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February 2014 Highlights

PROJECT WIDE NEWS


Announcements

Registration Now Open! National AT Act Entities Conference July 14 and 15, 2014
This year’s National AT Act Entities Conference will be held July 14 - 15, 2014, at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC. The Conference is being co-hosted by the Association of AT Act Programs, CATADA and the RESNA Catalyst Project. This Conference is specially designed for AT Act Program Directors and staff, and will include current information on topics developed by the Statewide and AFP conference planning committees. The two day conference will feature combined Statewide AT Program and AFP general sessions, and specific concurrent sessions. All attendees are encouraged to attend any session of interest. A networking reception is also scheduled for Monday evening. Register today at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2014-national-at-act-entities-conference-registration-10169133151.

Catalyst Collaboration with the Center on Effective Rehabilitation Technology (CERT)
The RESNA Catalyst Project continues to collaborate with CERT for 2014. In February, Catalyst wrote an article for the CERT newsletter about how Vocational Rehabilitation agencies save money by working with their state AT Act programs. For a copy of the article, contact Paul Galonsky, pgalonsky@resna.org. Look for more details on collaboration efforts in the coming months.

Recent Events

Webinar: The Promise of Olmstead — Status of Assistive Technology use in planning for the needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities February 26, 2014
Cosponsored by the RESNA Catalyst Project, South West ADA, Great Lakes ADA, and National ADA Network, this webinar explored the current status of transition efforts, available resources, and best practices for the needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Presenters include Brian Bryant, PhD, Andy Winnegar, Southwest ADA Center, and Janice Carson, Director of the Idaho Assistive Technology Project. An archive of this webinar is available on the RESNA Catalyst Project website at http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html.

Upcoming Events

AT for Employer Partners Call - March 10, 2014, 1p.m. Eastern Time
The RESNA Catalyst Project will host a quarterly call for Portal Partners on March 10, 2014. The call will include a briefing and updates found on the AT for Employment Web Portal. Partners will continue to meet quarterly in 2014. Portal Partners include the United States Business Leadership Network, Job Accommodation Network, and the ADA National Network. Please visit the AT for Employer/Business Web Portal at www.ATConnects.com/employers.

AT & Education Work Group Call - March 20, 2014, 3p.m. Eastern Time
Since late 2013, the RESNA Catalyst Project along with statewide AT program representatives and external partners have been developing an AT & Education initiative. The initiative is intended to provide AT resources and marketing of AT Act programs to consumers as well as specific technical assistance to statewide AT programs. If you have an interest in being a part of this work group, please contact Paul Galonsky, pgalonsky@resna.org. Look for more information throughout 2014!

AT for Employment Work Group Call - March 27, 2014, 3p.m. Eastern Time
The AT for Employment Work Group call provides opportunities for AT Act program participants to get briefed on national updates related to AT for Employment, as well as opportunities to share what is happening in your state. To participate, call 800-351-6810, and pass code 46172076#.

STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS


Recent Events

Statewide AT Program Steering Committee - February 5, 2014
The RESNA Catalyst Project convened the Statewide AT Program Steering Committee in early February. This group of representatives from Statewide AT Programs help guide the RESNA Catalyst Project in the development of its technical assistance goals for the year, as well as planning for the annual conference. The meeting focused on approval of the 2014 RESNA Catalyst Project's Statewide AT Program Technical Assistance Plan.

Emerging Technologies Work Group - February 12, 2014
In February, Montana Assistive Technology Program Director, Kathy Laurin, kicked off this new work group to address technical issues and solutions to current and emerging technologies. A recording of this call is available on the RESNA Catalyst Project Website at http://resnaprojects.org/statewide/emergingtech/index.html. 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 pgalonsky@resna.org. Next work group call is scheduled for March 19, 2014, 3p.m. Eastern.

Webinar: Overview of the CISCO Meraki Dashboard-February 20, 2014
John Effinger, M.S. CCC-SLP, Program Coordinator, with Missouri Assistive Technology presented a webinar overview of CISCO’s Meraki dashboard for tracking Wi-Fi enabled devices. An archive of this webinar is now available on the RESNA Catalyst Project’s website at http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html.

Statewide AT Directors Forum–February 25, 2014
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace invited all Statewide AT Directors to a new forum, which started in February. The forum is designed for all Statewide AT 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.
Next Forum Call is scheduled for Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 3p.m. Eastern. Forum call-in number: 800-351-6810, Passcode: 46172076#.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: CATADA Federal Data Collection - Wednesday March 5, 2014, 3-4pm or 8-9pm Eastern Time
On Wednesday March 5th, the Center for Assistive Technology Act Data Assistance (CATADA) will host an informational webinar on recent updates to Federal Data Collection. In particular, this webinar will highlight device loan inventory management features that are currently in the development and testing phases. In addition, this webinar will provide a general overview of the utility of the application, which is a web-based data reporting tool that streamlines and simplifies the preparation of 572 data for submission to the RSA MIS system. This application is available to all grantees who report 572 data and we encourage all programs to attend this webinar.
CATADA will host this webinar on the Adobe Connect platform. Audio will be provided via telephone and live captions will be available during the webinar. If Adobe Connect does not offer to call you automatically, you can dial in to 888-803-3311. To ensure all programs can attend, CATADA has scheduled two sessions on the 5th. Both sessions will be identical.

Session 1 will run from 3-4pm Eastern Time on Wednesday 3/5. To access this webinar, navigate to this link: http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/r354auyj2n6/
Session 2 will run from 8-9pm Eastern Time on Wednesday 3/5. To access this webinar, navigate to this link: http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/r6kh3uoutb4/.

Statewide AT Program New Directors Webinar/Call March 13, 2014, 3-4:00p.m.
ALL STATEWIDE AT DIRECTORS ARE WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE!
Register at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/378206327
Under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (AT Act), as amended, statewide AT Act programs must report data on state-level and state leadership activities for completing the State Grant for AT Program Annual Report. Program data can also be used to analyze program performance and plan program activities. This webinar/call will feature information on statewide AT program data requirements found in the sixth module of the New Director’s Curriculum (http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/newdirectors/mod6data.html). Diane Cordry Golden, Ph.D. with the Center for Assistive Technology Act Data Assistance (CATADA) and the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP) will be on hand to provide talking points and answer data questions.

PAAT PROGRAMS


Announcements

Highlights from the Courts: Oral Arguments Occur in Alvarez v. Betlach
Ninth Circuit to Decide if Arizona Medicaid Program Can Exclude Coverage of Incontinence Briefs for Adults

On February 11th, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco heard arguments in the state Medicaid agency’s appeal from a lower court decision that held that Arizona Medicaid could not exclude incontinence briefs for adults when prescribed to prevent skin breakdown and other medical complications. See lower court opinion and order, Alvarez v. Betlach, CV 09-558 TUC AWT (Slip Opinion) (District Court Ariz. 5/12/12) (holding that this coverage exclusion violates the Medicaid Act’s reasonable standards provisions, 42 USC 1396a(a)(17), and amounts to an unlawful denial of an item that meets the definition of home health services, i.e., medical supplies, and that is medically necessary, 42 USC 1396a(a)(10)(D)). Although Arizona classifies incontinence briefs as a medical supply and not as durable medical equipment (DME), both are authorized under the home health services coverage category which includes “medical supplies, equipment, and appliances …” 42 CFR 440.70(b)(3). Reviewing the lower court decision and the briefing, all of the legal issues you would see in a DME case (i.e., for assistive technology) are present in this high profile case.
Under Arizona’s Medicaid policy, incontinence briefs are covered for children up to age 21 (i.e., under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment or EPSDT program) to “prevent” skin breakdown and the health complications that go along with it. At age 21, prevention disappears as a basis for coverage; for adults incontinence briefs can only be approved as “treatment” in cases where the skin breakdown has already occurred. It was this disparate coverage for children and adults that lead the lower court to determine that this violated the reasonable standards provisions.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Arizona Center for Disability Law (Sarah E. Kader, Jennifer A. Alewelt, and J.J. Rico, of counsel). For copies of the unreported lower court decision or the appellate briefs, including an amicus brief filed by Lew Golinker of the AT Law Center contact either Diana Straube (dstraube@nls.org) or Jim Sheldon (jsheldon@nls.org). You can listen to the oral arguments on the Ninth Circuit’s website at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view.php?pk_id=0000012304 (Sarah Kader arguing for plaintiffs/appellees).

New York Court Rules that Medicaid Agency’s Denial of Request for Fully-Electric SleepSafe Bed is Not Supported by Substantial Evidence
This case concerned the prior approval request to fund a SleepSafe II bed for a five year old child. The family sought a pediatric, 360-degree bed with sides enclosed. It is fully-electric, allowing the parents, in this case, to use a button to raise the head, feet and bed level. Medicaid had insisted that a cheaper, non-electric bed would meet the needs of this multiply-disabled child, stating that it would only fund a fully-electric bed if the user (i.e., the child in this case) is capable of operating it. Ironically, this bed is designed to meet the needs of children like our petitioner who is not capable of using the controls.

After Marge Gustas of New York’s PAAT program represented the child at a fair hearing, the administrative law judge issued an unfavorable decision. Thereafter, a judicial review petition was filed in state court. Following briefing and oral argument, New York’s Appellate Division for the Fourth Department ruled, in Zuchegno v. Shah, 979 NYS2d 899 (NYAD 4 Dept. 2/7/14), “that the determination that the SleepSafe II is not the least costly device that is medically necessary for petitioner’s son is not supported by substantial evidence,” citing Matter of Godfrey v Shah, 91 AD3d 1294, 1295-96. Congratulations to attorney, Diana Straube, who represented the petitioner in this appeal. If you would like copies of the one-page decision or the petitioner’s brief, contact Diana (dstraube@nls.org).

Registration Now Open! - NCART Conference Scheduled April 29 – May 1, 2014, Arlington, VA
The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology will hold this three-day event at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City (“National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference”). See http://ncart.us/articles/2014-crt-conference-registration-is-open for more information and registration links.

SAVE THE DATES! June 2-5, 2014: National Disability Rights Network Annual Meeting and Conference (Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, 700 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore, MD 21212)
A detailed agenda and online registration will soon be available at http://ndrn.org/en/events/events-calendar/icalrepeat.detail/2014/06/02/57/-/2014-ndrn-paacap-annual-meeting.html.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCING AND TELEWORK LOAN PROGRAMS


Announcements

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 jluciano@resna.org for more information.

New Directors of Loan Programs Last Thursday of each month, 2:00p.m. Eastern
The New Directors of Loan Programs series started in January 2013. The remaining topic schedule is:

  • Marketing Loan Programs
  • Sustainability and Fundraising
  • Financial Literacy and Credit Building
  • Dealing with Defaults
  • Working with Boards

If you are interested in joining these webinars please contact Jason at jluciano@resna.org.

Recent Events

New Grantee Call – February 20, 2014
The last monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees was February 20th. These calls are for those programs receiving funding under the recent competitions to discuss unique opportunities and challenges presented to new AFP grantees.

AFP Conference Planning Group – February 20, 2014
The AFP Conference Planning Work Group met to finalize the draft conference agenda and list of speakers. Invitations have gone out, and a final agenda will be distributed shortly.

AFP Steering Committee – February 20, 2014
The RESNA Catalyst Project convened the AFP Steering Committee in February. 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. The meeting focused on development and approval of the Technical Assistance Plan for AFPs.

New Directors of Loan Programs February 28, 2014
Tracy Beck, Director of Operations, and Susan Tachau, Executive Director from the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation, presented in depth about the Pennsylvania Alternative Financing Program’s. Highlights included Pennsylvania’s successes with loan underwriting and present strategies for new directors to advance their own programs. This webinar was recorded and is archived on the RESNA Catalyst project website: http://resnaprojects.org/afp/teleconf/index.html.

Upcoming Events

New Grantee Call – March 20, 2014, 4:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees will be held March 20th 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 March 27, 2014, 2:00p.m. Eastern
The next in the series of New Directors of Loan Programs webinars will be held March 27th at 2:00p.m. Eastern. This presentation will focus on Marketing Strategies and spreading the word about your program. Successful program directors will be invited to speak to their marketing strategies, and participation from the new directors is strongly encouraged.

OTHER RESOURCES

FCC SEEKING NOMINATIONS FOR THE THIRD ANNUAL CHAIRMAN’S AWARDS FOR ADVANCEMENT IN ACCESSIBILITY (CHAIRMAN’S AAA) http://www.broadband.gov/accessibilityandinnovation/chairmanaward.html
Recognizing Innovations in the Field of Accessibility and Technology
Nominations for this year’s Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman’s AAA) will be accepted soon. Part of the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative (A&I; Initiative), the awards honor outstanding private and public sector ventures that advance accessibility for people with disabilities. Ventures may include mainstream or assistive technologies introduced into the marketplace, development of standards, and implementation of best practices that foster accessibility. Winners and honorable mentions will receive their awards from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in June 2014. The exact date and location will be announced in the future. How to Submit Nominations: Email nominations to ChairmansAAA@fcc.gov, between 12:01 AM February 17, 2014 and 1:59 PM March 31, 2014.

AT Radio & Podcasts in Indiana
INDATA has launched an internet radio station. AssistiveTechnologyRadio.com 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: http://www.eastersealstech.com/on-air/. 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 wwingler@eastersealscrossroads.org.

Follow the RESNA Catalyst Project on Twitter! @ResnaCatalyst
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!


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: catalyst@resna.org; Website: http://www.resnaprojects.org.