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October 2013 Highlights

PROJECT WIDE NEWS


Announcements

New AT in Education Initiative
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with AT Connects is teaming up again to develop a new AT in Education initiative. This initiative is currently in development and is intended to provide a unique approach to consumers on the topic. This will also include a content rich online AT in Education Portal, similar to the AT for Employer/Business Portal (http://atconnects.com/resources/at-for-employers), and housed within the AT Connects website. Look for more information in 2014!

RESNA Catalyst Project Director to Present at ATIA 2014
www.atia.org/2014Orlando. Joey Wallace, Project Director with the RESNA Catalyst Project, is scheduled to present at ATIA’s 2014 Orlando Conference. Joey will be also be meeting and greeting with all AT Act Programs at the RESNA exhibit booth! ATIA’s Session Directory is live and includes 13 Pre-Conference seminars and 300+ general sessions. ATIA has arranged a special discount rate for RESNA Catalyst Project AT Act Programs! Check it out at www.atia.org/catalystwebprogram. Earn CEUs too! All sessions are eligible for general CEUs from the AAC Institute, which are in turn recognized by RESNA for ATP purposes. See you there!

New Statewide AT and Alternative Financing Program Directors
The RESNA Catalyst Project would like to welcome the following new AT Act Entity Directors: James D. McCarthy-Maryland Technology Assistance Program, Andre Howard-Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology, Inc, Leo Tonevski-Massachusetts Assistive Technology Loan Program, Jack Brummel– Washington, Washington Assistive Technology Foundation, Tanya Goodman– Maryland Technology Assistance Program, and Jodi Wilson-South Carolina Assistive Technology Loan Program. Welcome New Directors!

Upcoming Events

Save the Date! 2014 AT Act Entities Meeting
The annual AT Act Entities conference is scheduled for July 14 & 15, 2014.
Next year’s conference will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington DC and will bring together statewide AT programs and Alternative Financing Programs (AFPs) to learn and share experiences, with an emphasis on collaborating between programs as well as with external organizations. A work group consisting of representatives from AFPs and Statewide AT Programs is working on developing agenda items. The RESNA Catalyst Project is pleased to offer this annual technical assistance event in collaboration with ATAP and CATADA. For more information please contact Joey Wallace at jwallace@resna.org.

AT Act Entities Conference Planning Call – November 25, 2013, 3p.m. Eastern
The next AT Act Entities Conference planning call is scheduled for Monday, November 25, at 3pm. Look for details on the agenda and design of the conference in the coming months!

Recent Events

AT for Employment Work Group Call- October 17, 2013
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. You can download notes from this call at http://www.resnaprojects.org/crossprograms/employment/workgroup.html.
Next AT for Employment Work Group Call is scheduled for January 23, 2014, 3-4:00 p.m. Eastern.

STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS


Announcements

Online AT Demo and Loan Quality Indicator Self-Assessment Tools
Device Demonstrations and Loans of Assistive Technology are two of four state level activities conducted by statewide AT programs under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended in 2004. Two self-assessments are available online to help determine whether your statewide AT program is consistently providing device demos and loans in a quality manner. Take these self-assessments today at http://resnacatalystdemo.org/Default.aspx and https://resnacatalystloan.org/.
Note: These tools are for self-assessment and program planning purposes only.

New Statewide AT Program Review Protocol Work Group
RSA and the RESNA Catalyst Project recently formed a new work group to refine the State Grant for AT (SGAT) program review monitoring protocol. The updated protocol will streamline the review process for both statewide AT programs and RSA, as well as capture the essential elements of SGAT program management and performance. Look for a new and improved program review monitoring protocol in the near future!

Upcoming Events

CATADA Data Reporting Webinar, November 5, 2013, 3p.m. Eastern
The CATADA Team will present a webinar on the RSA 572 MIS November 5, 3p.m. Eastern time. To register for this webinar, visit
http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/r7ss725z7zo/. The webinar room will prompt attendees to enter their phone number and will call attendees directly so they can access meeting audio. CATADA will use the meeting room to display PowerPoint slides for the presenters and attendees can submit questions. It is not necessary to join the webinar room to attend this meeting. If you prefer to attend over the phone, dial 888- 803-3311 for meeting audio. If you attend by phone, you can download the PowerPoint presentations from http://www.catada.info/conferencematerials.html. Phone participants can email questions in advance of the meeting to frank.smith@umb.edu.
Attendees who have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting may want to test their connection before the meeting by going to:
http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm. CATADA looks forward to meeting with you on the 5th!

Recent Events

Statewide AT Program New Directors Webinar/Call- October 10, 2013
This webinar/call featured information on fiscal and contract management found in the fourth module of the New Director’s Curriculum (http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/newdirectors/mod4fiscal.html). The next Statewide AT New Director’s Webinar/Call is scheduled for Thursday, January 16, 2014. Look for online registration information soon.

PAAT PROGRAMS


Announcements

SAVE THE DATES – NCART CONFERENCE, LAST WEEK OF APRIL 2014
National AT Advocacy Project to Work with NCart to Deliver Training at Their Spring 2014 Conference (Washington, D.C. area)
The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCart) is best described as a trade association comprised primarily of equipment manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to a range of other activities, NCart offers one or more national training opportunities for its members each year. NCart has provided sponsorship support for NLS’s past “Bridges to Better Advocacy” national conferences and, at the most recent October 2012 “Bridges” Conference, Don Clayback of NCart presented on policy developments within Medicare. Having decided to not run an annual “Bridges” Conference during the fall of 2013 or spring of 2014, NLS is looking to the NCart conference and the planned June 2014 National Disability Rights Network Conference as two forums for delivering extensive training related to funding of AT. NLS hopes to offer sessions at this event that will be a draw for PAAT attorney/advocates and simultaneously be attractive to the NCart membership.

REGISTER NOW – FREE TELECONFERENCE TRAINING
“Using Your State’s General Curriculum Mandates to Fund Assistive Technology in the Public Schools”
November 20, 2013 - 2:00 - 3:45 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) free continuing legal education (CLE) credits (1.5 hours)

  • Remaining session in our 3-part “Funding of AT” series-December 18, 2013 “Funding of AT through State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies”; speakers, Ron Hager and Jim Sheldon (registration form available in late November)
  • This series is co-sponsored by: The National AT Advocacy Project and The Advocacy Center (New Orleans, LA). Contact Lynn Urquhart if you have questions (lurquhart@nls.org or 716-847-0650 ext. 271). All sessions approved for CLE credits through the State of Louisiana (check with your state for reciprocity). Will also provide certificates of attendance if that will help in getting other continuing education credits.

Great Attendance at the October 23rd Teleconference Session (“Funding of Cutting-Edge Equipment through State Medicaid Programs”)!
This was the first session of the three-part series. 76 phone lines were confirmed and actual attendance was at least 10 to 20 percent higher (since some participants had 2 or more persons attending from the same phone line). Individuals participated from 35 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands with significant attendance from the PAAT, AT Project, and AFP networks!

“INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES” – Let NLS know if Your State Uses the IL Services Category to Fund AT
The National AT Advocacy Project is always looking for the little-known AT funding source that individuals with disabilities might be able to turn to. Here is one you might want to look at.

  • Historically, this was known as “Independent Living Rehabilitation Services” and authorized by RSA regulation 34 CFR 365.37.
  • The old ILRS regulations have disappeared and been replaced by the more generic “independent living services” or ILS category. See 34 CFR 364.4(b) (IL Services defined).
  • Among the items specifically listed in the regulations are: rehabilitation technology, mobility training, provision of needed prostheses and other appliances/devices, and “any other services” necessary to move toward “functioning independently.” Sound like room for funding AT?
  • NLS understands these services can be delivered through the state vocational rehabilitation agency, the Independent Living Program, or some other entity under contract with the VR agency. In most, if not all states it appears that the implementation of IL services is through the Independent Living Programs. Since services are not considered independent living “core” services it also appears that funding to support these services is very limited, with great discretion on how the money is spent.
  • Based on limited anecdotal information, NLS knows that individuals in a number of states have received funding for AT through the IL services category. If you know, please share with Jim Sheldon (jsheldon@nls.org) how funding for AT is delivered through this category of service in your state. If you know of any criteria used for approval we would love to see it.

SUMMER 2013 AT ADVOCATE NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED
Lead article, “SERVICES TO PRESCHOOL CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES UNDER THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT: Using IDEA’s Part B and Part C Provisions to Fund Assistive Technology Devices and Services”. This article focuses on services to children from birth through age five (or the beginning of school-aged programming) and is available at http://www.nls.org/files/AT%20Advocate%20Newsletters/ATAdvocateSummer2013UsingIDEAtofundAT.pdf.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCING AND TELEWORK LOAN PROGRAMS


Announcements

Changes in South Carolina!
We are sad to announce that after her too-brief tenure with the South Carolina AFP, Tiffany Hewitt is moving on to other endeavors. Her last day will be November 1st 2013. Jodi Wilson will be taking over the position starting November 4th. We will miss Tiffany’s presence, and at the same time want to extend a welcome to Jodi!

Success Stories Wanted!
The RESNA Catalyst Project wants success stories from your programs! We are in process of developing new marketing and information materials, and want to highlight all the successes your programs experience. Client stories and pictures are needed to make these as powerful as possible. Please contact Jason Luciano at jluciano@resna.org for more information.

Upcoming Events

New Grantee Call – November 21st at 4:00pm Eastern
The monthly calls bringing together the new AFP grantees resumes in November. These calls are for those programs receiving funding under the recent competitions to discuss unique opportunities and challenges presented to new AFP grantees.

AFP Steering Committee
The RESNA Catalyst Project will be convening the AFP Steering Committee in the near future. This group of representatives from AFPs helps guide the RESNA Catalyst project in the development of its technical assistance goals for the year, as well as planning for the annual conference. If you are interested in participating, please contact Jason Luciano at jluciano@resna.org.

AFP New Directors Series
In December, the RESNA Catalyst Project will be starting up a series of New Director calls for AFP directors. New directors will be invited to attend, and this series is available for anyone who feels s/he may need a refresher on the basics of loan program operation. If you are interested in participating, please contact Jason Luciano at jluciano@resna.org.

OTHER RESOURCES

JAN Webcast Training Schedule (2013/2014)
http://askjan.org/webcast/index.htm. JAN Webcasts are available at no cost! Gather your employees together in a room for live, in-service training. Educate yourself, management, and other employees on disability etiquette, assistive technologies, management techniques, and the latest on accommodations and the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). All Webcasts begin at 2 pm eastern and are one hour. You must register to attend. One registration is equivalent to one login.

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.