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February/March 2016 Highlights

PROJECT WIDE NEWS


Announcements

Experienced Disability Leaders Join RESNA Catalyst ProjectRESNA and the RESNA Catalyst Project welcomes Helen MacNabb (HMacNabb@resna.org) and Andy Winnegar (awinnegar@resna.org) as Co-Directors of the RESNA Catalyst Project. Both Helen and Andy are two experienced leaders in the disability and assistive technology arena, and will lead on project management and core technical assistance for all AT Act Programs. A detailed press release can be found on the RESNA website at: http://www.resna.org/news-events/general/experienced-disability-leaders-join-resna-catalyst-project. Please help us welcome Helen and Andy!

Joey Wallace Educational Scholarship Fund
In memory of Joey Wallace, Project Director of the RESNA Catalyst Project, RESNA has established the Joey Wallace Educational Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide grants to assistive technology professionals and students to participate in training and educational activities. To learn more or to make a donation, visit: http://www.resna.org/support-resna/joey-wallace-educational-scholarship-fund.

ACL’s version of the MIS Now Available
On February 11, 2016, ACL’s version of the Management Information System (MIS) became available for the submission of SF-425 Federal Financial Reports. You can access the system at https://mis.acl.gov. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact websupport@acl.hhs.gov.

SAVE THE DATE! July 11-12, 2016-RESNA Catalyst Project Annual Conference for AT Act Programs
Under its cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living, the RESNA Catalyst Project is planning an inclusive in person conference for all programs funded under the Assistive Technology Act. This year’s conference will be held in conjunction with the RESNA national conference on July 11-12, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency, Crystal City, Arlington, VA. Take advantage of Catalyst’s Conference while visiting the RESNA exhibit hall and networking with many Assistive Technology Professionals from all over the country! Currently, Catalyst is in the process of developing an exciting agenda. If you would like to offer suggestions or help in the planning process, please contact Jason Luciano at jluciano@resna.org. Look for more detailed information about this year’s conference and registration soon!

RESNA Catalyst Project and ATIA-Take Advantage of Free ATIA Webinars in 2016!
ATIA and the RESNA Catalyst Project offers live and archived webinars to all AT Act Entities. With RESNA Catalyst Project support, ALL AT Act Entities receive complimentary UNLIMITED access to ATIA webinars! Use access code CATUNL16. To learn more and sign up for all ATIA live and archived webinars, visit: http://atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4350.

RESNA's Assistive Technology Professional Certification Program
RESNA's Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) Certification Program has received re-accreditation from the National Commission of Certifying Agencies. This means that the program complies with the highest quality standards for professional certification programs. For more information about RESNA’s ATP Certification Program visit: http://www.resna.org/get-certified/atp/atp-0.

Recent Events

Two RESNA Catalyst Project Collaborative Webinars with Neighborhood Legal Services and National Disabilities Rights Network
The RESNA Catalyst Project, Neighborhood Legal Services, and the National Disabilities Rights Network have conducted two webinars thus far as part of a three part webinar series for 2016. Webinars “Funding AT for Blind to Support Work and Independence” and “Assistive Technology and Access to the Vote” are archived on the RESNA Catalyst Project’s Website at: http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html. The third webinar in this series will focus on Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts and what they will mean for AT funding. Look for more details on how to register this webinar during the summer.

Webinar: An Update on Cognitive Aids for People with Brain Injury - February 17, 2016
Tony Gentry, Associate Professor and Director of the Assistive Technology for Cognition Laboratory with Virginia Commonwealth University provided an update on Cognitive Aids for People with Brain Injury. This webinar is now archived on the RESNA Catalyst Project website and can be accessed at: http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html.

Webinar: The ADA, Sensory Disabilities, and Assistive Technology: Core Technologies for Nonvisual Access - February 24, 2016
This webinar combined aspects of the ADA as it relates to Assistive Technologies that benefit people with low vision or individuals who are blind.  Presenters included Diego Demaya, Human Resources Educator with the Southwest ADA Center, and Curtis Chong, Assistive Technologist with the New Mexico Commission for the Blind. This webinar is now archived on the RESNA Catalyst Project website and can be accessed at: http://www.adaconferences.org/RESNA/.

Webinar: Mobile Technology @Work for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities - Tuesday, March 22, 2016
In recognition of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Alicia Johns with the Assistive Technology Program for the District of Columbia (ATPDC) in conjunction with the RESNA Catalyst Project, conducted this webinar in March. Leonard McPherson, Occupational Therapist and RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, presented an overview of mobile devices, smart technology, and resources that can be useful in the workplace for persons with Intellectual Disabilities. This webinar is now archived on the RESNA Catalyst Project website and can be accessed at: http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html.

Update on RESNA Catalyst Project CEUs
You may receive CEUs for viewing most archived webinar sessions. RESNA is an approved authorized provider for CEU credits by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). You can receive .1 CEUs for a sixty minute webinar and .2 CEUs for a ninety minute webinar. To apply for CEUs for a specific webinar, request the CEU Application Form from pgalonsky@resna.org, complete it, and send it to RESNA as the directions indicate. There is a $28 fee to receive credits for each webinar.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Meeting the AT Needs of Older Americans in their Homes and in Facilities - Date-TBD
The RESNA Catalyst Project joins Jim Sheldon with Neighborhood Legal Services, and Ron Hager with the National Disabilities Rights Network to conduct a webinar in March on AT and Older Adults. As individuals age, many develop age-related disabilities that may affect functions such as mobility, vision, hearing, and memory.  Many AT devices and services are available to allow individuals to live safe and independent lives in the community.  AT is also available to meet needs in a range of facilities and, in many cases, to allow individuals to return to the community.  In this webinar, Jim and Ron will describe some of the AT that can be used to maximize independence in a range of settings.  The presentation will then focus on a range of funding sources that can be used to pay for all or a part of the cost of the various AT devices and services. Look for details on how to register soon!

NOTE: The above webinar will provide live captioning and will be recorded. However, webinar seats are limited. If you are unable to register, please visit http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html to access the archived webinar approximately one week after the webinar takes place.

STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS


Announcements

FAAST AT DEMOs for RESNA Fundamentals Course
Michael Daniels and the team at the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST), will be offering AT product demos as part of RESNA’s Fundamentals in Assistive Technology course in Orlando, FL, scheduled for April 14 & 15, 2016. For more information, visit:
http://www.resna.org/professional-development/continuing-education/courses/fundamentals-assistive-technology-2.

Wistech/UW Stout Seeks Assistive Technologist/Capacity Building Specialist
Wistech/UW Stout is seeking to fill an Assistive Technologist/Capacity Building Specialist Position. Located in Madison, WI, this position will work on capacity building for Wistech, conduct AT assessments, and do implementations. To access the job application, visit the UW-Stout Website at www.uwstout.edu. If you have application questions, call or e-mail Becky Albricht at 715-232-2248 or at albrichtb@uwstout.edu.

AT Conference Sponsored by New Mexico’s Statewide AT Program
Registration is now open for the New Mexico Technology Assistance Program’s Assistive Technology Conference, schedule for May 10th and 11th, 2016, at the MCM Elegante Hotel here in Albuquerque.  To learn more about this conference and to register, visit www.tap.gcd.state.nm.us.

AT Conference Sponsored by Ability Tools
California’s Statewide AT Program Ability Tools Reuse Conference is scheduled for June 20-21, 2016, in Sacramento, California. The conference is expected bring people together from around the country who are working in or want to work in the reuse of AT and durable medical equipment. To learn more about this conference, visit: http://abilitytools.org/conferences/.

Recent Events

Indirect Cost Teleconference - Wednesday, February 10, 2016
During this teleconference, Curtis Edmonds with Disability Rights New Jersey, Sara Sack with Assistive Technology for Kansans Program, Jennifer Lynn Myers, and Jessica Black-Magnussen with Kansas’s Bureau of Child Research shared their thoughts on Indirect Cost and helped answer questions. If you have additional questions regarding Indirect Cost, please email pgalonsky@resna.org. The archive of this teleconference is now on the RESNA Catalyst Project Website at http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html.

Upcoming Events

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Group
Work Group Facilitator, Laura Plummer with Wistech/UW Stout, has been working with the RESNA Catalyst Project to plan the upcoming Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Groups. The next meetings are scheduled for May 4, July 27, and October 26, 2016, at 2p.m. EST. The May 4, Work Group will feature Audiologist, Dr. Juliette Sterkens, who will present a webinar on hearing loops, why hearing loops are helpful, the “Let’s Loop America” movement, and how to foster hearing loop installations. Look for details on how to register for this webinar soon.

The Deaf/Hard of Hearing 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 available to share information and resources. To participate in this LinkedIn Group, visit https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RESNA-Catalyst-Deaf-HOH-Workgroup-6746896/about.

PAAT PROGRAMS


Announcements

SAVE THE DATES! June 11-16, 2016, The National Disability Rights Network Annual Meeting and Conference, Baltimore, Maryland (details coming soon).
A detailed agenda and online registration will soon be available at http://ndrn.org/en/events/events-calendar/month.calendar/2016/01/27/-.html. The PAAT’s National AT Advocacy Project will have a significant presence at the conference again this year. As soon as the conference agenda (including our sessions) is confirmed we will post this information. Look for more details soon!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Published: “Medicaid’s Revised Home Health Regulation: Increasing Access to Medical Equipment”
On February 2, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final regulations entitled “Medicaid Program; Face-to-Face Requirements for Home Health Services; Policy Changes and Clarifications Related to Home Health.” 81 Federal Register 5530. These regulations will impact Medicaid funding of medical equipment (ME), referred to as durable medical equipment (DME) by most state Medicaid agencies. The new regulations appear in 42 CFR 440.70. In early March, NLS published FAQs – available at: http://www.nls.org/files/Disability%20Law%20Hotlines/National%20AT%20Advocacy/CMS%20DME%20Regs%202016.pdf, which answer some of the most relevant questions that advocates and attorneys are asking about the new regulations. The FAQs are co-authored by Maureen O’Connell of the Southern Disability Law Center and Jim Sheldon of the National AT Advocacy Project. Some highlights include:

  • Individuals seeking home health services, including ME, cannot be subject to a homebound requirement. The new rules clarify that home health services, including ME, can be provided in any setting, other than an institutional one, in which normal life activities take place.
  • As defined, "[e]quipment and appliances are items that are primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, generally are not useful to an individual in the absence of a disability, illness or injury, can withstand repeated use, and can be reusable or removable. State Medicaid coverage of equipment and appliances is not restricted to the items covered as durable medical equipment in the Medicare program.” 42 CFR 440.70(b) (3) (ii).
  • The principles governing ME coverage, as explained by CMS in it 1998 guidance to the states (the DeSario Letter), are now part of the regulations:
    • States may not have exclusive lists of ME they will cover through Medicaid, but can use lists of pre-approved items for administrative convenience. Importantly, ME lists cannot be used as "an absolute limit on coverage."
    • States must provide a reasonable and meaningful procedure for requesting items not on the state's list, based upon a showing of medical necessity.
    • States' fair hearing procedures must be available to appeal adverse decisions concerning ME.
  • For ME, there must be a face-to-face meeting with a physician or certain non-physician practitioners (NPPs) within 6 months of the request for DME. The NPP can be a nurse practitioner, a clinical nurse specialist, or a physician assistant meeting certain federal and state requirements. This face-to-face meeting may occur through a tele-medicine visit.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCING AND TELEWORK LOAN PROGRAMS


Recent Events

Loan Directors Open Forum Call – February 9, 2016
The RESNA Catalyst Project hosted an all Loan Program Directors Forum on February 9, 2016, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern.  These calls focus on issues of concern and interest for all loan programs, and everyone benefits from the active participation programs bring to the discussion.

Becoming a CDFU Webinar II – February 16 2016
Lisa Wagner, along with AFPs successful in obtaining CDFI funding, presented to interested parties on the process and pitfalls to try to avoid. This webinar was recorded and archived on the RESNA Catalyst website.

New Grantee Call – February 18, 2016
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP Grantees was held February 18, 2016, 4:00 p.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.

Upcoming Events

Loan Directors Open Forum Call – April 19, 2016, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern
The RESNA Catalyst Project will host an all Loan Program Directors Forum on April 19, 2016, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern.  This call will focus on issues of concern and interest for all loan programs, and everyone benefits from the active participation programs bring to the discussion. Please join the call by dialing in at 1-800-211-4163, with pass code 57 48 484#.

Final Webinar in Becoming a CDFI – Date TBD
Thanks to the feedback and suggestions of the participants in the last two webinars, the Catalyst Project will again host Lisa Wagner on a third and final session on how to best pursue CDFI funding. Stay tuned for more information.

New Grantee Call – April 21, 2016, 4-5:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP Grantees will be held April 21, 2016, 4:00 p.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.

OTHER RESOURCES

PEAT’s TalentWorks: Helping Employers Make Their eRecruiting Tools Accessible
In March, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) launched TalentWorks, which is a free online tool for employers and human resources professionals that helps them ensure their online job applications and other eRecruiting technologies are accessible to job seekers with disabilities. TO learn more, visit PEATworks.org/TalentWorks.

Center for American Progress’s Report: Better Tests, Fewer Barriers: Advances in Accessibility through PARCC and Smarter Balanced
Center for American Progress’s (CAP) new report discusses the progress that PARCC and Smarter Balanced have made in accessibility features and accommodations for students with disabilities and English language learners. The report is available to access online at: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2016/02/25/131789/better-tests-fewer-barriers/.

Archived Webinar-ABLE Act Implementation
The ABLE National Resource Center hosted a webinar this past February to better prepare and educated individuals with disabilities and their families, state ABLE administrators, the greater disability advocacy community, and other relevant stakeholders as to the current status of the ABLE Act and what to expect in the next 12 months. To access the archived webinar, visit: http://www.realeconomicimpact.org/resources/webinars.aspx.

Annual Disability Statistics Compendium Now Available
According to their website, the Annual Disability Statistics 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 will make finding and using disability statistics easier. To access, visit http://www.disabilitycompendium.org/.

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Greyhound Lines, Inc.
Under the terms of a consent decree filed by the Justice Department in February, Greyhound Lines, Inc., the nation's largest provider of intercity bus transportation, will implement a series of systemic reforms to resolve allegations that it repeatedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); will pay $300,000 in compensation to certain passengers with disabilities identified by the Department; will retain a Claims Administrator to compensate an uncapped number of additional passengers who have experienced disability discrimination; and will pay a $75,000 civil penalty to the United States.  The decree, pending approval by the District Court for the District of Delaware, will further require Greyhound to provide ADA training and technical training on the proper operation of the accessibility features of Greyhound's fleet for Greyhound employees and contractors and make regular reports to the Department on its compliance efforts. For more information or for a copy of the consent decree, please visit our ADA website at www.ada.gov.

Resources for Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month
The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) has developed an online collection of information and resources on vision loss for Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month.  You can access the information at https://naricspotlight.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/february-is-amdlow-vision-awareness-month/.

Call For Papers for the 2016 Southwest Conference on Disability
Join the 2016 Southwest Conference on Disability in Albuquerque on October 5-7, 2016. The theme for 2016 is Reducing Disparities for People with Disabilities through Systems Change. The 2016 Southwest Conference on Disability seeks contributions that focus on reducing or eliminating disparities through systems change. For more information or to submit a proposal, go to http://www.cdd.unm.edu/swconf/.  The deadline for proposals is May 6th, 2016.

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 today! @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!

Product Disclaimer

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.

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 Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (ACL/HHS) 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.