December 2014 Highlights
PROJECT WIDE NEWS
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Joey Wallace, Jason Luciano, and Paul Galonsky with the RESNA Catalyst Project wish you and your colleagues a very happy holiday season and New Year! We thank you for your passion and commitment to bettering the lives of people living with disability through the use of Assistive Technology. Your leadership and direction is invaluable. Thank you for all you do, and the RESNA Catalyst Project looks forward to serving you in 2015!
Important RSA Deadlines for 2014
Below are important RSA deadlines for obligating and liquidating funds, as well as approval to extend financial and data reporting submission dates:
- December 31, 2014: Deadline for liquidation of FY12 funds (depending on how the end of the year falls)
- December 31, 2014: Deadline to mark FY 2013 SF-425 as final
- December 31, 2014: Deadline to mark FY 2014 SF-425 as annual
If you have concerns or questions, please contact Robert Groenendaal with RSA at Robert.Groenendaal@ed.gov.
RESNA Catalyst Project/ADA Centers’ New Webinars FY 2015
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with the Great Lakes and Southwest ADA Centers will be providing another series of free webinar sessions to meet the needs of AT Act Programs in 2015. These sessions are designed to provide timely information by experts on various aspects of AT and its interface with issues covered under the ADA. Each webinar is 90 minutes in length and provided free. All sessions are close captioned, and continuing education credits are available through RESNA.
Save the date! The first webinar in this series is entitled Assistive Technology and Aging: Inclusive Solutions and the Americans with Disabilities Act,
and is scheduled for Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 3p.m. EST. Aimee Sterk, MSW, with the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition will be the featured presenter. Register for this webinar at
Webinar Series for AT Act Programs: AT & Employment
Part six in this series was postponed in December, but has been rescheduled for
February 18, 2015, 2p.m. Eastern Time. Final Webinar in this series: Funding of Work-Related Assistive Technology through Medicaid and Medicaid Waivers. To register, visit
Each webinar is 75 minutes on a host of AT and Employment related topics. For an archive of the previous five webinars, visit
STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS
Deaf Hard of Hearing Work Group to Continue in 2015
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with Laura Plummer, Project Director with Wisconsin Assistive Technology Program (WisTech), will continue to schedule and hold the Deaf/Hard of
Hearing Work Group FY 2015. This Work Group is designed to share in, and address, technical issues and solutions current to technologies for individuals who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. In addition, a LinkedIn page is now up and running to share information
and resources. To participate in this LinkedIn Group, visit
The next call/webinar is currently schedule for Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 3p.m. Eastern Time, and will feature a presentation from
Jimmy Brown of the Kentucky Assistive Technology Service (KATS) Network on
their Statewide Hearing Aid Assistance and Reuse Program (SHARP). Register for this presentation today at
MassMATCH Advisory Council Webinar Presentation
On December 16, 2014,
Cathy Bodine and Maureen Melonis with the AT Program of Colorado, Wade Wingler with the Indiana AT Act Project, and Paul Galonsky with the RESNA Catalyst Project provided a webinar presentation to the Massachusetts Maximizing Assistive Technology in
Consumers’ Hands (MassMATCH) Advisory Council. The presentation focused on the purpose and requirements of a statewide AT program advisory council, and statewide AT program presenters shared their strategies that have made their advisory councils more effective.
If your statewide AT program would like a presentation for constituents on any subject related to the AT Act of 1998, as amended, please contact Paul Galonsky at
Device Demo and Loan Forum/Teleconference-Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 3:00-4:00p.m. Eastern
This forum will feature John Effinger (MO) and Lynette Strode (IL), who will facilitate a discussion on what is trending in the world of AT, new device discussion, and tablet
and app update discussion. The Device Demo and Loan Forum is for all Statewide AT Programs and is developed by CATADA, ATAP, and the RESNA Catalyst Project. To participate in January, please dial 800-211-4163, and pass code 0521244#.
If you have accessibility requests or have any questions, please contact Paul Galonsky,
Resources to Support Your Medicaid Work for Children, with a Focus on EPSDT
As many of us know, the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Medicaid requirements can be an extra tool for advocates who seek Medicaid AT funding through
the durable medical equipment category. Two ways it can potentially expand the availability of AT for kids under 21: EPSDT makes all optional Medicaid categories, like occupational therapy and speech therapy services (both include necessary equipment as
part of the federal definition), mandatory for children under 21; language in the Medicaid Act and in the CMS State Medicaid Manual make it clear that EPSDT should be viewed as a very proactive intervention to identify a variety of medically related deficits
that relate to development and then address them through Medicaid services. These and additional EPSDT issues are addressed in the following resources:
MEDICAID, AT AND KIDS: How Medicaid’s EPSDT Program Expands the Availability of Assistive Technology for Children Under 21 in All States
(AT Advocate newsletter, winter 2008), available at
State Medicaid Agencies Can Fund Adaptive Tricycles
(Did You Know Series), available at
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,
State Medicaid Manual, Chapter 5 (covering EPSDT), available at
http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Manuals/Paper-Based-Manuals-Items/CMS021927.html (then scroll down and select “Chapter 5 Early and Periodic Screening”)
If you have any questions on these issues, contact either Diana Straube (email@example.com) or Marge Gustas (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Both Diana and Marge can discuss how they have used EPSDT in some of their Medicaid cases and provide fair hearing decisions that have relied on the EPSDT provisions in awarding funding for specialized equipment.
Video Portrays Very Young Children Using Motorized Toys to Achieve Better Mobility in Their School-Related and Other Environments-Can we get these items funded through traditional Medicaid or Medicaid waivers
Earlier this month, Victor Panoff of the Florida P&A; shared a link to this very special video,
Put a Brilliant Scientist in a Toy Store, And He'll Start Changing Lives Left and Right, available at
http://www.upworthy.com/put-a-brilliant-scientist-in-a-toy-store-and-he-start-changing-lives-left-and-rightg=2. This is a very moving video showing how one man’s project to provide motorized mobility, in the form of modified toys, is making a great difference
in the lives of children who get them. Can we get these items funded by Medicaid While we do not promise overnight success, the EPSDT mandates as discussed in the resources above may help to achieve the funding goal in individual cases. For starters, think
about how access to these devices achieves functional mobility, promotes better peer relationships (note how the one child depicted is able to keep up with his peers during recess time with the motorized device), and leads to better social development. Of
course, we may need to categorize them as something other than toys or face the same obstacles we sometimes face with therapeutic trike appeals. Here again, contact Marge Gustas or Diana Straube if you are looking into using EPSDT as a tool to promote funding.
National AT Advocacy Project to Collaborate with National Association of Benefits and Work Incentives Specialists (NABWIS) to Deliver Session on Using Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies
to Fund a Range of Services, including AT, to Support a Work Goal-Session scheduled for February 4th, 3:00 to 4:30p.m. Eastern
NABWIS, a membership association, focuses on the use of work incentives counseling to help Social Security and SSI disability beneficiaries achieve their self-supporting employment goals.
Jim Sheldon, Project Director of the National AT Advocacy Project at Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS), also oversees various work incentives counseling projects at NLS including the Social Security-funded Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Project.
Jim Sheldon and Ron Hager of the National Disability Rights Network have agreed to present a webinar to the NABWIS membership, “State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies: How the VR Agency Can Fund Services and Equipment to Support a Work Goal.” They will
tweak the power point used in the AT and Employment series to better meet the needs of individuals involved in WIPA and other work incentives counseling projects. This is part of a 3-part webinar series and is free to NABWIS members or $75 to non-members
(covers all 3 webinars and provides free NABWIS membership for one year). The other two webinars will cover Railroad Retirement and Disability Benefits (February 26th) and The Transition from Disability to Retirement Benefits (April 16th),
with both offered from 3:00 to 4:30 EST. This series may be particularly beneficial if you split time between the PAAT grant and an employment-related project like WIPA or Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS). To get a copy
of the promotional flyer or to register contact Ray Cebula at
ALTERNATIVE FINANCING AND TELEWORK LOAN PROGRAMS
Data submissions for MIS662 is now due!
Don’t forget to get your data into your respective reporting system (MIS572/MIS662/Telework). Data is due no later than December 31, 2014. Please contact the RESNA Catalyst Project with
any questions or challenges with this requirement.
Individual TA Calls with Loan Program Directors
The RESNA Catalyst Project, in conjunction with RSA, is setting up individual calls for loan program directors to discuss program needs. These calls are short, usually lasting approximately
30 minutes. Keep an eye out for contact from Jason Luciano to schedule a time.
2015 AFP Conference information coming soon!
Watch your inboxes for upcoming information on the 2015 AFP Conference! This conference will be held separately from the Statewide AT Program conference in 2015. The Conference Planning
Steering Committee will be establishing dates and an agenda soon, so stay tuned!
Data Collection Call for MIS 662 – December 4, 2014
The RESNA Catalyst Project hosted an open forum style conference call to discuss data collection and submission into the MIS662 for Fiscal Year 2014. Data is required
no later than December 31, 2014. This call walked through some of the basic data elements, discussed how they are calculated, and answered specific questions on data submission.
AFP Conference Steering Committee - December 18, 2014
The AFP Conference Planning Steering Committee met to go over the results of the AFP Director Survey, and to begin discussing location ideas for the 2015 AFP Conference. Conference dates
and a preliminary agenda are coming soon!
New Grantee Call – January 15, 2015, 4:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees will be January 15, 2015, 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. The call in number is 800-211-4163 with pass code 58 48 484#.
Loan Directors Open Forum Call – January 20, 2015, 3:00p.m. Eastern
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace will host a Loan Program Directors Forum in January. Much like the successful forums for Statewide AT Program
Directors, this forum is designed for AFP Directors to talk informally about programmatic issues that they may be currently facing, as well as technical guidance adhering to federal and state regulations. In addition, this forum is intended to provide for
open discussion and sharing across programs. The call in number is 800-211-4163 with pass code 58 48 484#.
JAN's 2015 Federal Employer Winter Webcast Series
JAN will provide three free 1.5 hour Webcast sessions in 2015, which will cover Federal sector hiring and employment, reasonable accommodation, and best practices. JAN Webcasts
are available at no cost. All Webcasts begin at 2 p.m. Eastern. You must register to attend at
Center on Technology and Disability (CTD) Launches Website
In November 2014, the CTD Institute opened its online doors at
www.CTDinstitute.org. The CTD website comprises hundreds of evidence-based resources, including fact sheets, videos, training materials, research reports, and other relevant and current information on assistive and
instructional technologies. CTD welcome all ideas for events, topics, experts, and materials to feature. Feel free to contact them at:
RESNA International Special Interest Group (SIG) Do-It-Yourself Contest
Deadline is April 1, 2015
Those with experience working or living in developing countries know that the assistive device needed is often not commercially available or affordable. As a step toward remedying this problem, the RESNA International SIG is sponsoring an assistive technology
DIY (Do It Yourself!) contest. We are looking for innovative low-cost DIY assistive technology that could be replicated around the world. Whirlwind Wheelchair's generous donation will allow us to offer cash prizes including $300 for first place, $150 for second
place, and $50 for third place! To learn more, visit http://www.resna.org/international-sig-do-it-yourself-contest.
AT Radio & Podcasts in Indiana
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
Follow the RESNA Catalyst Project on Twitter today!
The RESNA Catalyst Project now has a Twitter feed on the homepage at
www.resnaprojects.org. 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.
Follow what is happening with the RESNA Catalyst’s Online Calendar
The RESNA Catalyst Project’s event calendar is on the homepage at
www.resnaprojects.org. This interactive calendar allows 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!
AT product information
contained above is distributed by the RESNA Catalyst Project for informational
purposes only. Endorsement or recommendation is neither intended nor
implied, and the RESNA Catalyst Project, RESNA, RESNA employees, collaborators,
and partners take no responsibility for individual decisions, and shall bear no
liability for any loss or damages resulting from the use of this information.