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September 2015 Highlights

PROJECT WIDE NEWS


Announcements

Breaking News! Unlimited RESNA Catalyst Project/ATIA Webinars
The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) and the RESNA Catalyst Project are pleased to announce the continuation of their partnership to offer live and archived webinars to all AT Act Entities. With RESNA Catalyst Project support, ALL AT Act Entities receive complimentary UNLIMITED access to ATIA webinars! Starting October 1, 2015, use access code CATUNL16. To learn more and sign up for all ATIA live and archived webinars, visit:http://atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4350.

ACL's Office of Grants Management (OGM) Obligation and Liquidation Deadlines
OGM will extend the obligation and liquidation deadlines in PMS as follows:

  • FY 2014 SGAT awards (90AG)-The deadline to obligate FY 2014 SGAT awards is September 30, 2015, and the deadline to liquidate the remainder of FY 2014 funds is December 30, 2015.
  • FY 2015 SGAT awards (90AG)-The deadline to obligate FY 2015 SGAT awards is September 30, 2016, and the deadline to liquidate the remainder of FY 2015 funds is December 30, 2016.

Please respond to Robert.Groenendaal@acl.hhs.gov for information about FY 2014 drawdowns in the PMS.

GrantSolutions Links and Information:

  • GrantSolutions Web Site (main page): https://home.grantsolutions.gov/home
  • GrantSolutions Login page: GrantSolutions Login
  • GrantSolutions ACL: GrantSolutions Grantee Resources
    • Grantee Basics: A PDF version of a PowerPoint presentation with introductory information.
    • Links to a few of ACL's customizedGrantSolutions Training Videos:
      • Requesting, Modifying, or Deleting a GrantSolutions User Account
        Video|Transcript(PDF, 104KB)
      • Logging Into and Navigating GrantSolutions
        Video |Transcript (PDF, 112KB)
      • My Grants List: Accessing and Viewing Your Official Grant File
        Video |Transcript (PDF, 99KB)
  • GrantSolutions Help Desk: (202) 401-5282 or (866) 577-0771 or Email: help@grantsolutions.gov

Payment Management System (PMS) Links and Information:
The Payment Management System (PMS)provides awarding HHS Agencies and Grant recipients the tools to manage grant payment requests, and disbursement reporting activities.

  • To register for a PMS Account, you must complete the SF-1199A form and the PMS Access Form, and send the originals to PSC. Some of the information needed for these forms is included on your NoA.
  • PMS Help Desk: (877) 614-5533; Email: PMSSupport@psc.gov, which includes, but is not limited to, responding to questions regarding the PMS application and assisting users having difficulty navigating through PMS application system menus and processes plus other things.

Farewell to Lauren Rock
Lauren Rock, AT4ALL and ICC Coordinator for Nebraska's Assistive Technology Partnership (ATP), has resigned from her position. In a recent correspondence with the RESNA Catalyst Project, Lauren said "It has been an honor and a privilege to work with ATP, and all of you, for the last 11 years. I leave being very proud of our various programs, particularly AT4ALL and ReRUN." ¯ Thank you Lauren for your service and commitment to supporting people living with disability using Assistive Technology. You will be missed!

Upcoming Events

Revised CatalystWebinars Scheduled for all AT Act Programs - Save the Dates
The RESNA Catalyst Project has been working to develop several webinars FY 2016. First, the RESNA Catalyst Project, Neighborhood Legal Services, and the National Disabilities Rights Network will be conducting a webinar series beginning in November. Each of the webinars in this series will begin at 2p.m. EST, run for 90 minutes in length, will provide CART service, and offer CEUs. The following are save the dates and webinar titles:

  • December 9, 2015: Funding AT for Blind to Support Work and Independence
  • January 27, 2016: AT and Voting Access
  • March 16, 2016: Meeting the AT Needs of Older Americans in their Homes and in Facilities

Second, Tony Gentry, Associate Professor, Director, Assistive Technology for Cognition Laboratory, with Virginia Commonwealth University will be providing an update on Cognitive Aids for People with Brain Injury on February 17, 2016.

This webinar will begin at 3p.m. EST, run for 90 minutes in length, will provide CART service, and offer CEUs. Look for information on how to register for all webinars soon. In the meantime, save the dates today!

Recent Events

AFP and AT Reuse Acquisition Conference Materials and Evaluation
All Conference materials for the AFP and AT Reuse Acquisition Conference held in Washington, D.C. on August 31, and September 1, 2015, are located at the RESNA Catalyst Project 's website at http://resnaprojects.org/afp/2015conf.html. In addition, participants reported positively about their conference experience, and a conference evaluation summary report will be up on the webpage within the week. The RESNA Catalyst Project will continue to provide updates on materials as appropriate, and will also disseminate a list of participants and their contact information. Thank you again for a fantastic two days!

STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS


Upcoming Events

Update-Deaf Hard of Hearing Work Group
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with Laura Plummer, Project Director with Wisconsin Assistive Technology Program (WisTech), are working on several updates for the next Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Group meeting. Current updates include scheduling time for next meeting, developing a hearing technology spreadsheet, and potential topics and speakers to present during each Work Group. Look for details soon. The Deaf/Hard of Hearing 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 available to share information and resources. To participate in this LinkedIn Group, visit https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RESNA-Catalyst-Deaf-HOH-Workgroup-6746896/about.

Recent Events

Revisions to the Quality Indicators Manual for Device Loan and Device Demonstration
The Maryland Technology Assistance Program (MDTAP) and the RESNA Catalyst Project convened a work group of Mid Atlantic AT Programs on September 24, and 25, 2015, in Baltimore to work on updates and revisions to the 2010 Quality Indicator Manuals for Device Loan and Device Demonstration. The next step in the coming months is to schedule a webinar with all SGATs to go over the revisions and allow for additional comments. Catalyst would like to extend a special thank you to Amy Goldman (Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology) for her facilitation, and to all who were able to support this meeting and attend: Barclay Shepard (Virginia Assistive Technology System), Beth Mineo (Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative), Denise Schuler (Maryland Assistive Technology Loan Program), Emily McKeough (George Mason University), Jamie Prioli (Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology), Lori Markland (Maryland Assistive Technology Loan Program), Jim McCarthy (Maryland Assistive Technology Loan Program), Karen Latimer (Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative), Sonja Rathel (Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative), and Robert Groenendaal (Administration on Community Living).

PAAT PROGRAMS


Announcements

Webinar Save the Date - November 19, 2015, 2-3:30p.m. Eastern:
Funding of Assistive Technology (AT) for Individuals who are Blind to Support Work and Independence: Looking to State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies, other Funding Sources, and other Funding Strategies to Obtain AT
Co-presenters for this session are James R. Sheldon, Jr., Neighborhood Legal Services, and Ronald M. Hager, National Disability Rights Network (both part of National AT Advocacy Project and RESNA Catalyst Project Partners). Using a detailed case scenario, the presenters will discuss the state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency as a funding source for the needed AT. They will then discuss a number of AT funding sources and strategies that may not be well-known including: Medicaid waivers, Medicare Savings Programs, SSI work incentives, Alternative Financing Programs, the IRS flexible spending account, creative divorce settlements, the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, and uses of two or more funders to jointly purchase an item. Stay tuned for announcements of other webinars to be delivered through the National AT Advocacy Project as sessions and presenters are identified.

CMS's Revised Guidance for Medicare Coverage of Speech Generating Devices - Frequently Asked Questions Available
NLS previously reported that on July 29, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had published a Final Decision Memorandum, https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/medicare-coverage-document-details.aspx?MCDId=26#final, which revises the current Medicare National Coverage Decision (NCD) that sets forth criteria for approving Medicare funding for Speech Generating Devices (SGDs). A short time later our colleague, Lew Golinker of the AT Law Center, made available an eight-page document, "SGD Medicare Developments: August 2015: Frequently Asked Questions."¯ This FAQ is now available on the RESNA website at https://www.resna.org/sites/default/files/legacy/resources/2015 08 06 FAQ re 2015 NCD and Gleason Act Final.pdf. NLS urges you to read through the Decision Memorandum and the FAQs to get a good sense of what this new policy will mean for Medicare beneficiaries. After that, we would encourage you to reach out to Lew Golinker at lgolinker@aol.com if you have follow-up questions. You can also contact Jim Sheldon of the National AT Advocacy Project at jsheldon@nls.org with your follow up questions.

Looking for Non-Traditional AT Funding Sources? Consider Tech Soup: www.techsoup.org
Tech Soup can make low-cost and even no-cost technology available to not-for-profit agencies. Typically, through generous donations of big corporations, Tech Soup is able to make products available to nonprofits at deeply discounted prices. For example, Neighborhood Legal Services sought to upgrade existing Adobe software to Adobe Professional. This would allow NLS to take a scanned PDF and create a final document that is fully accessible to screen readers used by persons who are blind. The upgrade cost would have been $199 but through an application to Tech Soup, Neighborhood Legal Services was able to get this upgrade for an administrative fee of $45. We confirmed that at least one other not-for-profit got the freestanding Adobe Professional Program, which can cost much more, at the same $45 cost. We pick this example because it has allowed us to meet the accessibility needs of computer users who are blind through the most up-to-date AT/IT intervention. Check out their website for many other opportunities to obtain interventions that may serve both your employees and you clients.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCING AND TELEWORK LOAN PROGRAMS


Announcements

Revisions to the Quality Indicators Manual
The RESNA Catalyst Project will convene a work group to work on updates and revisions to the 2012 AFP Quality Indicators Manual. If you are interested in joining this work group, please contact Jason Luciano at jluciano@resna.org.

Revisions to Contact Sheets
By now, program directors should have received a request for updates to program contact information. If you have not yet responded with updated information, please do so soon so we can continue to provide accurate contact information. Thank you!

Recent Events

FY 2015 AT AFP Grantee Call - September 22, 2015
The RESNA Catalyst Project hosted a call for the three newest AT AFP award recipients: Indiana, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Focusing on the unique challenges these new awards bring, these programs will start participating in the New AFP Grantee Calls in the near future.

New AFP Grantee Call - September 20, 2015
The monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees was held on September 20, 2015. 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 - September 15, 2015
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace hosted an all Loan Program Directors Forum in September. 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. Issues with maintaining relationships with banking partners was discussed, as was the possibility of programs working towards becoming CDFIs.

Upcoming Events

New Grantee Call - October 15th, 2015, 4-5:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees will be October 15, 2015, 4:00 p.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 - October 20th, 2015, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace will host an all Loan Program Directors Forum in October. 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 1-800-211-4163 with pass code 57 48 484#.

OTHER RESOURCES

Two New Resources from the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
Motivated by the 25th Anniversary of the ADA to improve disability outreach, the Mid-Atlantic ADA has created to new resources: “Accessible Meetings, Events, and Conference Guide”, and “At Your Service”, a 20 minute film with important tips for disability leaders on how to engage, connect, and interact with customers with disabilities. To learn more, visit www.ADAinfo.org.

Tips for Emergency Use of Mobile Devices
The 2015 edition of ”Tips for Emergency Use of Mobile Devices” was released. The document provides guidelines for optimal use of mobile device before, during, and after an emergency. In addition, it covers emergency contacts, alerts, texting, documents, apps, power back-up charging options, bookmarks, “No Service” backup plans, skill drills, and more. To view the PDF, visit www.jik.com/Mobile%20Devices.pdf.
Source: RERC Technology and Disability Highlights

Justice Department Issues Technical Assistance on Testing Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities Who Take Standardized Exams and High-Stakes Tests
The Justice Department issued technical assistance today on the obligation of testing entities, both private and public, to ensure that the test scores of individuals with disabilities accurately reflect the individual's aptitude, achievement, or the skill that the exam purports to measure, rather than his or her disability. The document discusses who is entitled to testing accommodations, what types of testing accommodations must be provided, and what documentation may be required of the person requesting testing accommodations. The document also discusses prohibited flagging policies and how test scores for test-takers receiving disability-related accommodations should be reported. For a copy of the Guidance Document or to find out more about the ADA, visit www.ada.gov or call the Justice Department's toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TDD).

NIDILRR Invites Comments on Proposed Stages of Development
NIDILRR is seeking input from stakeholders on the proposed Stages of Development (SoD), intended to assist applicants, reviewers, and grantees in describing and justifying proposed development efforts. The evidence-based SoD comprises: a) the Proof of Concept, b) the Proof of Product, and c) the Proof of Adoption. The SoD would apply to NIDILRR-funded development projects whose products include models, methods, tools, software applications, and devices. Comments must be submitted by October 22nd, 2015. Background, overview, timeline, and a PowerPoint presentation are available online. An informational webinar is scheduled for September 30th. For more information, contact: NIDILRR-announcements@naric.com.

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 Catalystā€™s Online Calendar
The RESNA Catalyst Projectā€™s event calendar is on the homepage atwww.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 Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (ACL/HHS) 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.