The Northeast Alabama Regional Mobility Authority (NERMA) was created by the United States Department of Transportation to assist with the development of mobility devices for individuals who have been diagnosed with debilitating physical or mental impairments or disabilities. These include Alzheimer’s, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy and amputation. There are a number of resources for residents that require assistance with the development of their mobility devices including the National Association of Manufacturers for Mobility Devices (NAMM), which provides manufacturers of such devices with the opportunity to network with each other.
The Northeast Alabama MR/DD Authority is a statewide program that seeks to provide assistance to those individuals who require assistance in order to purchase and maintain mobility vehicles. There are two types of programs in the region that individuals may seek to benefit from. The first program is the Assistance Grant Program, which is designed to assist individuals who have no means of affording or possessing their own mobility vehicle. In this program, the applicant must be in financial need and demonstrate that they are unable to purchase a vehicle on their own. The second program, the Federal Individual Mobility Assistance Grant (FIMAG), is designed to help those individuals that are unable to receive any type of federal financial assistance to obtain the money needed to purchase mobility devices.
There are a number of criteria that must be met in order to receive assistance through either of these grants. Individuals that are eligible for either of these grants must be between the ages of sixteen and fifty-five and must not have had any previous felony convictions for driving under the influence or drug related offenses. They must also not be on any kind of disability insurance or have any financial issues that prevent them from obtaining transportation. Those who are able to show that they are capable of paying for their mobility device must submit an application with their income information and any kind of medical documentation that supports that they are capable of purchasing their mobility device. Those who are unable to obtain federal assistance can still apply for grant funds from private foundations, organizations, charities or corporations. Grants from these sources may be used towards purchasing and maintaining mobility devices or for any other purpose that an individual is trying to achieve.