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July 2013 Highlights

PROJECT WIDE NEWS

Announcements

2014 AT Act Entities Conference Advisory Group Forming
Help the RESNA Catalyst Project plan the 2014 Director's Conference! Based on the overwhelming positive response we received from having an official Director's Conference for AT Act Programs in 2013, the RESNA Catalyst Project is planning on hosting this event again next spring. To do that, we need your help! We are soliciting volunteers to help us shape the focus of this conference. We are looking for directors/representatives from AT Act funded programs (i.e., Statewide, AFP and Telework programs) to join us in a conference advisory group. This group will help us determine the best approaches and decisions for our 2014 conference (location, time of year, agenda reviews, etc). If you are a program director and interested in joining, please contact Jason Luciano via email (jluciano@resna.org) or call 508-615-7313.

Tony Rice, Director of the Maryland Statewide AFP, Retires
It is with a mix of emotions that the Maryland Technology Assistance Program bids farewell to Tony Rice, Director of the Maryland Statewide AFP. Tony retired from state service on July 1. While he’s looking forward to spending more time with his wife, children, and young grandsons, we will also feel the absence of his kind & dedicated personality and ever-hopeful outlook on life. If you are in need of contacting the Assistive Technology Loan Program, please forward all requests to Tanya Goodman, Assistant Director of the ATLP, at 410-554-9244 or tgoodman@mdtap.org. For all other questions, please contact Lori Markland at 410-554-9477 or lmarkland@mdtap.org. Congratulations on your retirement Tony!

AT & Employment Blog Available on AT for Employer Web Portal
http://atconnects.com/resources/at-for-employers/blog. The Assistive Technology for Employers and Businesses Web Portal has added an AT for Employers Blog. The Blog is set up for you to submit web postings that are relevant to AT and getting people with disability employed. In addition, this Blog can be used to submit original articles pertaining to the subject. To post on the AT for Employers Blog, submit your posts to pgalonsky@rensa.org.

Upcoming Events

Webinar Registration Now Open! August 21, 2013, 3:00-4:30p.m. Eastern: Accessibility of Web Information: Implications for how the Public and Private Sector Conducts Business
The RESNA Catalyst Project, Utah Assistive Technology Program, Southwest ADA Center, and ADA National Network will present a webinar on the accessibility of Web information. To register for this webinar, visit www.adaconferences.org/RESNA.

CEUs for RESNA Catalyst Project 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, contact Paul Galonsky, pgalonsky@resna.org.

AT for Employment Work Group Call-Thursday, August 29, 2013, 3p.m. Eastern
The AT for Employment Work Group call provides opportunities for 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 join this call, dial: 800-351-6810 Pass code: 46172076#. Reminders and call agenda to follow as we get closer to this call.

STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS


Upcoming Events

Statewide AT Program New Directors Webinar/Call- August 8, 2013, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern
The New Directors call takes place every other month. Under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (AT Act), as amended, statewide AT programs are responsible for planning, administering, overseeing, and carrying out responsibilities of the statewide AT program grant. This upcoming webinar/call will feature information on program management found in the third module of the New Director’s Curriculum (http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/newdirectors/mod3progmgt.html). This call will also allow time for new directors to discuss issues they are currently facing. All new and veteran statewide AT directors are welcome to participate! Reserve your Webinar seat now at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/114495103.

Purchasing Website Presentation – August 22nd 2:00pm Eastern
The Purchasing Work Group has finalized the online information sharing forum, and the RESNA Catalyst project is proud to present this project, completed in conjunction with AT Connects. The RESNA Catalyst Project will host a webinar in which staff persons will walk through the forums and explain their use. Log in information will be provided on the SGAT listserv in the near future. This webinar will also be recorded and archived for those unable to attend live.

Recent Events

Distance Tools for Assistive Technology Demonstrations Webinar Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Rob Groenendaal and Brain from RSA, Mystie Rail with Assistive Technology for Alaska, Maureen Melonis with the Assistive Technology Program of Colorado, and Peggy Shireley with the North Dakota Interagency Program for Assistive Technology discussed creative strategies, examples, and challenges to providing distance demonstrations for AT in this webinar. This webinar is now archived on the RESNA Catalyst Project’s website at http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html.

PAAT PROGRAMS


Announcements

SAVE THE DATES! Upcoming Fall Teleconference Series
All sessions will be free but pre-registration will be required! Trainers include Diana Straube and Jim Sheldon, National AT Advocacy Project, and Ron Hager, National Disability Rights Network:

  • October 23, 2013 – Funding of Cutting Edge Equipment through State Medicaid Programs
  • November 20, 2013 - Using Your State’s General Curriculum Mandates to Fund AT in the Public School
  • December 18, 2013 – Funding of AT through State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies
  • We expect to have continuing legal education (CLE) credits available.

When Will NLS Have the Next "Bridges to Better Advocacy" Conference?
This annual conference has been a major initiative during each of the last 16 years (12 times delivered in the spring; last 4 years in the fall). Due to declining attendance NLS is rethinking whether this can be sustained as a stand-alone conference. NLS will not offer a conference in the fall of 2013 and are zeroing in on a possible partnership with another conference in the spring of 2014. The goal will be to continue to offer a 2 or 3-day national conference with similar content to past conferences. Stay tuned for more to details!

AT and the Courts – Developments in Pending Cases

  • Oral arguments will take place on August 5th in Koenning v. Janek, the Medicaid standing wheelchair case pending in Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. We have previously reported this case in earlier Highlights. The case will be argued in Houston, Texas. (Co-counsel include Maureen O’Connell, Southern Disability Law Center, Lew Golinker, AT Law Center, Sarah Somers, National Health Law Program.)
  • Briefing continues in Detgen v. Janek, appealing a denial of funding/outright exclusion of ceiling track lift (also pending in Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals). Plaintiffs filed their brief in early July; Texas Medicaid brief due end of July. Fifth Circuit will also hear Plaintiffs’ Motion to Vacate District Court Decision based on recent CMS policy clarification (stating ceiling track lifts that meet state’s durable medical equipment definition can be funded). This too was previously reported in more detail in the Highlights. (Co-counsel include Maureen O’Connell and Lew Golinker.)
  • Petitioner’s brief filed this month in Zuchegno v. Shah (NY Appellate Division, 4th Dept.), a state court judicial review case appealing a denial of Medicaid funding for a fully-electric pediatric bed with 360 degree side enclosures. State fair hearing decision held that a less-costly manually-cranked bed could meet the needs of this six year old child. (Diana Straube, NY PAAT program is representing the petitioner.)
  • For any of these cases, briefs are available by contacting either Diana Straube (dstraube@nls.org) or Jim Sheldon (jsheldon@nls.org).

Through a "Structured Negotiation" Settlement, Weight Watchers Agrees to Make Its Website and Mobile Apps and Other Materials Accessible

  • This is shared courtesy of Ken Shiotani of the National Disability Rights Network. What follows is an announcement from Attorneys Linda Dardarian and Lainey Feingold about this resolution: "Lainey and I are pleased to announce that, as a result of Structured Negotiations, Weight Watchers has entered into a settlement agreement with the American Council of the Blind and individual Weight Watchers members with visual impairments to ensure that Weight Watchers’ website and mobile applications for iOS devices satisfy WCAG2.0 Level AA." Weight Watchers also committed to providing Braille, Large Print and audio formats for its print materials, including those distributed at meetings all over the country. The press release and settlement agreement are available at http://lflegal.com/2013/06/weight-watchers-press/ and http://lflegal.com/2013/06/weight-watchers-agreement
  • This unique strategy of using structured negotiations, without litigation, to achieve litigation-type outcomes was presented at our recent “Bridges” conference by Linda Dardarian.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCING AND TELEWORK LOAN PROGRAMS


Upcoming Events

Teleconference: Needs Assessment for 2014 – August 21st 2:00pm Eastern
RESNA Catalyst Program staff will guide a discussion on exploring the needs of programs for the upcoming year. This information will be combined with that obtained from other survey resources and interviews, and will be used to put together a comprehensive technical assistance plan for FY2014. To join this call please call 1-800-351-6810 with pass code 80573760#.

Data Collection Work Group: To be scheduled
The Data collection work group will again meet in July to review and further develop the recommendations for the next round of changes to the RSA MIS. Once finalized, AFP representatives will have the opportunity to review and comment before the recommendations will be formally presented to RSA.

Recent Events

Teleconference: Collaborating with other AT Act Programs - July 16, 2013
This call was designed as an "open forum" to allow programs to discuss their collaboration efforts, as well as areas of need, in working with other AT Act Programs.

OTHER RESOURCES

DOE New Grant Opportunity: Educational Technology, Media, and Materials Program for Individuals with Disabilities-Center on Technology and Disability
The purpose of the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities Program is to: (1) Improve results for children with disabilities by promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) support educational media services activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom for children with disabilities; (3) provide support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom; and (4) provide accessible educational materials to children with disabilities in a timely manner. View the entire announcement at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-01/html/2013-15712.htm. Applications Available: July 1, 2013. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 15, 2013.

Save the Date! Connecticut’s Achievement through Technology Conference-April 1, 2014
Presented by the Connecticut Tech Act Project & Partners, this conference is dedicated to Assistive Technology for Professionals working with Individuals with disabilities. To learn more, visit the official conference website http://www.cttechact.com/conference/#.

RespectAbilityUSA: http://respectabilityusa.org/
A new national non-profit organization called RespectAbility has just launched, with the mission of reshaping attitudes of American society and empowering people with disabilities so that they can more fully participate in and contribute to society. According to their website, "RespectAbility will work to educate, sensitize and engage Americans to focus on what people with disabilities can do, rather than on what they cannot do. RespectAbility thereby will seek to help increase the number and percentage of Americans with disabilities who engage in gainful employment, start and sustain their own businesses, lift themselves into the middle class, and participate in their communities -- as fully as their abilities and efforts will take them." The organization has already announced trainings for disability leaders and funders and fellowships for future disability leaders. (Information provided by AUCD’s weekly Legislative News Brief)

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.


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.