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May 2014 Highlights



July is just around the corner! 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. This Conference is specially designed for AT Act Program Directors and staff, and will include current information on topics developed by the Statewide and AFP conference planning committees. The two day conference will feature combined Statewide AT Program and AFP general sessions, and specific concurrent sessions. All attendees are encouraged to attend any session of interest. A networking reception is also scheduled for Monday evening. All participants must register at‌utm_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, 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. Thank you, and see you in July!

AT Act Programs and RESNA Catalyst Project Mentioned in, the federal government website for people with disabilities, referenced AT Act Program resources found on the RESNA’s Catalyst Project website in their May edition of the Disability Connection newsletter. See the article titled, “10 Things You Need to Know about Planes, Trains and Automobiles”, which can be found at The newsletter is sent to more 75,000 subscribers each month and promoted on social media platform to more than 90,000 followers. is a resource for people with disabilities, their families, friends, and organizations that serve them. The site connects users to important information about disability benefits, health care, employment, and more such as assistive technology.

Success for Nebraska’s Assistive Technology Partnership & AT for Employment
Nebraska’s Assistive Technology Partnership (ATP) is experiencing much success with getting high school students with disabilities hired using AT through a national program called the Project Search High School Transition Program. This Program is a unique, business-led, one-year, school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. In collaboration with Nebraska’s VR, the ATP helps students who need AT to transition from school to work to gain skills for permanent employment after graduation. ATP and VR work with 12 career sites, and out of 77 students who completed the Program, 58 now have jobs! If you would like to learn more about the Project Search High School Transition Program and the wonderful work ATP is doing to get student with disabilities employed using AT, contact Desirae Vallier at

Recent Events

AT & Employment Update
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with AT Connects hosted two AT & Employer Portal Webinar Tours in May. The first webinar was conducted for Virginia Assistive Technology System’s Advisory Council on May 15th. The second tour was with the United States Business Leadership Affiliates on May 16th. If your network would like to schedule a tour to learn more about the AT & Employer Web Portal, please contact Paul Galonsky at Visit the Portal today at

AT & Employment Work Group May 29, 2014
The AT for Employment Work Group call provides opportunities for AT Act program participants to get briefed on national updates related to AT for Employment, as well as opportunities to share what is happening in each state. The next AT for Employment Work Group call is scheduled for July 24, 2014.

Upcoming Events

AT & Education Work Group Call June 19, 2014 3p.m. Eastern Time
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. Please join us for the next work group call on June 19th. To participate, dial toll free 800-211-4163, and pass code 0521244#.

Two Upcoming Webinar Series for AT Act Programs:
AT & Employment and AT & Education
The RESNA Catalyst Project is teaming up with Neighborhood Legal Service (NLS) and the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP) to bring two separate webinar series to all AT Act Programs in the coming months. Below are descriptions for each series.

  • AT & Employment Series: This five 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- Register at:
    • Webinar Two: Wednesday, July 23, 2014, Funding Work-Related Assistive Technology for the Transition-Aged Special Education Student- Register at:
    • Webinar Three: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies: Using VR Agency to Fund Assistive Technology to Support a Work Goal-Register at:
    • 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:
    • Webinar Five: Wednesday, November 19, 2014, A Review of Lesser Known Funding Sources and Funding Strategies for Work-Related Assistive Technology- Register at:

    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 additional statewide AT programs 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 August 18, 2014, AT Solutions and Supports to Accommodate Access to 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.


Recent Events

Statewide AT Program New Directors Webinar/Call-May 22, 2014
This webinar/call featured information on the Assistive Technology Act found in the first module of the New Statewide AT Directors Orientation Modules ( In addition, Linda Jaco, Director of Oklahoma ABLE Tech, shared her observations as a veteran Statewide AT Director and help answer questions. All Statewide AT Program Directors are welcome to participate.

Device Demo and Loan Forum/Webinar-May 20, 2014
This webinar featured John Effinger (MO) and Lynette Strode (IL), who presented on new Assistive Technology, Team Viewer software, and Apple apps. You can view the archived webinar at the RESNA Catalyst Project’s Device Demo and Loan Forum Link at The Device Demo and Loan Forum is for all Statewide AT Programs and is developed by CATADA, ATAP, and the RESNA Catalyst Project. Look for details in the coming months about the next scheduled Forum.

Statewide AT Directors ForumMay 6, 2014
RESNA Catalyst Project Director Joey Wallace invited all Statewide AT Directors to this Statewide AT Directors Forum. The 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. Another Forum will be scheduled after the National AT Act Entities Conference.



Will you be at the National Disability Rights Network Annual Meeting and Conference, June 2-5, 2014? Still deciding on what to attend? Consider one of these AT-related sessions:

  • Monday, June 2, 2014 (a full-day institute) - “Preparation of a Medicaid Assistive Technology Case: From Fair Hearing to State Court Judicial Review” (using standing wheelchair as item sought; will have equipment demos during session). Speakers: Jennifer Giesen, Minnesota P&A; Marge Gustas, NY PAAT Project; Diana Straube, Jim Sheldon, National AT Advocacy Project; Donald Clayback, NCART; and Amy Morgan, PT/ATP, Permobil, Inc..
  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - “What Equipment does for the Individual and How We Get It Funded” (will have four equipment demos: a vertical lift wheelchair, alternative drive systems for power wheelchairs, a complex shower chair, and an adaptive tricycle). Speakers: Marge Gustas, NY PAAT; Jeff Cupps, ATP, Numotion, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - “Legal Issues Related to Equipment Requests through Medicaid Waivers and Medicaid Managed Care Organizations.” Speakers: Diana Straube and Jim Sheldon.
  • Thursday, June 5, 2014 - “Using Smart Phones and PDAs to Promote Integrated Employment.” Speakers: Tony Gentry, Director, AT for Cognition Laboratory, Virginia Commonwealth University; Ron Hager, NDRN; and Jim Sheldon.
  • Thursday, June 5, 2014 - “Using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Guidance in Medicaid Equipment Cases.” Speakers: Diana Straube and Jim Sheldon.

Highlights from the Courts: Ninth Circuit Affirms Lower Court in Alvarez v. Betlach Arizona Medicaid Program Cannot Exclude Coverage of Incontinence Briefs for Adults – Case Holding Based on Same Analysis Used in Durable Medical Equipment Cases
On May 13, 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a memorandum decision, which affirms that part of the District Court decision that held that Arizona Medicaid could not exclude incontinence briefs for adults when prescribed to prevent skin breakdown and other medical complications. See Alvarez v. Betlach, 2014 Westlaw (WL) 1891007 (9th Cir. 5/13/14),* affirming Alvarez v. Betlach, 2012 WL 10861543 (District Court Ariz. 2012). The lower court held that this coverage exclusion violates the Medicaid Act’s reasonable standards provisions, 42 USC 1396a(a)(17), and amounts to an unlawful denial of an item that meets the definition of home health services, i.e., medical supplies, and that is medically necessary, 42 USC 1396a(a)(10)(D)). The plaintiffs were represented by the Arizona Center for Disability Law (Sarah E. Kader, Jennifer A. Alewelt, and J.J. Rico, of counsel). For copies of the Ninth Circuit decision, the unreported lower court decision, or the appellate briefs, including an amicus brief filed by Lew Golinker of the AT Law Center contact either Diana Straube ( or Jim Sheldon (

Finding Details of Your State’s Medicaid HCBS Waiver Programs on the CMS Website
Every state will have one or more Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waivers. These waivers can be a terrific funding source for AT/specialized equipment that is either not available through traditional Medicaid or very hard to get approved absent a hearing or litigation. The problem is that it is often hard to find out what HCBS waivers exist in your state and once you learn about them, finding out what they cover. Most states will have some online documents that summarize their waiver programs (try searching for them on the state Medicaid agency website), but often these documents are very short on details. A better strategy may be to start at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website. Getting waiver details on the CMS website: Go to; at the top of page click on Medicaid/CHIP; scroll down to State Innovations; click on Waivers. Once you are on the Waivers site, you can follow links to get at three types of waivers: section 1115 Demonstrative Waivers; Section 1915(b) Managed Care Waivers; and Section 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services Waivers.

What is an Appropriate PAAT Case‌
NLS continues to get inquiries about whether it is appropriate to work on a particular issue as part of a Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT) program. For those wanting to think more broadly of what they can do as PAAT advocates, NLS is happy to send you a training handout last updated in 2012, “Expanding Your Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT) Practice: Thinking Beyond the Traditional AT Devices and AT Funding Sources.” Contact Jim Sheldon ( for a copy.



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 calls are short, usually lasting approximately 30 minutes. Keep an eye out for contact from Jason Luciano to schedule a time to talk soon.

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 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, 2:00pm 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

Recent Events

New Grantee Call – May 15, 2014
This monthly call brings together the new AFP grantees and was held May 15, 2014 at 4:00pm Eastern. These calls are for those programs receiving funding under the recent competitions to discuss unique opportunities and challenges presented to new AFP grantees.

Loan Directors Open Forum Call – May 27, 2014
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace hosted all Loan Program Directors to the Loan Program Directors Forum. Much like the forums for statewide 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. This call was recorded and will be posted soon on the RESNA Catalyst website at

New Directors of Loan Programs – May 22, 2014
The third in the series of New Directors of Loan Programs webinars was held May 22nd at 2:00pm Eastern. This presentation focused on Sustainability Strategies and Fundraising for your program.

Upcoming Events

New Grantee Call - June 19, 2014, 4:00pm Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP Grantees will be held June 19, 2014, 4:00pm Eastern. These calls are for those programs receiving funding under the recent competitions to discuss unique opportunities and challenges presented to new AFP Grantees.

New Directors of Loan Programs – June 26, 2014, 2:00pm Eastern
The fourth in the series of New Directors of Loan Programs webinars will be held June 26th at 2:00pm Eastern. This presentation will focus on Financial Literacy and Credit Building and incorporating this into your program.


Archived Great Lakes ADA Center Webinar: Assistive Technology and 508
This webinar is useful to Section 508 practitioners who do not have the opportunity to work with assistive technology, and who are not really sure of the distinction between assistive technology and accessibility. This webinar provides examples of the differences between accessibility and assistive technology used to achieve access. Panelists discussed different approaches to managing requests for AT within the federal government. View this archived webinar 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 at 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:; Website: