RESNA Catalyst Project Logo

December 2013 Highlights



Happy 2014!
On behalf of Joey, Jason, and Paul with the RESNA Catalyst Project, Happy New Year! We thank you for all you do to enhance the lives of people living with disability through the use of Assistive Technology. The work you and your programs do give many people the chance to become more independent and flourish. Keep doing the wonderful work you do, and contact us anytime in 2014 for technical support!

New Online RESNA Catalyst Project Resources for 2014
Beginning in the first quarter of 2014, the RESNA Catalyst Project will be implementing two new resources for AT Act Entities on Catalyst’s website ( First, an interactive calendar will be added to the homepage allowing individuals to access information on upcoming events as well as visit recent ones. Most events reported in these Highlights Newsletters will now be a simple click away to download, register, and share. In addition to the monthly calendar, the RESNA Catalyst Project will be including a Catalyst Twitter feed on the homepage. Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read "tweets", which are text messages limited to 140 characters. Look for detailed information on both the calendar and Twitter feed coming soon!

AT Program Work Group Forming for New and Emerging Technologies
With Assistive Technology changing so quickly, the RESNA Catalyst Project along with the guidance of Montana Assistive Technology Program Director, Kathy Laurin, would like to start a work group of statewide AT program representatives to address new and emerging technologies. This work group will be a forum to address technical issues and solutions to current and emerging technologies, and ultimately provide instruction and technical support to AT programs in understanding how these technologies optimally function. The first topics to be addressed are Electronic Aids to Daily Living and Mobile devices with an emphasis on IOS and Android. If you would like to share your knowledge and experience we want you to be a part of this work group! Please email your interest in participating to We plan to convene the work group in early February, 2014.

Important RSA Deadlines for 2013
Below are important RSA deadlines for obligating and liquidating funds, as well as approval to extend financial and data reporting submission dates:

  • September 30, 2013: Deadline for obligation of FY12 funds
  • September 30, 2014: Deadline for obligation of FY13 funds
  • December 15, 2013 or sooner: Deadline for programs to send requests to RSA for approval to extend FY 2012 liquidation
  • December 15, 2013 or sooner: Deadline for programs to send requests to RSA for approval to extend submission dates for FY 2012 SF-425 financial reporting form
  • December 15, 2013 or sooner: Deadline for programs to send requests to RSA for approval to extend FY 2013 RSA-572 annual data collection for SGAT. This also applies to RSA-662 and Telework ICs.
  • December 31, 2013: Deadline for liquidation of FY12 funds (depending on how the end of the year falls)
  • December 31, 2013: Deadline to mark FY 2012 SF-425 as final
  • December 31, 2013: Deadline to mark FY 2013 SF-425 as annual
  • February 21, 2014: RSA-664 State Plan due

Please contact Rob Groenendaal, or Brian Bard, from RSA if you have specific concerns or questions.

Upcoming Events

AT Act Entities Conference Planning Committee Call – January 23rd 2:00p.m. Eastern
The next Project Director’s Conference planning group call is scheduled for Thursday, January 23rd at 2:00p.m. Eastern. This is the group responsible for putting together the upcoming annual conference in July, and we’d love to hear from you! If you want to join and help mold the annual meeting into what is most helpful for your program, please contact Jason at

Save the date! February 26, 2014, 3p.m. Eastern
Webinar: The Promise of Olmstead—Status of Assistive Technology use in planning for the needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with the Southwest ADA Center, Great Lakes ADA Center, and the National ADA Network are once again partnering in 2014 to bring AT Act Entities three new webinars! Each webinar is free and approved for CEUs.
About the February 26th Webinar: A recent paper by Bryant, B. R., Soonwha, S., Minwook, O., & Bryant, D. (2012), on a study to identify and rate AT devices that are being used by individuals in group residential settings, found that a majority of respondents do not use AT. Many of the recent Department of Justice’s American with Disability Act Olmstead settlement agreements have included AT assessment and services as part of state responsibilities. How are statewide AT programs assisting with AT service provision and planning for individuals with intellectual disabilities‌ This webinar will explore the current status of transition efforts, available resources, and best practices. Presenters include Brian Bryant, PhD, Andy Winnegar, Southwest ADA Center, and a representative from a statewide AT program.

CEUs for RESNA Catalyst Project 2014 Webinars
The RESNA Catalyst Project offers CEUs for most live and archived webinar sessions. The RESNA Catalyst Project is an approved authorized provider for CEU credits by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). You can receive 0.1 CEUs for a sixty to ninety minute webinar. There is a $16 fee to receive credits for each webinar. To learn more about CEUs or to apply for CEUs from an archived webinar, contact Paul Galonsky,


Recent Events

Statewide AT Program Representatives Present on Capitol Hill
On December 6, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Technology and Telecommunications Task Force, invited Federal policymakers and staff to a luncheon briefing and exhibit on AT and Independence. The briefing featured several panelists including Linda Jaco, Director of the Oklahoma State Assistive Technology Program and Jamie Prioli, ATP, with Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology. Linda discussed what the AT Act Programs do and their importance to community living, recreation, education, and employment, while Jamie specifically discussed how individuals with disabilities use AT to achieve independence in the work place. Other panelists and speakers included: Mark Richert, Director of Public Policy, American Foundation for the Blind; Audrey Busch, Director of Policy and Advocacy, ATAP; Eric Buehlmann, Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy, National Disability Rights Network; Ann Cody, MS, CDSS, Director of Policy and Global Outreach, Blaze Sports America; and ATAP Chair Steve Rothstein, President of Perkins School for the Blind, joined by teacher Kate Crohan and student Chris Palmieri; Theresa Morgan, Legislative Director of Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, P.C.
Following the panel discussion, exhibitors including Alicia John’s with the Assistive Technology Program for the District of Columbia showcased AT utilized by individuals with disabilities, including technology used for mobility, vision, hearing and speech.

Upcoming Events

Statewide AT Program New Directors Webinar/Call- January 16, 2013, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern
The Statewide AT Program New Directors call takes place every other month. Under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (AT Act), as amended, statewide AT programs must provide a variety of assistive technology services consistently and in a quality manner. This upcoming webinar/call will feature information on Quality Services and Indicators found in the fifth module of the New Director’s Curriculum ( This call will also allow time for new directors to discuss issues they are currently facing. All new and veteran statewide AT directors and staff are welcome! Register today at

Device Loan/Demo Forum Call-January 21, 2014, 3p.m. Eastern
The RESNA Catalyst Project is teaming up with CATADA and ATAP to provide Device Loan/Demo Forum calls. Two calls took place in 2013 with great success. The next Device Loan/Demo Forum call is scheduled for January 21, at 3 p.m. Eastern. The topic will be device tracking and inventory/customer management, which will include touching on Meraki. States will be asked to share how they track devices and how they address device return and recovery. John Effinger (MO) and Lynette Strode (IL) will facilitate the discussion. To join this call, dial 800-211-4163, passcode 0521244#. Online live captioning will be available. Look for the link to be emailed to access captioning prior to this call.



SAVE THE DATES! June 2-5, 2014 for the National Disability Rights Network Annual Meeting and Conference (Baltimore, Maryland).
National AT Advocacy Project will have significant presence at the NDRN conference.

  • NDRN is working out the final details. A detailed agenda and online registration will soon be available at
  • We previously announced that we would not have a stand-alone conference in 2013 and did not plan one for 2014. Instead, we are devoting more resources to distance learning (see teleconference summary below) and will have a significant presence at NDRN’s 2014 conference.
  • Below is the tentative lineup of AT-related sessions for the NDRN conference (dates and times for the Tuesday-Thursday sessions are tentative; speakers will soon be announced):
    • Monday, June 2, 2014 (a full-day institute) - "Preparation of a Medicaid Assistive Technology Case: From Fair Hearing to State Court Judicial Review" (similar to 2013 institute, using standing wheelchair as item sought; expect to have equipment demos during session)
    • Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - "What Equipment Does for the Individual and How We Get It Funded" (plan is to have equipment demos during session)
    • Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - "Legal Issues Related to Equipment Requests through Medicaid Waivers and Medicaid Managed Care Organizations"
    • Thursday, June 5, 2014 - "Using Smart Phones and PDAs to Promote Integrated Employment"
    • Thursday, June 5, 2014 - "Using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Guidance in Medicaid Equipment Cases"

On December 18, 2012, NLS delivered the third in a three-part series (part 1 - Medicaid, part 2 – Special Education and General Curriculum Mandates, part 3 – State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies). Some highlights on attendance:

  • Actual attendance included 228 open phone lines for the three sessions. We assume actual attendance was 10 to 20 higher since we know two or more persons often attend on the same phone line.
  • For the three sessions, combined, there was attendance from more than 40 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam.
  • Handouts for the three sessions are available at
  • A special thank you to the Advocacy Center of New Orleans, Louisiana for its co-sponsorship support, making it possible to offer continuing legal education credits to participants.

This series was co-sponsored by: The National AT Advocacy Project and The Advocacy Center (New Orleans, LA).

The fall 2013 newsletter was recently published and now appears on the NLS website. The lead article is titled, "State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies as Assistive Technology Funding Sources: VR Agencies Remain an Important Source of AT Funding for Individuals with Disabilities Preparing for Work" and is available at This fully updates past newsletters on this topic. For a more extensive treatment on this subject you may want to read a much longer AT funding manual published earlier in 2013 ( Readers who have questions about the obligations of VR agencies to fund AT can contact Ron Hager of the National Disability Rights Network ( Ron is the lead author on these publications and continues to be a part of our National AT Advocacy Project.



Data Reports - Success Stories Wanted!
The RESNA Catalyst Project wants success stories from your programs! We are in process of developing data reports, similar to the ones published in 2011, and want to highlight all the successes your programs experience. Client stories and pictures are needed to make these as powerful as possible. Please contact Jason Luciano at for more information.

AFP Steering Committee

The RESNA Catalyst Project will be convening the AFP Steering Committee in the near future. This group of representatives from AFPs helps guide the RESNA Catalyst project in the development of its technical assistance goals for the year, as well as planning for the annual conference. If you are interested in participating, please contact Jason Luciano at

Recent Events

AFP New Directors Series – Monday December 16, 2013
The RESNA Catalyst Project started a series of New Director calls for AFP directors. New directors have been invited to attend, and this series is available for anyone who feels s/he may need a refresher on the basics of loan program operation. If you are interested in participating, and have not received an invitation, please contact Jason Luciano at

New Grantee Call – December 19th, 2013
This monthly call brings together the new AFP grantees and programs receiving funding under the recent competitions to discuss unique opportunities and challenges presented to new AFP grantees. Next call is scheduled for January 16, 2014.

Upcoming Events

New Grantee Call – January 16th at 4:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees will be January 16th at 4:00p.m. Eastern. These calls are for those programs receiving funding under the recent competitions to discuss unique opportunities and challenges presented to new AFP grantees.

New Directors of Loan Programs – TBD
The New Directors of Loan Programs series will start in January, with the specific dates and times to still be determined. The monthly topics will be:

    1. Day-to-day operations of loan programs Part I
    2. Day-to-day operations of loan programs Part II
    3. Marketing Loan Programs
    4. Sustainability and Fundraising
    5. Financial Literacy and Credit Building
    6. Dealing with Defaults
    7. Working with Boards

Look for more details soon!


Disability Statistics and Research-to-Policy Roundtable
On December 11, the Annual Compendium of Disability Statistics and the Third Annual Research-to-Policy Roundtable meeting was held in Washington, DC. The Compendium is a web-based tool that pools disability statistics published by various federal agencies together in one place. When working on legislative and other matters relating to persons with disabilities, the Compendium makes finding and using disability statistics easier. Key findings from the 2013 Compendium include:

  • In 2012, the poverty rate was 29.2 percent for individuals with a work limitation and/or a broad disability.
  • In the U.S., from 2010 to 2011, the total number of recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) increased 2.5 percent.
  • As of July 1, 2011, the U.S. Medicare program served a total of 8,184,538 beneficiaries with disabilities.
  • In 2012, the employment rate for individuals with disabilities was 31.1 percent.

To download and learn more about the 2013 Compendium of Disability Statistics, visit

AT Radio & Podcasts in Indiana
INDATA has launched an internet radio station. broadcasts 24/7 and includes a wide variety of AT programs. Programs include INDATA’s two podcasts as well as various AT training sessions. To view and listen to the growing list of episodes, visit:
INDATA will include audio content from other AT projects. To submit radio content or to learn more about INDATA's AT radio and podcasts contact Wade Wingler at

The RESNA Catalyst Project provides technical assistance to Statewide Assistive Technology Programs, Alternative Financing Programs & Access to Telework Programs, and Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology Programs. RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America, is the premier professional organization dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of people with disabilities through increasing access to technology solutions.

This newsletter is produced by the RESNA Catalyst Project under a grant funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), U.S. Department of Education (RSA/ED) through the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. The information contained herein does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of RSA/ED or RESNA and no official endorsement of the materials should be inferred.

Contact Information: RESNA Catalyst Project, 1700 North Moore Street, Suite 1540, Arlington, VA 22209-1903; (703) 524-6686 (voice), (866) 342-6572 (voice), (703) 524-6630 (FAX), (703) 524-6639 (TTY). Email:; Website: