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IDEA | Medicaid Commission |Medicare | Private Insurance | State AT Funding Initiatives

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004
    Public Law 108-446 amends the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA). The new law preserves the basic structure and civil rights guarantees of IDEA but also makes significant changes to the law.
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  • Policy Interpretations on IDEA and AT
    • Policy Development in Assistive Technology and IDEA (ca. 1994)
      This document, by Susan Goodman, Esq., provides an overview to definitions of AT and the significance of OSEP policy letters in response to questions about the relationship of AT to IDEA. The following letters are those filed by OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs) at the U.S. Department of Education specifically referencing funding AT under IDEA.
      • Policies of the Education of the Handicapped Act on Funding AT (1990)
        This document is the response letter Susan Goodman, Lawyer/Consultant, received from OSEP pertaining to the policies of the Education of the Handicapped Act (the precursor to IDEA) on funding assistive technology, especially in regard to the Individual Education Program. (IEP).
      • CCTV Home Use & Time Limits for IEP Implementation (1991)
        This letter responds to a parent's question on whether a student who requires a CCTV for school use may also utilize the same equipment at home to continue studies and if there is a time limit on IEP implementation.
      • Hearing Aids (1993)
        OSEP's response to whether the school district is responsible for purchasing a hearing aid under IDEA if the hearing aid is put on the student's IEP.
      • School Liability for Family-Owned AT (1994)
        The letter addresses questions from a parent on a school and a school district's liability for a family-owned AT device used to implement a child's IEP.
      • Eyeglasses Policy (1995)
        The letter addresses a question from the Witchita, Kansas Department of Special Education on whether local educational agencies (LEAs) have an obligation to provide eye glasses to children with disabilities under Part B of IDEA (Part B).
      • Transition of AT to Other VR Programs or Entities (1998)
        Letter written to Susan Goodman, Esq., regarding the policy of the U.S. Department of Education on this transition under the student's IEP.

Medicaid Commission

    The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has established a Medicaid Commission under Public Law 92-263, Federal Advisory Committee Act, to "advise the Secretary on ways to modernize the Medicaid program so that it can provide high-quality healthcare to its beneficiaries in a financially sustainable way."
  • Medicaid Commission Charter (PDF format)
    Outlines the purpose, authority, function, structure, and responsibilities of the Medicaid Commission.
  • Federal Register Notice- May 20, 2005 (PDF format)
    Regarding the establishment of the Medicaid Commission and request for nominations for members.
  • Federal Register Notice- July 12, 2005 (PDF format)
    Regarding the July 27, 2005 meeting of the Medicaid Commission.
  • Federal Register Notice- August 4, 2005 (PDF format)
    Regarding the August 17 - 18, 2005 meeting of the Medicaid Commission.


  • Medicare Funding of Assistive Technology
    This Neighborhood Legal Services, National Assistive Technology Advocacy Project's site links to several Medicare and Medicaid resources on funding AT.
  • AAC (Augmentative Alternative Communication) Coverage
    • Medicare's Coverage of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices (Effective Date: January 2001)
      Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly HCFA when this policy was made) states that carriers are not necessarily required to cover AAC devices (pending a national policy), HCFA 's announcement officially voids the prior national policy which prohibited Medicare coverage for AAC devices on the basis that they were "personal convenience" items. CMS's current decision formally defines AAC devices as a Medicare benefit under the classification of durable medical equipment (DME). All Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for AAC device coverage, with the exception of skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents, as Title XVIII of the Social Security Act excludes coverage of DME within the SNF setting.
    • Obtaining an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Device through Medicare: The Decision Making and Appeals Process for Non-HMO Participants (1999)
      A Neighborhood Legal Services, National Assistive Technology Advocacy Project publication that was written before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services coverage of AAC devices went into effect on January 1, 2001. Despite the existence of the National Coverage Decision (prior to 1/1/01), experience states that Medicare will provide reimbursement for the cost of purchase or rental if a person goes through the appeals process and presents his or her case to an administrative law judge (ALJ).
    • Medicare and AAC Devices: The Decision Making and Appeals Process for Non-HMO Participants (1999)
      A Neighborhood Legal Services, National Assistive Technology Advocacy Project publication. The HMO is the most common Medicare+Choice option. Their AAC device payment will come from the HMO or other entity, which oversees the managed care or M+C plan.

Private Insurance

  • Private Insurance and Assistive Technology (2000)
    Prepared by the RESNA Technical Assistance Project, this document provides issues and strategies on accessing AT through private insurance and provides links to resources on private insurance.
  • Insurance Funding for AAC Devices: Instructions for SLPs - Test for Medicare Deference (May 2002)
    This document from Lew Golinker, Director of the Assistive Technology Law Center, provides the information as of May 2002 on appropriate insurance coding procedures for AAC devices from SLPs (Speech Language Pathologists). This memo outlines a two-step strategy intended to decrease "coverage based" insurance denials of AAC device funding requests: i.e., on the basis that AAC devices are "not covered." The strategy seeks to take advantage of the general practice by insurers of looking to Medicare's coverage or exclusion of types of treatment, including items of medical equipment, when they make their own coverage decisions under an insurance policy or benefits plan.

State AT Funding Initiatives

IDAs | Tax Credits | State Financial Loan Programs | State Funding Guides

  • IDAs (Individual Development Accounts)
    • Kansas IDA Legislation (2000)
      An act establishing an IDA for assistive technology and an IDA reserve fund for Kansas.
    • Expanding Savings Options for Persons with Disabilities through the Establishment of Individual Development Accounts
      A PowerPoint presentation by Sara Sack, project director of the Kansas AT Loan Program, that provides an overview of IDAs and an update of current legislation in various states.
    • How Do IDAs Affect Benefit Eligibility? (2001)
      A document from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) analyzes the treatment of four types of IDAs under the eligibility rules in some of the major benefit programs for which IDA holders may be eligible-(1) TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, (2) Food Stamps, (3) Medicaid, (4) SSI (Supplemental Security Income), and (5) and federal housing assistance programs.
    • Individual Development Accounts: Opportunity for the U.S. Disability Community (2002)
      An article from Disability World on IDAs.
  • Tax Credits
  • State Financial Loan Programs
    • Alternative Financing Programs
      This site lists the state AT financial loan programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) under Title III of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-394). For more information on alternative financial loan programs for AT, see the RESNA-sponsored project, Alternative Financing Technical Assistance Project (AFTAP). This project provides technical assistance to the state AT financial loan programs. AFTAP is designed to enhance the efforts of the state alternative financing program (AFP) grantees and to assist states applying for AFP grants through a variety of mechanisms.
  • State Funding Guides
    Almost every state and territory Assistive Technology Act Project provides a funding guide. Some of the projects post their funding guides on their websites; others offer copies that can be mailed. Please check the State and Territory AT Act Program Contact List for contact information.

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The National Assistive Technology Technical Assistance Partnership is a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Education and RESNA. The grant (Grant #H224B050003; CFDA 84.224B) is funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended and administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education.

This website is developed with grant funds. The information contained on these pages does not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education or the Grantee and no official endorsement of the information should be inferred.