You don't have to be an amputee for very long to realize that there is a lot of slightly used equipment stored away in garages, basements, and backrooms. Equipment that is perfectly good which the owner no longer needs. It is also quickly apparent that many amputees could use equipment that their insurance will not pay for and that they themselves cannot afford. Clearly these sets of "haves" and "have nots" should be brought together. This page is an attempt to link the amputee with organizations which recycle equipment commonly classified as Home Medical Equipment, Durable Medical Equipment, or Assistive Technology. The term Assistive Technology will be used on this page.
The attempt here will be to provide information about local St. Louis, State (MO), and National organizations and activities dedicated to recycling Assistive Technology.
St. Louis Organizations and Activities
Paraquad (314) 289-4202 is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower people with disabilities to increase their independence through choice and opportunity. Founded in 1970 in St. Louis, Mo., by Max and Colleen Starkloff, Paraquad is one of the oldest non-residential Centers for Independent Living in the country. Paraquad offers a number of services and programs one of which is their AT Reutilization Program
The AT Reutilization Program is a one-stop clearinghouse acquiring, repairing, and distributing donated durable medical equipment. AT devices include manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, scooters, canes, crutches, walkers, shower chairs, toilet seats, recreational devices, seating cushions, and back supports.
Paraquad accepts donations of used equipment, refurbishes that equipment, and then distributes the equipment to persons in need at low or no cost.
For more information, to make a donation, or to request equipment, call 314-289-4202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Louis HELP (St. Louis Health Equipment Lending Program)
As of August 18, 2018 St. Louis HELP has closed the Olivette location and consolidated to the satellite location in Crystal City.
St. Louis Help's phone number (636) 933-9393
No power chairs or scooters. As of May 1st their insurance carrier will no longer allow STLHelp to distribute power chairs or scooters.
St. Louis HELP (636) 933-9393 is located in Crystal City.
St. Louis HELP accepts donations of nearly every type of home medical equipment, in good working condition - except oxygen and medications. They revitalize and clean the equipment, and have it ready to loan to people in need or their caregivers.
St. Louis HELP provides anyone in need access to free home medical equipment through their recycle and reuse program, enabling them to live as independently as possible and remain contributing members of the community.
Anyone in the Greater St. Louis community in need of equipment to become more independent at home, work or play, call (636) 933-9393 to request the equipment you need. Equipment pickups are by appointment only; walk-in requests cannot be serviced.
St. Louis HELP's equipment lending program has been developed to assist individuals who have a variety of needs:
- Those who lack insurance
- Those whose insurance does not cover their equipment needs
- Individuals awaiting insurance company approval
- Those temporarily disabled by injury, illness or surgery
- Persons whose own equipment is in repair
- Visitors to the area who cannot bring their own equipment
- Terminally ill persons uncertain about their period of need
- Those interested in trying equipment before purchasing
Missouri Organizations and Activities
Missouri Assistive Technology's Swap 'n Shop
This is a person-to-person exchange program. It is not automated.
It is a "classified ads" service that connects people with available adaptive devices or assistive technology! Entry to the Swap 'n Shop is at this page. I strongly encourage you to read this page.
You get to the equipment listing by clicking the "agreement" bar at the bottom of the page.
The Equipment Listings are divided into the following categories.
- Daily Living/Personal Care
- Mobility, Seating and Positioning
- Environmental Adaptations
- Vehicle Modifications and Transportation
- Learning, Cognition, and Developmental
- Recreation, Sports, and Leisure
- Speech Communication
- Computer and Related
Missouri AT Durable Medical Equipment Recycling Program
The program provides low cost, recycled walkers, crutches, canes, commodes, shower chairs, manual and power wheelchairs, positioning equipment and miscellaneous wheelchair parts.
Missouri AT contracts with the following nine recycling centers throughout Missouri to provide statewide access to refurbished equipment.
Coalition for Independence
4911 State Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66102
Contact: Matt Rumsey
Heartland Independent Living Center
1010 Hwy 28 West
Owensville, MO 65066
(573) 437-5100 (v/tty)
Contact: Brett Rowles
The Independent Living Center
2639 E. 34th Street
Joplin, MO 64804
(417) 659-8086 (v)
(417) 659-8702 (tty)
Contact: Stephanie Brady
Living Independently for Everyone (LIFE)
725 E. Karsch Blvd.
Farmington, MO 63640
(573) 756-4314 (800) 596-7273 (toll-free)
Contact: Aaron Luna
5240 Oakland Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
Contact: Lindsey Bean
Rural Advocates for Independent Living (RAIL)S
1100 S. Jamison
Kirksville, MO 63501
Contact: Theresa Myers
SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence (SADI)
1913 Rusmar Avenue
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
(573) 651-6464 (v) (573) 651-6464 (tty)
Contact: Kristal Berkbigler-Friese
Services for Independent Living
1401 Hathman Place
Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 874-1646 (v) (573) 874-4121 (tty)
Contact: Scout Merry
Southwest Center for Independent Living (SCIL)
2864 S. Nettleton
Springfield, MO 65807
(417) 886-1188 (v) (417) 886-1188 (tty)
Contact: Jen Reese
Neighboring States' AT Recycling Programs
Clicking the Arkansas link introduces ICAN AT4ALL which is their statewide AT program designed to make technology available and accessible for everyone who needs it.
The website contains a lot of information.
They maintain a database of AT equipment which is accessible at this page
Clicking the Illinois link introduces The Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP) which is a not-for-profit agency that promotes the availability of assistive technology services and programs for people with disabilities.
They maintain a device loan program with details at this page.
The DRS AT Reutilization Program is a collaboration between the Illinois Department of Human Services - Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and the Illinois Assistive Technology Program that provides a web-based listing of assistive technology devices that have been collected from DRS Field offices and made available to VR counselors statewide for their customers. The program provides a common location where equipment from the three bureaus will be inventoried, sanitized, repaired, and stored until redistribution.
Clicking the Iowa link takes you to The Used Equipment Referral Service of Iowa.
You are expected to read and accept the terms. Then click the link at the bottom of the page to be transported to the Classified Ads.
The classifieds are not restricted to Iowans.
I have not found any organization in Kansas that tries to assist in the exchange, reuse, or recycling of AT equipment on a statewide basis.
If anyone finds such a site for Kansas, please let me know.
I have not found any organization in Nebraska that tries to assist in the exchange, reuse, or recycling of AT equipment on a statewide basis.
I did locate one in Omaha.
Clicking on Oklahoma brings up the home page for ABLE Tech Equipment Exchange.
The goal of the ABLE Tech Equipment Exchange hosted by ABLE Tech is to put AT equipment that is not currently being used into the hands of someone who can benefit from it.
The ABLE Tech Equipment Exchange is primarily for Oklahomans, although we do accept entries from neighboring states.
The program is designed to facilitate equipment exchange between individuals and is not for the use of vendors or distributors.
I have found two sites that list websites engaged in AT equipment exchanges of some sort individually in each state. These lists are not complete and some links to not work, but they do present additional options.
The first one.
The second one.
National Organizations and Activities
The National Public Website on Assistive Technology
The mission is to provide access to information on AT devices and services as well as other community resources for people with disabilities and the general public.
This site was created by Georgia Tech's Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)
They maintain a huge database of AT devices for sale.
I have not reviewed this site very carefully, but it seems to contain a wealth of information.
Fruitful Google Searches
Searches for the following phrases produce links to some additional organizations and activities dedicated to recycling Assistive Technology.
- Assistive Technology Classifieds
- Durable Medical Equipment Classifieds
- Used Wheelchairs
- Wheelchair Rental