RESNA Catalyst Project Logo

June 2014 Highlights

PROJECT WIDE NEWS


Announcements

Conference time is here! Make sure to register today!
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. All participants must register at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2014-national-at-act-entities-conference-registration-10169133151‌utm_campaign=new_eventv2&utm;_medium=email&utm;_source=eb_email&utm;_term=eventurl_text.
Airline Reservation Discount: The RESNA Catalyst Project along with United Airlines are pleased to offer a special air travel discount for the upcoming National AT Act Entities Conference, July 14 and 15, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Booking discounts can range from two to ten percent. To receive a discount, you may book online at www.united.com, and enter Offer Code ZSFA935905 in the “Offer Code” box when searching for your flights. If booking through a travel professional or United Meetings at 800-426-1122, please give them the following information: Agreement Code: 935905, Z Code: ZSFA. Note that an additional fee may apply if booking through a travel professional or United Meetings.
Bring Your Marketing Materials to the Conference! The AT Act Entities Conference 2014, will have a table dedicated to marketing and other program materials. If you have materials on your program, annual reports, fact sheets, etc. that you would like to share with directors of all programs, bring them for inclusion on the table!
Submit Your Loan Program Questions! One of the final sessions of the day of the AT Act Entities conference will be an Open Forum approach to discuss hot topics and trends in Alternative Financing and Alternative Loan Programs. We want your ideas for topics of conversation and specific questions you’d like to discuss! Please submit your topics and/or questions to Melanie Quinton from Florida at mquinton@faast.org. She and Julie Magelky from Idaho will compile them and facilitate the discussion that day. Thank you, and see you soon!

AT Act Annual Report
The Annual Report to Congress on the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as Amended, for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 is now available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/rsa/atsg/2009-10. You can view the report online or download a copy in PDF or word document format.

Federal Register Comment Period Publication for the State Grant for AT Annual Performance Report
Link for the Federal Register page containing the comment period for the State Grant for AT Annual Performance Report (1820-0572): https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/06/25/2014-14782/agency-information-collection-activities-comment-request-annual-performance-report-for-the-state . Should you have any questions, please contact Rob Groenendaal (202) 245-7393 or robert.groenendaal@ed.gov.

RESNA Catalyst Project & ATIA Webinars
There are still seats available for ATIA Webinars! The webinar subscription code is 14CATWS. 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. However, each person for each webinar and conference recording counts as one registration. To access the online registration process visit: www.atia.org/webinarregistration. Online directories of Live Broadcast and Archived Recording webinars are available at: www.atia.org/webinars. Each listing includes full details of the webinar and an option to register.

Recent Events

AT & Education Work Group Call-June 19, 2014
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. See below regarding an upcoming AT & Education Webinar series this August.

AT for Employer/Business Web Portal Partners Call, June 23, 2014
The RESNA Catalyst Project hosted a quarterly call for Portal Partners in June. The call included a briefing and updates found on the AT for Employment Web Portal. Partners will continue to meet once more 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.

Upcoming Events

Two Upcoming Webinar Series for AT Act Programs:
AT & Employment and AT & Education
The RESNA Catalyst Project is bringing two separate webinar series to all AT Act Programs in the coming months. Below are descriptions for each series.

  • AT & Employment Series: This six part series presented by Ron Hager, National Disabilities Rights Network (NDRN), and Jim Sheldon, NLS, will offer 75 minute webinars on a host of AT and Employment related topics:
    • Webinar One: Wednesday, June 25, 2014, Obtaining or Retaining Medicaid While Working: The Section 1619(b) and Medicaid Buy-In for Working People Programs- Archive at: http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html
    • Webinar Two: Wednesday, July 23, 2014, Funding Work-Related Assistive Technology for the Transition-Aged Special Education Student- Register at:
      https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/704375367
    • Webinar Three: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies: Using VR Agency to Fund Assistive Technology to Support a Work Goal-Register at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/304466063
    • Webinar Four: Wednesday, October 22, 2014, SSI’s Plan for Achieving Self Support: Using the PASS to Fund Assistive Technology to Support a Work Goal- Register at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/277905543
    • Webinar Five: Wednesday, November 19, 2014, A Review of Lesser Known Funding Sources and Funding Strategies for Work-Related Assistive Technology- Register at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/633795007
    • Webinar Six: (Recently added!) Wednesday, December 10, 2014, Funding of Work-Related Assistive Technology through Medicaid and Medicaid Waivers-Registration coming soon
    Note: Each AT & Employment Webinar will start at 2p.m. Eastern Time and run for 75 minutes. In addition, the RESNA Catalyst Project will provide captioning.
    RESNA CEUs will be available for this series for a $16 fee.


  • AT & Education Series:
    This two part series presented by Janice Carson, Idaho Statewide AT Program, Ron Hager, NDRN, and Dave Edyburn, Professor, Department of Exceptional Education, University of Wisconsin will offer two 60 minute webinars on assessments, AT, and education.
    • Webinar One: Monday, August 4, 2014, A Historical Background of Scholastic Assessments and the use of Assistive Technology in the United States
    • Webinar Two: Monday September 9, 2014, AT, Accessibility, and High-Stakes Assessments
    Note: These webinars will start at 3p.m. Eastern Time and run for 60 minutes. In addition, the RESNA Catalyst Project will provide captioning. Look for registration details in the coming months.

STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS


Upcoming Events

New Deaf Hard of Hearing Work Group Forming-Save the Date-
August 27, 2014 at 3p.m. Eastern Time
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with Laura Plummer, Project Director with Wisconsin Assistive Technology Program (WisTech), will be forming a new Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Group beginning in August, 2014. This Work Group will be designed to share in, and address, technical issues and solutions current to technologies for individuals who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. In addition, this Work Group will have opportunities to share and connect via multi modes of communication such as teleconference, webinar, and an online forum. The first Work Group is scheduled via teleconference on August 27, 2014 at 3p.m. Eastern Time. To participate, please dial 800-211-4163, and pass code 0521244#. If you have accessibility requests or have any questions, please contact Paul Galonsky, pgalonsky@resna.org.

Save the date! Statewide AT Program New Directors Webinar/Call-
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 3p.m. Eastern Time
Under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (AT Act), as amended, statewide AT programs must establish and maintain advisory councils to help plan, implement, and evaluate activities. Information on advisory councils is found in the second module of the New Director’s Curriculum (http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/newdirectors/mod2advcouncils.html). This webinar will feature perspectives and experiences working with advisory councils from Cathy Bodine and Maureen Melonis from Assistive Technology Program of Colorado, as well as Wade Wingler from the Indiana Assistive Technology Act Project. Look for more details and how to register soon.
NOTE: ALL Statewide AT Program Directors are welcome to participate.

PAAT PROGRAMS


Announcements

Handouts Available from Sessions Presented at the National Disability Rights Network Conference, June 2-5, 2014
The following sessions were presented or co-presented by staff at Neighborhood Legal Services. Handouts from each of these sessions are available (they are on the conference flash drive if you or someone from your agency attended). Contact either Diana Straube (dstraube@nls.org) or Jim Sheldon (jsheldon@nls.org) if you would like any of the handouts:

  • June 2, 2014 (a full-day institute) - “Preparation of a Medicaid Assistive Technology Case: From Fair Hearing to State Court Judicial Review” (handouts include full power point, tools for direct and cross examination, links to medical/journal articles regarding benefits of standing, tools for evaluating potential court appeal and brief writing).
  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - “What Equipment Does for the Individual and How We Get It Funded” (Handout walks through analysis for obtaining funding for four different pieces of equipment.)
  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - “Legal Issues Related to Equipment Requests through Medicaid Waivers and Medicaid Managed Care Organizations.” (Power point on Managed Care; handout on Medicaid Waivers)
  • Thursday, June 5, 2014 - “Using Smart Phones and PDAs to Promote Integrated Employment.” (Tony Gentry’s power point slides; separate outline of many potential funding sources)
  • Thursday, June 5, 2014 - “Using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Guidance in Medicaid Equipment Cases.” (Outline that walks through key regulatory and policy documents, addressing how decision makers and courts can be expected to react to them.)

Highlights from the Courts: Bernier v. Shah – A Challenge to New York Medicaid’s Policy of Excluding Portable or Modular Ramps as Not Durable Medicaid Equipment
This state court judicial review case is an appeal from a Medicaid fair hearing decision. Arguments will take place in early September. Notwithstanding prior funding of portable or modular ramps as either fair hearing decisions or as court settlements, New York Medicaid takes the position that it can legally exclude ramps from coverage (this case involves a modular ramp), taking the position that they are not durable medical equipment (DME). Its primary arguments take the position that ramps are not DME because they are useful in the absence of illness or injury; are not DME because they do not “treat” a medical condition; are available through a Medicaid waiver as an “environmental modification” and thus cannot also be DME; and because a Medicaid managed care policy said they are not DME. Plaintiff’s brief cites both CMS policy, regulation, and case law to counter these arguments and support its position that Medicaid cannot exclude from coverage items that meet the state definition of DME and are medically necessary (referencing the CMS policy letters from 1998 and 2013 that support this position). Contact Diana Straube (dstraube@nls.org), counsel for plaintiff, if you would like a copy of her brief or reply brief in this case.

Does Your State’s Medicaid Program Fund Hearing Aids‌
Neighborhood Legal Services has heard that some states refuse to cover hearing aids for adults. In response to an AT listserv posting we have heard from a few states on the Medicaid criteria for coverage. Although a state may, case-by-case, limit what type of hearing aids it will cover (e.g., perhaps not everyone will be able to show medical justification for having a hearing aid for each ear – binaural hearing aids), there should be no legal basis for excluding hearing aids from coverage as DME. Do not hesitate to contact either Diana Straube (dstraube@nls.org) or Jim Sheldon (jsheldon@nls.org) if you would like to discuss any state Medicaid policy that excludes hearing aids from coverage as DME.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCING AND TELEWORK LOAN PROGRAMS


Announcements

Individual Technical Assistance 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 are short, usually lasting approximately 30 minutes. Keep an eye out for contact from Jason Luciano to schedule a time.

Sustainability Plans Wanted!
The RESNA Catalyst Project is interested in seeing your sustainability plans! A request was brought forward from some new Loan Program directors, suggesting that sharing this information across programs would be very beneficial. If you have developed a sustainability plan, and are interested in sharing this resource with other programs, please contact Jason at jluciano@resna.org The RESNA Catalyst Project will be using these as references for an upcoming call/webinar on this topic.

New Directors of Loan Programs Last Thursday of each month, 2:00p.m. Eastern
The New Directors of Loan Programs series started in January, and are held on the last Thursday of each month. The remaining topic schedule is:

  • 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-June 19, 2014
The last monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees was held June 19th. 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

New Directors of Loan Programs–July 31, 2014, 2:00pm Eastern
The next in the series of New Directors of Loan Programs webinars will be held July 31st at 2:00p.m. Eastern. This is a reschedule from the postponed June session, and will focus on Financial Literacy, Credit Building, and incorporating both into your program.

Loan Directors Open Forum Call–July 28, 2014, 3:00p.m. Eastern
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace will again host an all Loan Program Directors to the Loan Program Directors Forum in late July. Much like the successful forums for statewide AT program directors, 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 in at 1-800-351-6810 with pass code 46172076#.

OTHER RESOURCES

Work Autonomy App - A Person-Centered Accommodation Tool.
Work Autonomy provides higher levels of independence for people with disabilities in the work site by providing fluency in three areas that traditionally challenge successful competitive placements: person-generated communication with coworkers and supervisors regardless of linguistic or cognitive skill, tracking task analysis and work schedules independently, and allowing access to concrete information about work expectations, production and dollars. People with disabilities, parents, teachers, SLPs, and Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists recommend Work Autonomy for people with developmental disabilities, multiple disabilities, Downs Syndrome, Autism (ASD), cognitive disorders, intellectual disabilities, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and deafness combined with a developmental disability. The design is focused on the user with a disability to program and track concrete information about their work life. All or any of three sections can be turned on and programmed for use: Messages, Schedules and Production.
Check it out on their new website: www.ableopps.com.

New Eldy Software
Eldy is a software that turns any standard PC into an easy-to-use computer for people that have never used a computer before. It provides an easy six buttons interface email, Internet, chat, videoconferencing, documents, pictures, skype and more. Download the software at http://www.eldy.eu/software/download/.

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 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.