Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT)

Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT)

The Virginia Del Sordo Fund

Virginia Del SordoThe Virginia Del Sordo Fund, administered by the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University as part of Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT), provides financial assistance through small grants to Pennsylvanians with disabilities to increase their ability to acquire the assistive technology (AT) devices they need. The Del Sordo Fund is named in memory of Virginia Del Sordo, a former Assistant Director of PIAT, who made the bequest enabling this fund.

The Del Sordo Fund is considered a "last resort" option, meaning that other funding sources for which the applicant is eligible - Medicaid/Medicare, private health (e.g.: insurance, school, or the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation) must have denied full or partial coverage. Applicants may also be those who are requesting items for which third party funding is not available (e.g. AT for leisure and recreation). The Del Sordo Fund may also be used to meet deductibles or co-pays. This is a one-time only award. The maximum award is $200.


To be eligible, the applicant must complete an application that includes verifications and meets requirements listed below:

  • Pennsylvania residency. Proof of residency must be provided;
  • Low-income (e.g. household income 400% of federal poverty guidelines ("Income Eligibility" below);
  • Explanation of why the AT device is needed;
  • If funding is requested for a "generic" device, an explanation of how the device functions as AT;
  • Documentation that the applicant has borrowed the device from the Pennsylvania's Assistive Technology Lending Library or other short-term loan program, received a device demonstration from an AT professional (other than a vendor) with no fiduciary interest in the sale of the device, or received a written recommendation from a licensed/certified professional with knowledge of assistive technology and the applicant.
  • Demonstrate that other funding sources have been applied to and approved for partial funding or rejected; if rejected, summarize the reason given by the funder. If applying for partial funding, explain how the balance of the funding will be obtained.

Approved Use of Awards

With prior approval, awards may be used for:

  1. Reimbursement for the purchase of pre-approved AT and/or accessoriesincluding software / apps.
  2. AT device maintenance or repair (e.g. purchase of a new power chair battery).
  3. Handling fees or delivery costs charged by reuse programs.

Obtaining Payment

After approval, payment may be obtained by:

  • Submission of invoice from vendor/provider; check will be made out to the vendor/provider.
  • Submission of proof of payment (official receipt) within 30 days of purchase.


Applicants enrolled in a federal or state benefit program for people who are lower income (see list) and who can show proof of such enrollment will be presumed income-eligible for the Del Sordo Fund. Additional proof of income is NOT required.

  • Federal Public Housing (Section 8)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Medical Assistance
  • National School Lunch Program
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • iCanConnectPA (National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program)

OR - If the applicant is not enrolled in any of the listed public programs, proof of income that shows household income is no higher than the Income Guidelines (see chart) must be provided. Examples of proof of income are: copies of W-2 forms, 1099 forms, three consecutive months of paycheck stubs, or retirement or Veterans benefits statements.

2017 Household Income Guidelines

Household income must be below 400% of the federal poverty guidelines, as shown in the following table. (source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Number of persons in household 400% of federal poverty guidelines
1 $48,240
2 $64,960
3 $81,680
4 $98,400
5 $115,120
6 $131,840
7 $148,560
8 $165,280

Definition of Terms

For purposes of determining income eligibility, "income" and "household" are defined as follows:

Income: "Income" is all income actually received by all members of a household. This includes salary before deductions for taxes, public assistance benefits, social security payments, pensions, unemployment compensation, veteran's benefits, inheritances, alimony, child support payments, worker's compensation benefits, gifts, lottery winnings, and the like. The only exceptions are student financial aid, military housing and cost-of-living allowances, irregular income from occasional small jobs such as baby-sitting or lawn mowing.

Household: "Household" is any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address as one economic unit. A household may include related and unrelated persons.

Economic Unit: An "economic unit" consists of all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household.

Adult: An adult is any person eighteen years or older. If an adult has no or minimal income, and lives with someone who provides financial support to him/her, both people shall be considered part of the same household. Children under the age of eighteen living with their parents or guardians are considered to be part of the same household as their parents or guardians.


Questions about this application should be directed to:
Sandra McNally
Assistant Director, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Application for The Virginia Del Sordo Fund Grants

Download PDF application

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How to Apply

Download, print and complete the application, including your signature. (Or you can contact us and we'll send an application in the mail.) You must include all of the required paperwork listed on the application. Mail signed application along with supporting documentation to:

Sandra McNally
Assistant Director, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
1755 N. 13th Street
Student Center, Room 411 S
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service