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August 2014 Highlights

PROJECT WIDE NEWS


Announcements

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:

  • September 30, 2014: Deadline for obligation of FY13 funds
  • 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 Robert.Groenendaal@ed.gov.

New RESNA Catalyst Project Financial Loan Program Data Publication
The RESNA Catalyst Project is pleased to provide the publication "Lucky 13: Financial Independence for People with Disabilities." This data report presents cumulative data for all Alternative Financing Programs, and has a specific emphasis on the immediate past three fiscal years. All loan programs will be receiving hard copies, and it is also posted on the RESNA Catalyst website at: www.resnaprojects.org/news/index.html. If you would like additional paper copies, please contact Jason Lucian at jluciano@resna.org.

RESNA Catalyst Project & ATIA Webinars - UPDATE
The RESNA Catalyst Project has purchased an additional 25 seats for the ATIA webinars for the month of September! In addition, Catalyst will be renewing their webinar contract with ATIA FY2015. The webinar subscription code is 14CATWS. This is referred to as the "Discount Code" in the online registration form and is the same for all registrations. The discount code must be used during the webinar and conference recording registration process to ensure the system does not charge any additional fees. Multiple attendees and multiple webinars can be registered during one registration transaction. However, each person for each webinar and conference recording counts as one registration. To access the online registration process visit: www.atia.org/webinarregistration. Online directories of Live Broadcast and Archived Recording webinars are available at: www.atia.org/webinars. Each listing includes full details of the webinar and an option to register.

RESNA to offer "Fundamentals in Assistive Technology" course at the Boston Convention Center, September 4-5, 2014
RESNA’s flagship course, Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, will be offered in conjunction with Abilities Expo Boston on September 4 & 5 at the Boston Convention & Exhibit Hall Center. The course is designed for those new to the field as well as AT pros who wish to expand their knowledge. RESNA is authorized to provide 1.4 CEUs for the course.
Link: http://www.resna.org/professionalDevelopment/fundamentals-course-in-assistive.dot.

Recent Events

WIOA Calls Hosted by RESNA Catalyst Project
In early August, the RESNA Catalyst Project hosted calls for AT Act Entities regarding the newly passed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the impending departmental moves. These calls were recorded and archived on the RESNA Catalyst Project Website at http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/teleconferences.html.
If you have concerns, comments, or questions, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Groenendaal with RSA at Robert.Groenendaal@ed.gov.

Webinar: Increasing Program Access under the ADA: IDEAL Group's Knowledge Discovery Technology, August 21, 2014
This webinar was the last in a series of three webinars for 2014, cosponsored by the Southwest ADA Center, the Great Lakes ADA Center, and the RESNA Catalyst Project. Each of the webinars were designed to provide timely information by experts on various aspects of Assistive Technology and it's interface with issues covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. An archive of this webinar and materials can be found at www.adaconferences.org/RESNA/Archives. Look for a new series of webinars FY2015.

Upcoming Events

Two Upcoming Webinar Series for AT Act Programs: AT & Employment and AT & Education
The RESNA Catalyst Project is bringing two separate webinar series to all AT Act Programs in the coming months. Below are descriptions for each series.

  • AT & Employment Series: 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:

    Note: Each AT & Employment Webinar will start at 2p.m. Eastern Time and will run for 75 minutes. In addition, the RESNA Catalyst Project will provide live 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 Dave Edyburn, Professor, Department of Exceptional Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will offer two 60 minute webinars on assessments, AT, and education.
    • Webinar One: Tuesday, September 9, 2014, A Historical Background of Scholastic Assessments and the use of Assistive Technology in the United States
      Presenters: Janice Carson, Idaho Statewide AT Program, Ron Hager, National Disability Rights Network
      Register at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/413476103
    • Webinar Two: Wednesday, October 8, 2014, Assistive Technology, Accessibility, and High-Stakes Assessments
      Presenter: Dave Edyburn, Professor, Department of Exceptional Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
      Register at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/345295727

    Note: Each AT & Education Webinar will start at 3p.m. Eastern Time and run for 60 minutes. In addition, the RESNA Catalyst Project will provide live captioning.

STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS


Announcements

California’s Statewide AT Program Has New Name
Ability Tools, formerly the AT Network, is California’s new name for their Assistive Technology Act Program. One of Ability Tools main goals in 2014 was to launch a new website, and that led to rethinking their look and feel. Along with the new website comes a fresh new look and a name. Why Ability Tools‌ The new name focuses on the broad variety of AT available, the "tools" that support the "ability" to live independently. Visit Ability Tools today at http://www.abilitytools.org/about/about-at.php.

Upcoming Events

Device Demo and Loan Forum/Webinar-Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 3:00- 4:00p.m. Eastern
This forum/webinar will feature John Effinger (MO) and Lynette Strode (IL), who will present on what is trending in the world of AT, new device demonstration and discussion, and tablet and app update and discussion.
The Device Demo and Loan Forum is for all Statewide AT Programs and is developed by CATADA, ATAP, and the RESNA Catalyst Project. To particpate, please register at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/249418039. If you have accessibility requests or have any questions, please contact Paul Galonsky, pgalonsky@resna.org.

Recent Events

Deaf Hard of Hearing Work Group August 27, 2014
The RESNA Catalyst Project along with Laura Plummer, Project Director with Wisconsin Assistive Technology Program (WisTech), formed a new Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Group in August. 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 https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RESNA-Catalyst-Deaf-HOH-Workgroup-6746896/about.
During the next call, a short "Telecoils 101" presentation will take place followed by group discussion. The next Work Group call is scheduled for Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 3p.m. Eastern Time. To participate in October, please dial 800-211-4163, and pass code 0521244#. If you have accessibility requests or have any questions, please contact Paul Galonsky, pgalonsky@resna.org.

Statewide AT Program New Directors Webinar/Call- August 28, 2014
Under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (AT Act), as amended, statewide AT programs must establish and maintain advisory councils to help plan, implement, and evaluate activities. Information on advisory councils is found in the second module of the New Director’s Curriculum (http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/newdirectors/mod2advcouncils.html). This webinar featured perspectives and experiences working with advisory councils from Cathy Bodine and Maureen Melonis from Assistive Technology Program of Colorado, as well as Wade Wingler from the Indiana Assistive Technology Act Project. Save the date - Next webinar/call: Thursday, October 30, 2014, 3p.m. Eastern Time.

PAAT PROGRAMS


Announcements

National AT Advocacy Project to Develop an Electronic Medical Resources Library to Support AT Advocacy
When Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) started its work as a national technical assistance and training program in 1996, we gathered numerous hearing decisions and court documents from Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT) programs and other AT advocates to create two different AT resource libraries to support AT-related advocacy. We continue those efforts to the present. The overwhelming majority of these documents relate to Medicaid hearings and litigation, but we have also collected documents related to Medicare and other funding sources.

On a more informal basis, NLS has collected various medical articles and research studies that can be very useful, for example, to support both the coverage of devices as durable medical equipment (DME) or through other Medicaid coverage categories, and to support the medical necessity of the device in individual cases. In addition, NLS has collected many of these articles and studies to support the use of both standing frames and standing wheelchairs to achieve a range of benefits through a therapeutic standing program. Other articles/studies support the use of powered mobility for very young children. Many of our friends in the PAAT and AT advocacy networks have contributed to the collection of documents. Until now, these documents have been loosely organized and often provided to those who contact us as a means of supporting a Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance appeal.

As this is written, NLS has initiated an effort to organize these materials in an electronic library divided up by subject matter. While there are no plans to have place these documents on NLS’s website, we do plan to develop an index to those documents, which can then share with people and possible post on the NLS website. If you have documents that you believe would make sense to put in this library, please send them to Diana Straube (dstraube@nls.org) or call her at 716-847-0655 ext. 220 if you would like to discuss what documents you have.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCING AND TELEWORK LOAN PROGRAMS


Announcements

Assistance Available for the AT AFP Grant Competition!
The RESNA Catalyst Project encourages all interested groups to apply for the newly announced AT AFP grant competition, due at RSA by the COB on September 15, 2014. Technical assistance is available for all interested groups. Please contact Jason Luciano (jluciano@resna.org) or Joey Wallace (jwallace@resna.org) with any questions or issues.

New Grant Awards Received!
Congratulations to the AFP in PA, which received a CDFI grant for $700,000, and to the GA AFP, which received $124,000 for providing technical assistance. Way to go!

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 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 jluciano@resna.org The RESNA Catalyst Project will be using these as references for an upcoming call/webinar on this topic

Recent Events

Informational Call for the new WIOA Legislation – August 7th, 2014 2:00pm Eastern
With the newly passed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the impending departmental moves, many have questions about the impact on AT Act programs. While there are still many unknowns, the RESNA Catalyst Project hosted an open call with RSA to provide an opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns you may have on how this legislation may impact loan programs. This call was recorded and will be posted on the RESNA Catalyst website at http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/teleconferences.html.

New Grantee Call – August 21, 2014
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees was held August 21st. These calls are for those programs receiving funding under the recent competitions to discuss unique opportunities and challenges presented to new AFP grantees.

Information call for AT AFP Grant Competition – August 21, 2014
The RESNA Catalyst Project and Rob Groenendaal of RSA hosted an information call for stakeholders and parties interested in the newly announced AT AFP grant competition. This call was recorded and will be posted on the RESNA Catalyst project website at http://www.resnaprojects.org/news/index.html.

Upcoming Events

New Grantee Call – September 25, 2014, 4:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees will be held September 25, 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 New Directors Series – September 25th 2:00p.m. Eastern
The final in the series of Loan Program New Directors series will be held on September 25, 2014 at 2:00pm Eastern. The topic will focus on Board of Director Development and Working with a board. Log in information will be forthcoming, and if you are interested in participating please contact Jason Luciano at jluciano@resna.org.

OTHER RESOURCES

IDEAL Group Apps4Android Releases Innovative Knowledge Mining App for People with Print Disabilities
IDEAL Group Apps4Android announced the release of "Document Knowledge Miner", an Android application that enables individuals with print disabilities to acquire knowledge from digital documents, even if the documents were not designed with accessibility in mind. To learn more, visit http://www.ideal-group.org/‌p=728.

Sprint Releases Cognitive Accessibility Apps
Sprint Good WorksSM launched a Neurodiversity ID Pack, a mobile applications collection assisting consumers with neurodevelopmental disabilities and cognitive conditions, such as autism, dyspraxia, and dyslexia. Sprint ID packs are bundles of applications and weblinks that allow users to easily and quickly customize their Android devices based on specific needs and interests. The Neurodiversity ID pack’s 25 unique applications and weblinks were chosen with the help of several organizations focused on disabilities that impact learning, attention and behavior, including the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Dyspraxia Foundation USA and QSAC. The ID pack also provides an improved user experience for integrating into a device’s existing settings. To learn more, visit http://www.sprint.com/landings/accessibility/‌ECID=vanity:accessibility.

Complex Rehab Power Wheelchair Electronics Comparison Chart (Updated)
Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS with Access to Independence, Inc., revamped a Rehab Power Wheelchair Electronics Comparison Chart, which compares features from three complex rehab electronics packages: Invacare MK6i, PG Drives Technology Rnet, and Quantum QLogic. This chart is intended as a reference, not to demonstrate one package as better than another. These exciting electronics offer features to help clients be more independent than ever! Visit http://www.atilange.com/Resources.html to view the Chart.

2nd Annual Air Travel Accessibility Conference
The Association for Airline Passenger Rights (AAPR) will host its 2nd Annual Air Travel Accessibility Conference, designed to identify and discuss ways to improve accessible air travel for passengers with access and/or functional needs. This year’s event aims to build upon last year’s successful conference; it laid the groundwork for an ongoing dialogue between aviation and disability stakeholders to identify problems with airline accessibility, and propose workable solutions to remedy them. The conference will be held September 27, 2014 at the Westin Washington DC City Center, located at 1400 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005. To learn more about the conference or register, please visit http://www.flyfriendlyskies.com/events.html.

BestColleges.com
BestColleges.com, a site that typically caters to current and prospective college students, has recently created a financial resource for students with disabilities. To learn more visit http://www.bestcolleges.com/financial-aid/disabled-students/.

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 Catalyst’s Online Calendar
The RESNA Catalyst Project’s event calendar is on the homepage at www.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 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.