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November 2014 Highlights



Important RSA Deadlines for 2014
Below are important RSA deadlines for obligating and liquidating funds, as well as approval to extend financial and data reporting submission dates:

  • December 15, 2014 or sooner: Deadline for programs to send requests to RSA for approval to extend FY 2013 liquidation
  • December 15, 2014 or sooner: Deadline for programs to send requests to RSA for approval to extend submission dates for FY 2013 SF-425 financial reporting form
  • December 15, 2014 or sooner: Deadline for programs to send requests to RSA for approval to extend FY 2014 RSA-572 annual data collection for SGAT. This also applies to RSA-662 and Telework ICs.
  • December 31, 2014: Deadline for liquidation of FY12 funds (depending on how the end of the year falls)
  • December 31, 2014: Deadline to mark FY 2013 SF-425 as final
  • December 31, 2014: Deadline to mark FY 2014 SF-425 as annual

If you have concerns or questions, please contact Robert Groenendaal with RSA at

Speech Generating Device (SGD) National Coverage Decision (NCD)
CMS is announcing that the agency will begin the process to update its Medicare coverage policy on speech-generating devices to reflect changes in the technologies and the use of devices that generate speech. While the agency works to update the national coverage policy, CMS has asked our payment contractors to revert to their previous practice before February 2014, of covering these devices. Click to view the posted new benefit category analysis:

AT Program News, Winter 2014: AT Policy Advocacy

AT Program News, edited and published by Eliza Anderson, serves Assistive Technology Programs and their community partners. This winter issue is devoted to AT Policy and Advocacy. You can view the online newsletter at

Upcoming Events

Webinar Series for AT Act Programs: AT & Employment
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:

RESNA Catalyst Project/ADA Centers’ New Webinars FY 2015
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with the Great Lakes and Southwest ADA Centers will be providing another series of free webinar sessions to meet the needs of AT Act Programs in 2015. These sessions are designed to provide timely information by experts on various aspects of AT and its interface with issues covered under the ADA. Each webinar is 90 minutes in length and provided free. All sessions are close captioned, and continuing education credits are available through RESNA. Save the date! The first webinar in this series is entitled Assistive Technology and Aging: Inclusive Solutions and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and is scheduled for Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 3p.m. EST. Aimee Sterk, MSW, with the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition will be the featured presenter. More details on how to register to follow soon!

Recent Events

RESNA Catalyst Project Presents Two Webinars on AT Act Programs
In the month of November, RESNA Catalyst Project Staff presented webinars for the Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities and for the new Center on Technology and Disability. The webinars were designed to bring each audience information on what AT Act Programs do and how to access them nationwide. In addition, information on the role of the RESNA Catalyst Project to AT Act Programs was explained. The Center for Technology and Disability is a new resource on Assistive and Instructional Technology to support all learners, and has a new website, which can be accessed at



Deaf Hard of Hearing Work Group to Continue in 2015
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with Laura Plummer, Project Director with Wisconsin Assistive Technology Program (WisTech), will continue to schedule and hold the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Group FY 2015. This 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 now up and running to share information and resources. To participate in this LinkedIn Group, visit The next call/webinar is currently schedule for Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 3p.m. Eastern Time, and will feature a presentation from Jimmy Brown of the Kentucky Assistive Technology Service (KATS) Network on their Statewide Hearing Aid Assistance and Reuse Program (SHARP). More details on how to register to follow soon.

Recent Events

RESNA Catalyst Project’s FY 2015 Technical Assistance Plan for SGAT
In November, the RESNA Catalsyt Project brought together several Statewide AT Programs and Rob Gronendaal with RSA to present RESNA Catalyst Project’s FY 2015 Technical Assistance Plan for Statewide AT Programs. Working via conference call, the group made suggestions to the plan and approved the plan for the coming year. The RESNA Catalsyt Project would like to thank the following Statewide AT Program Directors for their support: Alan J Knue (WA), Marilyn Hammond (ID), Laura Plummer (WI), Kevin Wright (TN), and Lisa Rosano (NY) for their time, guidance, and support. If you would like more information on the RESNA Catalyst Project’s FY 2015 Technical Assistance Plan for Statewide AT Programs, please contact Paul Galonsky at



Video from TV Station in Syracuse, NY, Showing 3 Year Old Girl Using Power Wheelchair-Funding Awarded in Medicaid Fair Hearing Decision
In the July 2014 Highlights, Neighborhood Legal Services reported on the fair hearing decision that awarded Medicaid funding for a power wheelchair for a child who was 2 years and 7 months old at the time of the hearing. The girl, now three, recently appeared in a TV story that documents the parents’ struggle for funding and shows the child navigating through her environment with the new wheelchair. The parents intend to take steps to have this story posted on You Tube so that other parents might benefit from this success. For now, the story is available on the TV station’s website: Contact Marge Gustas of Neighborhood Legal Services ( if you would like a redacted copy of the hearing decision or any of the studies submitted on the use of power wheelchairs for very young children.

National AT Advocacy Project to Present Webinar Session to National Association of Benefits and Work Incentives Specialists (NABWIS)
NABWIS, a membership association, focuses on the use of work incentives counseling to help Social Security and SSI disability beneficiaries achieve their self-supporting employment goals. Jim Sheldon, Project Director of the National AT Advocacy Project at Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS), also oversees various work incentives counseling projects at NLS including the Social Security-funded Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Project. Jim Sheldon and Ron Hager of the National Disability Rights Network have agreed to present a webinar to the NABWIS membership, “State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies: How the VR Agency Can Fund Services and Equipment to Support a Work Goal.” They will tweak the power point used in the AT and Employment Webinar Series to better meet the needs of individuals involved in WIPA and other work incentives counseling projects. The webinar is scheduled for February, 2015. Contact Jim Sheldon ( for more information.



Individual TA 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.

AFP Conference information coming soon!
Watch your inboxes for upcoming information on the 2015 AFP Conference! This will be held separately from the statewide AT conference in 2015. The AFP Steering Committee will be establishing dates and an agenda soon, so stay tuned for more details!

Recent Events

AFP New Grantee Meeting – November 7, 2014
Three new grantees funded under the FY 2014 AT AFP competition met in person in Washington, DC on November 7, 2014. Together, these new awardees brainstormed approaches to alternative financing and discussed options for continuing to have these programs evolve and develop. A special thank you to Michael Morris and NDI for allowing the use of their conference space to make this meeting happen.

AFP Steering Committee Call – November 20, 2014
The members of the AFP Steering Committee met to discuss the focused TA Plan for FY 2015, for AFP and other loan programs. The TA Plan was finalized, and an initial discussion was held on the 2015 AFP Conference. For more information on the TA Plan, or to join the AFP Steering Committee, please contact Jason Luciano at

New Grantee Call – November 20, 2014
The latest monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees was held November 20th 2014, at 4:00p.m. Eastern. 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

Data Collection Call for MIS 662 – December 4th at 3:00p.m. Eastern
The RESNA Catalyst Project will host an open forum style teleconference to discuss data collection and submission into the MIS662 for Fiscal Year 2014. As you know, data is required no later than December 31, 2014. This call will walk through some of the basic data elements, discuss how the data are calculated, and answer any specific questions you may have on data submission. To participate in this call, dial 800-211-4163 with pass code 58 48 484#.
Note-This teleconference is intended for programs that submit data directly into the MIS662, and not for programs that supply their data to their statewide AT programs.

New Grantee Call – December 18, 2014, 4:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees will be December 18, 2014, at 4:00p.m. 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 – January 20, 2015, 3:00p.m. Eastern
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace hosts an all Loan Program Directors call Loan Program Directors. 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. To participate in this call, dial 800-211-4163 with pass code 58 48 484#.


Office of Special Education Programs New Awards
The following Notice of Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities--Stepping-up Technology Implementation, was published in the Federal Register on Friday, November 21, 2014. Notice inviting applications for new awards for FY 2015. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 84.327S. Date: Applications Available: November 21, 2014. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 20, 2015. For more information, visit

Center on Technology and Disability (CTD) Launches Website
On November 3, 2014, the CTD Institute opened its online doors at The CTD website comprises hundreds of evidence-based resources, including fact sheets, videos, training materials, research reports, and other relevant and current information on assistive and instructional technologies. CTD welcome all ideas for events, topics, experts, and materials to feature. Feel free to contact them at:

RESNA International Special Interest Group (SIG) Do-It-Yourself Contest
Deadline is April 1, 2015
Those with experience working or living in developing countries know that the assistive device needed is often not commercially available or affordable. As a step toward remedying this problem, the RESNA International SIG is sponsoring an assistive technology DIY (Do It Yourself!) contest. We are looking for innovative low-cost DIY assistive technology that could be replicated around the world. Whirlwind Wheelchair's generous donation will allow us to offer cash prizes including $300 for first place, $150 for second place, and $50 for third place! To learn more, visit

HelpKidzLearn Free Online Professional Development Webinars
UK based company HelpKidzLearn, is offering webinars on various products and services. According to their website, HelpKidzLearn webinars are free of charge, fully interactive, and live online training sessions. Archived sessions are available as well. To learn more, visit

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: