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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Childrens Assistive Technology Service

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services

Target demographics: children with physical limitations

Geographic areas served: the entire state of Virginia and beyond

Programs: Through our re-use program we are able to donate adaptive equipment to children and their families so they can continue to be active members in their community and raise community awareness. Adaptive equipment, such as standing frames, gait trainers, and adaptive seating devices also assist in working towards therapy goals while in the home. Although this equipment is necessary for a full life, insurance often times denies a families request to have the cost covered, and the price tag associated with this kind of equipment is steep. CATS is able to quickly get a child into a new piece of equipment, at no cost to the family, ensuring that no child with physical limitations is left on the sidelines. It is our mission to move kids ahead, four wheels at a time!

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a physical therapist in an outpatient pediatric clinic I frequently have patients in need of adaptive equipment. The ability to find needed equipment on the CATs website has drastically improved the speed in which my patients can obtain and begin using this equipment. The parents of these patients are extremely excited to not have to wait for insurance coverage for their children to get what they need. A huge Thank you to all of the CATs team. They do a wonderful job and are a true asset to our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with CATS since the very beginning. It was so nice to finally have somewhere to donate my daughters used pediatric equipment that was sitting in our basement. I’m thankful that this wonderful organization has found other children to be able to get more use out of it. Not only have we donated we have been thankful to be able to obtain equipment that my daughter has needed instead of waiting months to a year for her equipment to go through the insurance process. I’m beyond blessed to have this wonderful organization in my area. I wouldn’t know how to live without CATS in our lives!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with CATS since 2015. I have been a pediatric physical therapist for many years and have seen how getting children up and moving really improves the quality of both their life and their family's live. Over the last few years we have learned that children may require more than one piece of equipment to help with both mobility and activities of daily living, while funding sources have decreased. Dealing with insurance companies can be very stressful and time consuming for the families. Children outgrow their equipment and is often stored in attics, basements and garages. CATS links these two things and with a lot of hard work from the entire group is growing across the state. Francie Mitchell PT, DPT, MS, PCS
Board Certified Clinical Specialist
Pediatric Physical Therapy

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with CATS since the spring of 2015. This program has been amazingly helpful to children with disabilities across Virginia that need adaptive equipment and assistive technology. I got involved with the program, because as a pediatric occupational therapist, I was looking for options to provide children with adaptive equipment while they were waiting for insurance to cover it, if insurance denied it or if they did not have insurance. It has been wonderful to have this option for families, especially when insurance says no.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CATS has been a vital nonprofit in our community since opening it's doors. We have a huge need for equipment for patients in our area that unfortunately is being denied more and more by insurance. This nonprofit allows children to be able to better access their environment and truly LIVE!! I can't say enough good things about this program and the men and women who run it. THANK YOU!

Board Member

Rating: 5

CATS is providing a much needed service to provide children the medical equipment for the opportunities that they need to participate in life. From a medical perspective having the right equipment available in a timely manner can mean making the next developmental milestone, preventing surgery, giving a voice, and promoting physiologic status/stability (gut, lungs, bone health). From an overall life perspective it means that a child can go to school/church/playgrounds with their family, can play with peers, can stand to look another child in the eyes, make their wants/needs known, and just play to be a kid.

CATS has filled a long-time and large void in serving Virginia's children. Many pediatric therapists (myself included) kept equipment when children outgrew or no longer needed it knowing that another child would come along who would also need something similar in the future. Families would not throw the equipment out due to the cost and how hard it was to obtain the first time. This led to equipment being stored in garages, sheds, basements and even barns without a way to access equipment that you don't know exists out there. CATS has been able to organize a process for making this equipment visible, transportable, and available in a timely manner to ANY child who receives medical services in the state of Virginia.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a therapist and I serve in an Equipment Clinic to assist patients in obtaining medically necessary devices to help them participate in daily life. Insurances are becoming more critical in what devices are approved which is leaving patients without devices that are essential to help them participate in daily life. CATS has been able to allow me options to offer families during the long wait period: either with a substitute device while physicians and therapists appeal the denials or as an alternative device in the event appeals do not work. CATS is a critical service in the medical model to allow these children accessibility. I am so grateful for all they do.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CATs is an exceptional organization that provides families access to free pediatric medical equipment and assistive technology. Their timely services give opportunities to these special children through the re-use of equipment at no cost that, unfortunately, may not be covered by insurance.

Laura Winchell C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer for Children's Assistive Technology Services. I have been so impressed with the lengths our non profit goes to in order to help support our children with disabilities. The mission to reuse and recycle assistive devices is note worthy. Often times our kiddos are unable to get a piece of needed equipment as insurance denies their claim. This equipment helps these children move, participate, travel, enjoy the world they live in as well as truly experience the fun adventures of being a kid! From walkers to standers to wheelchairs and communication devices to bathing chairs and strollers to go baby go vehicles, customized for each child... if you're looking for a fulfilling volunteer opportunity, look no further. Volunteer today. Hallowheels is coming up and we need your help!

Cathie C.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Of course I'm a board member and I know we are on to something great when we are able to recruit hundreds of wonderful volunteers. With so many pitching in, we are able to take second hand equipment and make it ready for re-use, meeting the immediate needs of children with disabilities. CATS provides adaptive and mobility equipment for children to try out; to use while waiting for equipment to arrive; or when insurance denies an item recommended by the physician or therapist. Hand me downs for a hand up also benefits those families whose children have outgrown equipment or no longer need it. Because there are so many of these families who are happy to pass these items on, CATS continues to have items coming in at about the same rate as items go out. It works! And it makes sense, especially for growing children whose needs are likely to change faster than health insurance might recognize.

Connie Collins J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CATS is an incredible organization. They do everything in their power to help children meet unmet equipment needs. I knew of a family who, when their child was discharged could no longer walk. There was no effort on the hospitals part to get her a mobility device...CATS sprang into action to get her a wheelchair so she could get to medical appointments. Donate as much as you can, it goes directly to supporting kids in Virginia.