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July 2015 Highlights



New RESNA Catalyst Project and ATIA Webinar Update for 2016
The RESNA Catalyst Project will continue its partnership with ATIA to offer live and archived webinars to all AT Act Entities in 2016! Beginning immediately, all AT Act Programs will have unlimited access to ATIA live and archived webinars!  The webinar subscription code is 15PDRESNA. This is referred to as the “Discount Code” in the online registration form and is the same for all registrations. The discount code must be used during the webinar and conference recording registration process to ensure the system does not charge any additional fees. Multiple attendees and multiple webinars can be registered during one registration transaction.  To access the online registration process visit: Online directories of Live Broadcast and Archived Recording webinars are available at: Each listing includes full details of the webinar and an option to register.

Upcoming Events

Webinar Save the date! August 26, 2015: Inclusive Sports, Recreation, and Exercise for Individuals with Disabilities
The RESNA Catalyst Project, Southwest ADA, and ADA Networks will be presenting a free webinar on August 26, 2015, 3p.m. EST, entitled Inclusive Sports, Recreation, and Exercise for Individuals with Disabilities.  This webinar will include information on creating inclusive sports, recreation, and exercise equipment for people with disabilities, and the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design for Recreational Facilities.  Presenters include: Bob Lujano, Information Specialist from National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD), Gus LaZear, the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living’s Vice President and General Manager for SpoFit, and Andy Winnegar, Training Associate with the Southwest ADA Center.  Look for registration details soon!

2015 AFP and Reuse Conference - August 31, and September 1, 2015
The RESNA Catalyst Project is very pleased to announce that in conjunction with the Pass It On Center, will host an Alternative Financing and Reuse Programs Conference inWashington, DC, August 31 and September 1, 2015.  The Conference will be held at theLiaison Capitol Hill hotel in Washington, DC. The room block conference rate of $159/night will end on August 13th.  The Conference agenda is being finalized, and more information will be coming soon.  Registration is free, and can be accessed at  Register today today and see you in August!

Recent Events

Festival ADA: A Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act - July 24-26, 2015
The Smithsonian Folk Life Foundation and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History hosted Festival ADA: A Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, from July 24-26, 2015.  During the three day Festival, there was an exhibit dedicated to showcasing the history of the ADA and the impact the ADA has had on the lives of persons with disabilities at home, at work, and in the community.  Representatives from theD.C., Virginia, and Maryland At Act Programs, as well as the RESNA Catalsyt Project were on hand to provide information and showcase interactive AT demonstrations.


Upcoming Events

Revisions to the Quality Indicators Manual for Device Loan and Device Demonstration
The RESNA Catalyst Project will be convening a work group in September to work on updates and revisions to the 2010 Quality Indicator Manuals for Device Loan and Device Demonstration.  If you have suggestions for updates, please send them to Paul Galonsky,

Recent Events

2015 ATAP Conference - July 13-15, 2015
This year’s SGAT program conference was held in Washington, DC, and sponsored by ATAP.  For a list of conference content and resources, vist ATAP’s webiste at 

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Group - July 29, 2015
The RESNA Catalyst Project Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Group met in July.  The Work Group was led by Laura Plummer, Project Director with Wisconsin Assistive Technology Program (WisTech), and discussion focused on common apps used by consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing.  An archive of the webinar is now available on the RESNA Catalyst Project Website at  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  Look for more information regarding the next scheduled Deaf Hard of Hearing Work Group soon. 



Medicaid Managed Care versus Traditional Medicaid and Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Coverage:  There Should be no Difference - California’s Experience on this Issue
In recent years, more and more states are administering Medicaid, for most if not all beneficiaries, through a managed care model.  This can mean that some of our hard-fought battles to secure assistive technology (AT) through the DME or other coverage categories must be fought again when a managed care organization (MCO) fails to follow established policy.  This was the case in California where the National Health Law Program (NHelp) and Disability Rights California became aware of MCOs denying DME to beneficiaries because it was only needed outside the home.  For example, a beneficiary with diabetes was denied a power wheelchair he needed to get to regular appointments with his doctor.  In “Lessons from California: Ensuring that Medi-Cal Plans Provide Durable Medical Equipment,”, NHelp summarizes strategies used, in collaboration with Disability Rights California, to bring these issues to the state’s attention in June 2014:

  • After the state originally resisted and threatened to change its DME rules to make them more like Medicare, NHelp sent the state a letter in February 2015,, explaining why the state must enforce existing Medi-Cal (i.e., Medicaid) policy with its managed care plans and why Medicare policy cannot be used to deny DME to be used for community access.
  • This letter explains that Medi-Cal’s own regulations provide for DME that is medically necessary “inside or outside of the home.”  22 CCR 51160(d).  It also explains that policies of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require Medicaid agencies to fund DME when medically necessary to access both home and community-based settings.
  • In April 2015 the state agreed to enforce the existing state policy against MCOs and in July 2015 released new guidance,, a 22-page document specifying coverage of wheelchairs and seating/positioning components in Medi-Cal managed care plans “to ensure the beneficiary has appropriate mobility in or out of the home.”

If your state Medicaid program or its MCOs are taking a position similar to that taken by California, you may want to look at this resolution as a guide to tackling the problem in your state.

CMS Issues Revised Guidance for Medicare Coverage of Speech Generating Devices - Detailed Analysis to Follow in Near Future
On July 29, 2015, CMS published a “Final Decision Memorandum,”, which revises the current Medicare National Coverage Decision (NCD) that sets forth criteria for approving Medicare funding for Speech Generating Devices (NCDs).  Since this revised NCD is hot off the press, we do not have a detailed analysis to present but wanted to give our readers a brief heads up on what should prove to be a positive revision to current Medicare policy, at least in some respects.  A detailed analysis will be available in the near future.  While awaiting this more detailed analysis, we urge readers to read through the Decision Memorandum and contact Jim Sheldon at the National AT Advocacy Project ( for any follow up.  You might also want to reach out to Lew Golinker at the AT Law Center, Ithaca, NY,, as Lew and a group he works with have been very involved with this issue throughout the notice and comment period during which CMS invited comments from the public.

National AT Advocacy Project Update:  Meeting Your Technical Assistance Needs; How You Can Help Us
When to contact us for technical assistance:

  • For legal analysis and input as you sort out the merits of a case, prepare for a hearing, or work on/consider litigation.
  • For help putting together a justification for why a particular piece of equipment is medically necessary (or, for other funders, educationally or vocationally necessary).
  • To review and comment on drafts of written arguments to be submitted at the hearing level or in court.
  • In many cases, we can make available from our resource libraries: relevant hearing decisions; relevant briefs from other cases; medical/technology resources to support your case.
  • Our staff with primary areas of expertise:  Marge Gustas, (Medicaid, Medicare, insurance), Diana Straube, (Medicaid, Medicare, insurance), Ron Hager, (special education/section 504 for education, vocational rehabilitation), Jim Sheldon, (Medicaid, Medicare, insurance, and some of the lesser known AT funding sources, like the Social Security/SSI work incentives).
  • The most common interaction with the Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT) and other networks continues to be on Medicaid issues.  For this reason, we have many more Medicaid-related resources than with any other topic.

How you can help us:

  • Send us your hearing decisions.  Send us your briefs/pleadings from AT cases.  We continue to have a resource library of primarily Medicaid documents from all over the country.
  • Send us any medical/technology articles that have proved helpful in your AT cases.   Send any of these documents to



Individual TA Calls with Loan Program Directors
The RESNA Catalyst Project, in conjunction with RSA, is continuing to set up individual calls for loan program directors to discuss program needs. Keep an eye out for contact from Jason Luciano to schedule a time.

Revisions to the Quality Indicators Manual
The RESNA Catalyst Project will be convening a work group to work on updates and revisions to the 2012 Quality Indicators Manual.  If you are interested in joining this work group, please contact Jason Luciano at

Recent Events

Telework Webinar:  Reading and Reviewing Business Plans - July 16th 2015, 2-3:00pm Eastern
Kathy Gilman from the Washington Access Fund presented on how to read and review business plans, which is a required element of certain telework applications.  This webinar was archived on the RESNA Catalyst website and can be found at:

Upcoming Events

New Grantee Call - September 17th 4-5:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees will be September 20, 2015, 4:00 p.m. Eastern.  These calls are for those programs who have received funding under the recent competitions to discuss individual opportunities and challenges.

Loan Directors Open Forum Call - Postponed Until September 15th 3-4:00p.m. Eastern
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace will host an all Loan Program Directors Forum in September.  This forum is designed for 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.  Please join us by calling 1-800-211-4163 with pass code 57 48 484#.


Wheelchair Van Donation Program
Special Kids Fund (SKF) has a national wheelchair van program, which receives donated adapted vehicles and distributes to needy individuals and families throughout the US.  This provides a wonderful legacy for the donor, as well as the best IRS tax deduction for a vehicle donation, since the vans are not sold, but are instead transferred to a needy recipient.  If you know of someone who has a van to donate or needs one, for a child or adult, please visit to learn more.

PEAT Virtual Speaker Series
Please join PEAT for the August edition of their virtual speaker series, PEAT Talks on Tuesday, August 18 from 2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET.  This month PEAT welcomes Adam Streets, Senior Director of Global Marketing and Product Owner of GettingHired.  To learn more and register, visit

New Resource for Students with Visual Impairments: Affordable Colleges Online
Affordable Colleges Online (ACO) offers an open-access, expert-driven guide to higher education for students with visual impairments.  You can view the guide here:

Broadcast Available: A Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the ADA
A three part re-broadcast of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Access Board event, “A Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act” is now available on at  Speakers included Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Vanita Gupta, EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, Senator Bob Dole, Senator Tom Harkin, and Representative Steny Hoyer.

New ADA Document: Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA
The Department of Justice has published a new 9-page ADA technical assistance document, Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA | PDF, to further assist covered entities and people with disabilities to understand how the ADA’s service animal provisions apply to them. The document answers questions that continue to be asked since the publication of the Department’s 2011 document, Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals.

To find out more about the ADA, visit or call the Department's toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TDD). 

2015 GREAT Conference in Raleigh on November 4-6, 2015
Excellent sessions! Two keynote addresses!  Open Exhibit Hall on Thursday, November 5th, and one day registration available.  For more information, visit:

FREE Download: Inclusive Technology’s Switch Progression Road Map.
Inclusive Technology is offering a free download to their booklet, which draws together over ten years of best practice research and classroom observations from around the world into a comprehensive teaching and assessment document. Detailing every stage of switch skills acquisition from cause and effect to confident scanning, this document will help plan meaningful and motivating routes to success for learners using switches to access communication, learning and leisure.  Download today at

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

Follow the RESNA Catalyst Project on Twitter today!@ResnaCatalyst
The RESNA Catalyst Project now has a Twitter feed on the homepage at  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  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:; Website: