Dear MonTECH consumer:
After more than two decades, we are sad to announce the end of the Montana Adaptive Equipment Program (MAEP). MAEP provides long-term loans of adaptive equipment to Montanans with developmental disabilities.
MonTECH staff was informed on August 31st that the MAEP program will no longer receive funding after September 30th. This is due to severe budget cuts by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).
We thank those who have used MAEP or recommended our program to friends, families, students, and clients. We assure you that, although this program will end, we will do our best to help Montanans with disabilities get the adaptive equipment they need.
We are still unclear about how this change will impact our other programs, but we remain committed to provide tools and equipment that will improve the quality of life for those with disabilities. We are concerned about the impact this loss may have on Montanans, particularly those who will experience still more cuts in their services.
We’ve included common concerns and hope that the answers below will address them.
- Can I still request equipment?
Yes. We will be taking requests for equipment until September 22nd. To increase efficiency, please include the name of the OT/PT or other healthcare provider that recommended the equipment.
- I have MAEP equipment loaned to me. Can I keep it?
No. The equipment is still state property and needs to be returned. We hope to make most of the equipment available through the MATP-LTL program.
- I have equipment loaned to me. What do I do with it?
MAEP can cover the cost of returning the equipment through September 30th. Please contact Josh Krantz at 243-2841, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for the best way to return equipment.
- I have equipment loaned to me, but my loan isn’t due until after September 30th and I’d like to keep it for the full term of the loan. What do I do?
Please keep the items for the full term of the loan if you wish. You will need to pay return shipping when you return the items.
- Can I drop off equipment in person?
Yes. You can drop off equipment at either the Missoula or the Billings office. Please call ahead to arrange a drop-off time.
Billings: Call Marlena at 657-2089. Montana Center for Inclusive Education, COE Room 162, Eastern Outreach Center, MSU Billings
Missoula: Call Dave at 243-5751. MonTECH, Corbin Hall 049, Rural Institute, University of Montana
- In the future, how will I find equipment that has been housed by MAEP?
Until September 22nd, you can find the equipment in MAEP. Over the next couple of months, some of the MAEP inventory will turn over to MATP Long-term Loans. Go to our web site, click on ‘Equipment Loans and Reuse,’ click on ‘Search for Equipment in MATP-LTL.’
- Will the terms of the loans change?
The loans will be 120 days with the possibility of extension per need. The loans will be free. What will change: Return shipping will no longer be covered. DD eligibility is no longer required. Shipping of larger items may require some cooperation between MonTECH and the borrower.
- What can I do about the loss of MAEP? Who can I contact?
We understand that MAEP is a loss, particularly for families who may experience further cuts to their services and supports. If you would like to register your thoughts, please contact your state representative or state senator. This link can help you find the people who represent you: http://leg.mt.gov/css/find%20a%20legislator.asp Here is the link to the directory of DPHHS: http://dphhs.mt.gov/directorsoffice
- Who will support and help me with my equipment decisions?
We will no longer have a physical therapist to assess which equipment may be appropriate for a consumer. Anyone checking out adaptive equipment (formerly in the MAEP inventory) from us in the future must be a therapist, or confirm you are working with a therapist.
Thank you for the support of this program over the years. We apologize for any inconvenience or hardship the loss of MAEP may cause for people with developmental disabilities across the state. We will continue to do the best we can to assist with Montana’s assistive technology needs.