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February 2013 Highlights



RSA Submission FY 2013 State Plan for AT Due
Rob Groenendaal and Brian Bard with RSA announced that FY 2013 State Plans for AT (RSA-664) are due to be completed and submitted in the MIS by C.O.B. Friday, March 1, 2013. If you did not receive information and instructions on submitting the RSA-664 in the MIS, please contact Brian Bard ( or Rob Groenendaal ( for additional information.

Seeking Webinar Co-Presenters
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with the Southwest ADA Center and the ADA Network is presenting a webinar this April entitled Negotiating Access to Assistive Technology after High School: Planning Strategies & Civil Rights. We are looking for AT Act programs to co present that have offered strong support to students with disabilities leaving high school. In particular, we are seeking examples of work with post-secondary disabilities and adult service providers on selecting AT accommodations necessary for continued education, employment, and independent living.
If you are interested in co-presenting during this webinar, please contact Andy Winnegar directly at, or call 505-466-6563.

ATIA 2013 Conference Debrief
RESNA Catalyst Project Staff Member Paul Galonsky along with Connecticut Assistive Technology Act Program Director Arlene Lugo, and RESNA Member Raj Pagadala presented on the RESNA Catalyst Project’s Assistive Technology for Employment Initiative at this year ATIA conference in Orlando, FL. Over 25 conferees attended the presentation including AT Act Program Staff and RENSA Board Members. Arlene, Raj, and Paul presented information about the initiative, which focuses on promoting greater understanding of Assistive Technology, Access Technology, and Universal Design to employers for employment. Special thank you to Arlene and Raj for their information and support of the RESNA Catalyst Project at ATIA!

AT Act Contacts Updated for 2013
The RESNA Catalyst Project has completed updating all Statewide AT and Alternative Financing Program contacts on the RESNA Catalyst Project Website ( In addition, the RESNA Catalyst Project has updated several word documents with in depth program contact information. Please take a look at your contact online and let us know if any changes need to be made. In addition, you can always update to your contact information directly on the RESNA Catalyst Project Website. For directions on how to make updates online or to request updated contact documents, contact Paul Galonsky,

Upcoming Events

Registration Now Open and Save the Dates! Three Upcoming RESNA Catalyst Project Webinars!
The RESNA Catalyst Project is teaming up with the Southwest ADA Center, Great Lakes ADA Center, the Nebraska Veterans Administration’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program, the Nebraska Brain Injury Advisory Council, and the Nebraska Assistive Technology Partnership to cosponsor three upcoming webinars. Below are webinar details and save the dates. All webinars will have live captioning, will be archived, are free, and CEUs will be available for a $16 fee.
Webinar One cosponsored by the Nebraska Veterans Administration’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program, the Nebraska Brain Injury Advisory Council, and the Nebraska Assistive Technology Partnership:
March 27, 2013, 3:00-4:30p.m. Eastern: A Brain in the Palm of your Hand: Handhelds and Tablets as Cognitive Aids for People with Brain Injury
Registration Now Open! Visit to register.
Save the date for webinars two and three cosponsored by the Southwest and Great Lakes ADA Centers:
April 23, 2013, 3:00-4:30p.m. Eastern: Negotiating Access to Assistive Technology after High School: Planning Strategies & Civil Rights
July 17, 2013, 3:00-4:30p.m. Eastern: Accessibility of Web Information: Implications for how the Public and Private Sector Conducts Business
Mark your calendars today!

Recent Events

RSA Teleconference, February, 27th
Rob Groenendaal and Brain Bard with RSA conducted a teleconference for Statewide AT Act Programs to discuss common questions often asked about in the SF 425 and State Plan. In addition, the teleconference served as an open forum, to ask Rob and Brain questions. This teleconference was recorded. AT Act programs will be notified once an archive of the recording is posted on the RESNA Catalyst Project Website.

AT for Employment Work Group Call, February 21st
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. Listen to an archive of this call at the RESNA Catalyst Project’s AT for Employment Work Group Webpage at Next Work Group call: April 18, 2013, 3:00-4:00p.m.


Upcoming Events

Statewide AT Program New Directors Webinar/Call-Thursday, March 14, 3:00 p.m. Eastern
The New Directors call takes place every other month. This upcoming webinar/ call will feature information on the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as Amended in 2004, found in the first module of the New Director’s Curriculum ( This call will also allow time for new directors to discuss issues they are currently facing.
This month’s call will be held via webinar to ensure that all participants can follow along simultaneously. All new and veteran directors are welcome to join! To join the webinar, you must first register at For the day of the webinar, you may use the webinar platform’s voice over Internet Protocol, or you may call 800-351-6810, and use pass code: 46172076.

RSA Webinar: RSA’s Assistive Technology Programs and State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies – Working Together for Success
March 21, 2013, 2:00 p.m. Eastern

RSA invites you to a webinar on state vocational rehabilitation agency partnerships with RSA’s Assistive Technology Programs. This webinar will feature case studies describing how state Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies have partnered with statewide Assistive Technology Programs. Statewide Assistive Technology Program services are designed to supplement, not supplant Vocational Rehabilitation services. To participate in this webinar, visit‌id=4203. Please carefully review information provided on the webinar page to ensure your participation the day of the webinar. RSA will also post handouts, slides, and the accessible version of the slides at this site prior to the scheduled webinar broadcast date. A complete recording of the webinar will be available at this site the day following the webinar. If you have any questions regarding access to the webinar, please contact Terry Martin at (202) 245-7275 or

Purchasing Forums Work Group, March 28, 2013, 12:00p.m. Eastern
The Purchasing Forums Work Group will meet towards the end of March to finalize the layout and operations of the Discount Purchasing forums for statewide AT programs. Once completed, these forums will be made available to all statewide AT programs to share vendor discount and volume purchase discount information.



New Publication: Work, Assistive Technology, and State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies: The VR Agency’s Obligation to Fund AT to Support Employment Preparation
Ron Hager of the National Disability Rights Network fully updated a similar publication he wrote back in 1999 when he worked with Neighborhood Legal Service (Ron continues to work with NLS through the National Disability Rights Network with a focus on AT-related special education and vocational rehabilitation issues). You can access this 44-page publication at the NLS website:
Note: This new publication is part of NLS Funding of the AT Manual Series (see

Briefing continues in Koenning v. Janek, the Medicaid standing wheelchair case pending in Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. At issues is whether Texas Medicaid program can bar funding for standing wheelchairs.
In earlier Highlights, NLS reported that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in Koenning v. Suehs, held that the state’s Medicaid policy of categorically denying coverage of mobile standers (including standing wheelchairs), without consideration of medical necessity, violates various federal Medicaid Act provisions and is preempted by the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. The Texas Medicaid program appealed, and the case is now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans (now pending as Koenning v. Janek). The state filed its brief in later January and plaintiffs’ brief is due on March 13, 2013.
Plaintiffs are represented by Maureen O’Connell from the Southern Disability Law Center, Mary Ann Overrath (formerly of SDLC), Lew Golinker of the AT Law Center, and Sarah Summers and Jane Perkins of the National Health Law Program. An amicus curiae brief will be filed by Diana Straube and Jim Sheldon, through New York’s PAAT Project. The brief will be filed on behalf of seven national organizations and will focus on the medical benefits of the standing wheelchair. Diana and Jim also work for the National AT Advocacy Project as a Catalyst Project partner.

NOTE: This case will be the latest large-scale effort to address the challenges associated with funding of standing wheelchairs. Through Neighborhood Legal Services’ National AT Project and state PAAT project we have now collected: briefs from the three reported cases (including Koenning) on standing wheelchairs; favorable fair hearing decisions on more than a dozen cases; and numerous published studies and journal articles on the medical benefits of standing and standing wheelchairs. These can all be obtained by contacting Diana Straube at



SAVE THE DATE! May 7th 2013
The RESNA Catalyst project is sponsoring a one day AFP Director Meeting in Bethesda, MD. This will be the day before the RESNA Catalyst Project Employment Summit for AT Act funded programs. Be on the lookout for more information!

Teleconference Series Schedule for 2013
You’ve spoken – and we’ve listened! Based on your needs assessment and feedback you’ve given us at the RESNA Catalyst Project, we have created a draft teleconference schedule for 2013. Subject to change:

  • April 16th 2pm – Sustainability for AFPs
  • June 18th 2pm – Preparing for RSA Review
  • July 16th 2pm – Collaborating with other AT Act Programs
  • August 21st 2pm – Needs Assessment for 2014

Upcoming Events

Financial Literacy Part I, March 19th 2p.m. Eastern
This teleconference will introduce loan program directors and staff to financial literacy as an option for loan programs. Speakers will talk about how financial literacy training has been successfully incorporated into AFP and other loan programs, and how this can strengthen the integrity and portfolio of a program. To join this call please call 1-800-351-6810 with pass code 80573760#.

Data Work Group Call–To Be Determined
The Data Work Group will hold another call to further discuss and develop recommendations for changes to the MIS 662. To join this Work Group please contact Jason Luciano at

Recent Events

Teleconference Series: New Project Staff Orientation, February 19th 2013
Robert Groenendaal and Brian Bard from RSA, and Joey Wallace and Jason Luciano from RESNA presented on the history of the AT Act funded projects, and the roles each of them have in the interplay of providing continuity of services. This teleconference was intended to assist new staff persons in understanding the interconnectedness and collaborations amongst various AT Act funded activities.

Data Work Group Call, February 4th 2013
The Loan Program Data Collection Work Group had a conference call on February 4th. The members continue to develop recommendations for the next changes to the MIS 662, with the hope that it will closely align with other data collection instruments. The progress of this Work Group will be reported on during the Director’s meeting in May.


Call for Comments from the Department of Education/National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research-Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes four priorities for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) Program administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). Specifically, this notice proposes a priority for an RRTC on Community Living and Participation for Individuals with Physical Disabilities (priority 1), RRTC on Employment of Individuals with Physical Disabilities (priority 2), RRTC on Health and Function of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (priority 3), and RRTC on Community Living and Participation for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (priority 4). The Assistant Secretary may use one or more of these priorities for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2013 and later years. We take this action to focus research attention on areas of national need. We intend the priorities to contribute to improved outcomes in these areas for individuals with disabilities.
DATE: Comments must be received on or before March 14, 2013.
Full Text:

Assistive Technology Applications of All Kinds and in One Place! Lauren S. Enders, MA, CCC-SLP from Bucks County Pennsylvania, has developed a website on Pinterest with hundreds of AT apps. All the apps are categorized by topic/interest such as Text to Speech/Text Reader Apps & Tools” and “Apps/Programs for Digital Storytelling/Narrative Language Development”. This site is a must for all who want to find apps that assist People with Disability all in one place!

ICATER 2013 Webinar Schedule
The Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER) offers free 10-15 minute webinars that highlight AT Applications for iPad. All live webinar classes are archived and accessible through the ICATER website. Classes and videos are also closed-captioned. View the 2013 schedule and register at

NCBDDD 2013 Fellowship and Research Opportunities Disability and Research Dissemination Center (DRDC)
The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the CDC is pleased to announce the availability of fellowship and research opportunities for 2013. Information about the fellowship and research opportunities are available on the newly created Disability Research and Dissemination Center (DRC) website at Both fellowship and research submissions are on-line submissions handled exclusively through the DRDC website.

New 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:‌pId=492.
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

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: