Dragon is considered somewhat “mainstream” software.

Other pieces of assistive technology aren’t so lucky. You can’t buy a one-handed or touch sensitive keyboard or a head controlled mouse or a switch interface in a store. That means no gift cards or gift certificates to help ease the cost if you have to purchase something on your own. The closest remedy I’ve seen for this online is purchasing through PayPal, assuming your chosen merchant accepts it, because PayPal does have gift certificates.

I’m thinking first of eBay, which accepts nothing but PayPal and frequently has sellers offering various types of alternative input devices secondhand. Or even new, if the seller is a medical equipment vendor with an eBay storefront. You could save some money there via an eBay or Paypal gift card. The other possibility is to find assistive tech sites that take PayPal for payment. I’ve not seen many, but I can list a few that I’ve used or am planning to use. Feel free to add any others you’ve found.

Turning Point Technology seems good for alternative input devices, and is the only high-tech site I’ve seen accepting PayPal so far.

Back Designs is good for ergonomic products.

Active Forever is good for mobility aids or daily living aids, though their prices are a bit higher on some things than I’ve seen on other sites.

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2 Responses to Assistive tech budgets, gifts, and the usefulness of PayPal

  1. Elisabeth says:

    I find that has some of the same products as Active Forever for somewhat better prices (although not the same range of products) and they also take PayPal. Also, some sites have newsletters with special discounts (Silvert’s is one that I know of) if you don’t mind an extra e-mail. I don’t know of many with the higher tech supplies- let me poke around and see if I find any others…

  2. hand2mouth says:

    Useful to know. Thanks.

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