A bike is the quintessence of childhood happiness. But for a child with disabilities, we think it’s a medical necessity. Beyond the joy and exhilaration of free-wheeling movement, the opportunity for reciprocal lower extremity exercise is crucial to the well-being of someone with fragile health. While the therapy community is unanimous on this point, sadly medical insurance companies underestimate (or even deny) the therapeutic value of an adaptive tricycle and typically refuse to cover them.
Thankfully there are organizations that recognize the therapeutic benefits of supported cycling and are committed to providing funding for adaptive tricycles to the kids and families who need them. Here are the ones we know:
- Friendship Circle- Yearly competition for adaptive tricycles. (In 2016 they hope to give away 600 bikes)
- McLindon Family Foundation- Funds adaptive tricycles for children with special needs. So far the have donated 105 adaptive tricycles to children in 9 states.
- Josh’s Ride- Funds adaptive tricycles in Iowa
- Beaumont Bike Day Program- Funds adaptive tricycles in Michigan
- Variety Pittsburgh- “My Bike” Program funds adaptive tricycles in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia and is looking to expand even further.
- Variety of Illinois- "Build-a-Bike" program funds adaptive tricycles in Illinois.
- Wheels Across Montana - Program sponsoring 20 adaptive tricycles in four towns. These special trikes are maintained by the towns and loaned out for up to 30 days at a time to individuals with disabilities.
Let us know if there are other groups we should list.
For organizations that provide funding for other types of adaptive equipment check our expanded funding resources listing.
Additionally, download this great primer on how to get Medicaid coverage for an adaptive tricycle.
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