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May 2011 

In This Issue of Highlights




Upcoming Events

Two WEBED Webinars Upcoming in June

WEBED-GMU03: Evidence Based Practice: AT in the Core Curriculum - Thursday, June 16, 2011: 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time

WEBED-ATIA04: Literary Software Updates - Wednesday, June 22, 2011: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time

For more information about these and other WebEd webinars, go to

To register for either of these webinars - go to


Transition to the Community Work Group Call - June 15, 2011- 3:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern

The Transition Work Group will meet again on Wednesday June 15.  This call will feature Lewis Golinker, Esq. with AAC Funding Help.  Mr. Golinker will share the experiences he has had with constituents and their concerns, and provide ideas about greater AT access in nursing facilities.  To connect to the call, dial 1-800-351-6810, pass code 46172076 #.

Transcripts and MP3 files from previous calls are available at the Transition Wiki Site at:  


Save the Date: Transition to the Community Work Group Call- September 14, 2011-3:00-4:00p.m. Eastern

This call will feature John E. V. Sorensen from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Mr. Sorenson will talk about the Money Follows the Person Program and Medicaid as a resource for people who need AT while living in facilities and transitioning from them.  To connect to the call, dial 1-800-351-6810, pass code 46172076 #.   

Transcripts and MP3 files from previous calls are available at the Transition Wiki Site at:

Recent Events 

Two New GMU/ATIA Webinars now Archived and Available-

WEBED-GMU02: Decoding Mobile Technologies: Review of accessibility features of Android, iOS, and other mobile operating systems

WEBED-ATIA03: JAWS - Product Philosophy, Development Landscape, and Guides for Training


If you were not able to attend these live presentations, consider accessing the archived presentations at




Recent Events

Statewide AT Program Leaders Symposium and New Directors Orientation-Resounding Success!  

The RESNA Catalyst Project co-hosted with the Association of AT Act Programs the Statewide AT Program Leaders Symposium, May 17-18, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda Hotel.  This year's Symposium include in-depth workshops on data management, fee for service issues, and current policy issues from a national and state perspective, and how these issues impact statewide AT programs related to AT. 


All Symposium hand-outs and presentations are now available on the Catalyst Project Website.  To view materials, go to 


The RESNA Catalyst Project Team thanks all who attended and participated to make this year's Symposium a resounding success!


New Directors Orientation-Pre Symposium Workshop

Prior to the Statewide AT Program Leaders Symposium, the RESNA Catalyst Project sponsored a New Directors Orientation.  The Orientation focused on AT Act Funds, Advisory Councils, and Program Policies and Procedures.


All New Directors Orientation hand-outs and presentations are now available on the Catalyst Project Website.  To view materials, go to 


The RESNA Catalyst Project thanks this year's Instructional Team:  Willie Gunther, Executive Director, Illinois Assistive Technology Program; Marty Exline, Program Director, Missouri Assistive Technology; Rob Groenendaal, Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Department Rehabilitation Services Administration; and Brian Bard, Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Department Rehabilitation Services Administration for all their support and a job well done!


Upcoming Events
Webinar: Title II and III of the ADA - July 14, 2011- 3:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern

Wendy Wilkinson, Project Director with the DBTAC-Southwest ADA Center and Andy Winnegar, consultant with the DBTAC-Southwest ADA Center, will present strategies for providing "effective communication" for public and private entities covered by Title II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The presenters will also review how the AT Act and Statewide AT Programs can support provision of effective communication.  This webinar is in collaboration with the RESNA Catalyst Project and the DBTAC Southwest ADA Center, a program of ILRU (Independent Living Research Utilization), at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas.  Details on how to connect to the webinar will be sent closer to the event.




Upcoming Training

AT-Related Sessions at National Disability Rights Network's Annual Conference:  June 6-9, 2011, Baltimore, MD

Monday, June 6th, "Ensuring Effective Transition to Integrated Employment" (all day institute) (covers special education, vocational rehabilitation (VR), Social Security/SSI/Medicare/Medicaid work incentives, myriad of employment related issues, with funding of AT devices and services discussed repeatedly.  Speakers:  Ron Hager, Cheryl Bates-Harris, Amy Scherer of NDRN; Jim Sheldon of National AT Advocacy Project.

Tuesday, June 7th, 8:30 to 10:00, "Non-Traditional Funding of AT" (strategies to establish eligibility for traditional funding sources and use of other funding sources/funding strategies to fund AT).  Speaker:  Jim Sheldon.

Wednesday, June 8th, 3:30 to 5:00, "VR and AT:  Vehicle Modifications."  Speakers:  Dan Dubay, DORS Adaptive Driving Services and Tom Laverty, CAP Director, Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services.

Thursday, June 9th, 12:15 to 1:15 (lunch time round table), "Doing PAAT Work in the 21st Century" (bring your cases/issues to this informal meeting; will discuss: when a case is a PAAT case; how AT devices/services are defined; what other PAAT programs are doing).  Moderator:  Jim Sheldon.

Thursday, June 9th, 3:30 to 5:00, "Medicaid and AT:  Turning a 'No' Into a 'Yes.'"  Speaker:  Jim Sheldon.


Other Upcoming Training: 

June 10th, Annual Vermont Legal Aid's "College" for its Statewide Staff  

Jim Sheldon will do two sessions:  "Medicaid and AT:  Turning a 'No' into a 'Yes.'" and "Social Security/SSI Work Incentives:  A Focus on SSDI, Substantial Gainful Activity Rule and Appeals."


Save the Date

15th Annual "Bridges to Better Advocacy" Conference- November 1-3, 2011, Hilton Garden Inn, Austin, TX

Three-day conference focusing on AT funding and advocacy strategies.

Agenda, speakers now final.  Early bird registration available in June.


November 1st Preconference (full day):   "Medicaid, AT and Litigation" (focus on state and federal court) (Speakers: Jane Perkins, National Health Law Program, Jennifer Giesen, Minnesota P&A, Lew Golinker, AT Law  Center, Jim Sheldon and Diana Straube, National AT Advocacy Project).


Two-Day Conference Highlights:  "Medicaid Challenges for 2012,"  "Americans with Disabilities Act and Employment:  Recent Case Law," "Mobility Equipment:  A Physical Therapist's Perspective,"  "Confronting Challenges of Dual Eligibility in Medicaid DME Cases," and "Enforcing the Fair Housing Act to Obtain AT."



The "AT Advocate" Newsletter:  This longstanding publication of the National AT Advocacy Project is published a minimum of three times per year.  Our most recent newsletters and lead articles:

Fall 2010, "Consumer Rights in the Medicaid Process:  Understanding and Protecting those Rights Should Ensure More Access to Assistive Technology," available at

Spring-Summer 2010, "Practical Ethics for the Disability Attorney:  When Can You Interview the Employees of Your Adversary?"; available at

Coming Up:  "Special Medicaid Eligibility Rules for Persons with Disabilities"  (Winter-Spring 2011)


Did You Know? Series

This is a series of the National AT Advocacy Project started January 2011. 

The intention is to provide important information in small chunks.  Because these are designed to be very short, the postings may not cover every possible issue; rather, the intention is make the reader aware/remind the reader of key information to support your AT advocacy.


To date we have done 12 postings, all available at  Our most recent four postings:

"Medicaid Funding of Ramps," available at

"Medicaid Notice Requirements," available at

"State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies and Financial Need Criteria," available at

"AT Can Play an Important Role in Meeting the Needs of Students with Disabilities in School," available at


Coming Soon: "Workers Compensation as a Funding Source for AT"


Recent TA

Although wheelchairs tend to be the most common equipment that comes up in PAAT program caseloads, AT advocacy is about more than wheelchairs.  Recently, an attorney called us because they faced the challenge of a Medicaid Managed Care Organization that was asked to fund bed rails that are less than full length.  Typically, bed rails are prescribed to keep an individual from falling out of bed.  By contrast, in this case the bed rails were prescribed to aid the individual in safely getting out of bed.  Diana Straube discussed with this PAAT attorney the results of her research into HCPCS codes, the fact that Medicare covers the shorter length rails as a rental item, and the medical necessity justification that would be needed for a favorable decision.


Recent Training

On April 27th, Diana Straube presented at the pre-conference of the 8th Annual Assistive Technology Expo, held in Fargo, North Dakota.  Her presentation was an all-day preconference, "AT Funding through the Ages," and covered a range of funding sources for children and adults.  Organizers of the Expo included IPAT (Interagency Program of Assistive Technology), ND Protection and Advocacy, Connections of Moorhead, Inc., and Fraser, Ltd.  Diana's presentation is highlighted in the IPAT newsletter at 





Best Practices Workgroup

The Best Practices Workgroup is expanding!  Monthly conference calls are held with members of this group, with the focus on development of Loan Program Quality Indicators.  Come join us in the creation of these statements and shaping the future of loan programs!  If interested please contact Jason Luciano at


Save the Date 

REGISTER NOW! AFP/Telework Best Practice Institute - September 7-9, 2011

The Best Practice Institute for Financial Loan Programs will be conducted September 7-9, 2011 at the Ed Roberts Campus Building in Berkeley, California, hosted by the RESNA Catalyst Project.  The first two days will be designed for all loan programs.  A Telework Workshop will be conducted September 9.  To see the meeting invitation, registration form and draft agenda, go to


Upcoming Events 

New AFP Program Directors Conference Call Series: -Third call - Wednesday, June 22nd at 1:00pm Eastern

Continuing the series for new AFP directors, this conference call will focus on the Application Review Process.  The discussion will center on tracing an application through a program's process, and the positives and "red flag" issues for which program personnel should watch.  To access the call, dial:  1-800-351-6810, pass code 80573760#.


Upcoming Webinar - Understanding Credit Reports:  Date and Time TBA

Vikki Frank from Credit Builders Alliance will be presenting on the components of a credit report, and how program staff persons can read these documents to help in the application review process.  Date and time to be announced. 

Recent Events   

New Telework Program Directors Conference Call Series:- Fourth Call - Tuesday, May 24th at 1:00pm Eastern

Wrapping up the series of conference calls for directors new to Telework Programs, the fourth scheduled call focused on the findings of the Top Performers workgroup of the Telework Initiative in 2010.  The identified Keys to Success were reviewed in greater detail.  The recording of this call will be posted on the Catalyst website in the near future.


New AFP Program Directors Conference Call Series: -Second call - Wednesday, May 25th at 1:00pm Eastern

Continuing the series for new AFP directors, this conference call focused on customer service.  The scope of "customer" was explored, as well the manner in which to provide excellent customer service.  The recording of this call will be posted on the Catalyst website in the near future. 




Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) App

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) launched a PTSD Coach smart phone application (app) in April.  According to the DOD, the app is a new tool helping Veterans and Service Members track their PTSD symptoms, links them with public and personalized sources of support, provides accurate information about PTSD, and teaches helpful strategies for managing PTSD symptoms.  Information on the PTSD Coach app is on the VA's National Center for PTSD Website:  More apps from DoD's National Center for Telehealth and Technology can be found at:


TAP∙it: Touch Accessible Platform for Interactive Technology

TAP·it is the first ADA compliant interactive learning station designed to provide accessibility to all students. This technology recognizes the difference between an arm resting upon the screen and a finger or assistive device intentionally "tapping" an image. Providing an optimal interface for teaching students with special education needs at their own pace, TAP·it reinforces skills that can be transferred to other computer-based learning applications utilizing the Internet, educational software or communication devices.  To learn more about TAP·it, visit


The RESNA Catalyst Project is a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended.  The project is operated by RESNA. 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.


RESNA is the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America whose purpose is to promote the health and well being of individuals with disabilities through the use of assistive technology.  RESNA is the grantee funded to provide technical assistance and training to those programs funded under the AT Act and to others.  


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: