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Tools for the disabled

I was recently declared disabled. I have worked as a jeweler since
1987 and won the Niche award in 2003 for Mokume gane piece.

I want to find out how to get help with purchasing tools that take
the strain off my body and will allow me to still do some
metalsmithing. Any ideas?

Thank you,
Gloria Sawin

see if your physician can refer you to an occupational therapist.
they can design adaptive handles and other items for tools for the


i can make most anything from wood or acrylic that you need, can i
help with anything, david


Social Security has a program called Plan to Achieve Self-Support
(PASS) You can read more in depth about it at this link:

My personal counselor has suggested that I visit the Social Security
office in person because there is often someone in the office that is
specifically trained about P.A.S.S… I am working with a Vocational
Rehabilitation Counselor and numerous times she has told me she is
"familiar" with the program but has not personally helped someone
work with the program.

Here is quote right from their site. :

What is a PASS?

  • It is an SSI provision to help individuals with disabilities
    return to work.

How does a PASS help someone return to work?

  • SSI eligibility and payment amount are based on income and
    resources (things of value that individual owns).

  • PASS lets disabled individual set aside money and/or things he or
    she owns to pay for items or services needed to achieve a specific
    work goal.

How does PASS work?

  • Applicant finds out what training, items or services needed to
    reach work goal.

  • Can include supplies to start business, school expenses, equipment
    and tools, transportation and uniform requests.

  • Applicant finds out how much these items and services will cost.

  • PASS can help person save to pay these costs. PASS lets person set
    aside money for installment payments as well as a down payment for
    things like a vehicle, wheelchair or computer if needed to reach work

I want to find out how to get help with purchasing tools that take
the strain off my body and will allow me to still do some
metalsmithing. Any ideas? 

This is a really interesting question, and relevant to all of us,
because wouldn’t it be great if we all had tools that caused less
wear and tear? Are you asking for help identifying the tools? Or
where to get funding?

Get the book The Complete Guide to Getting a Grant by Laurie Blum.
You could either create a project and search for a grant that allows
for capital expenses (tools). Or search for funding for projects for
the disabled and work it from that angle.

You can pay for grant research, or do it yourself. Try your local
foundation library. (In Chicago it’s called Donors Forum, it’s
called something else in New York.)

I would think an electric saw might help, or the Knew Concept Saw.
What else, Orchidians?


voc rehab has grants for training and tools but the paperwork will
take you a long time and the final goal would be to keep you from
getting any more government assistance while i might be able to earn
enough to live loss of medical benfits would be the end of any one
who is severely disabled my cath supplies cost 750 meds 300 plus
most doctors charge 150 and up for a visit this year i am getting a
new wheelchair 7000 plus for that. starting to see the point. work
under the table never make more then 800 a month even if you have
turn down work once you lose you benefits its very hard to get them
back. as for tools well there are none designed for the disabled but
i can tell you how to modify almost any thing i am a paraplegic with
sever nerve damage in both hands. my daughter was born with cp i
made most of her stuff long before any one made equipment that would
give her some Independence her body may not work but her mind is
sharper IQ of almost 200.

Velcro and putty will become your best Friend if you have problems
with you hands. if standing is your problem get a roho to sit on if
you are paralyzed in any way protect those parts aprons gloves what
ever. i keep burning my legs setting stuff in my lap and braking my
feet running into thing. if your disabled you have to be more
careful then the average Joe or Jane as the case may be. mostly just
be careful and never give up.

best wishes
jen lane

Not sure what your disability is, but I think I would get a pair of
really good magnifiers that allow you to work without making your
focal point an inch in front of your face. The hunching over the
work to see it properly really gets to my back.

Mary Barker