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December 2014 Highlights

PROJECT WIDE NEWS


Announcements

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Joey Wallace, Jason Luciano, and Paul Galonsky with the RESNA Catalyst Project wish you and your colleagues a very happy holiday season and New Year! We thank you for your passion and commitment to bettering the lives of people living with disability through the use of Assistive Technology. Your leadership and direction is invaluable. Thank you for all you do, and the RESNA Catalyst Project looks forward to serving you in 2015!

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 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.

Upcoming Events

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. Register for this webinar at www.adaconferences.org/RESNA.

Webinar Series for AT Act Programs: AT & Employment
Part six in this series was postponed in December, but has been rescheduled for February 18, 2015, 2p.m. Eastern Time. Final Webinar in this series: Funding of Work-Related Assistive Technology through Medicaid and Medicaid Waivers. To register, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/300000000009367130. Each webinar is 75 minutes on a host of AT and Employment related topics. For an archive of the previous five webinars, visit http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html.

STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS


Announcements

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 https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RESNA-Catalyst-Deaf-HOH-Workgroup-6746896/about. 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). Register for this presentation today at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7659416065431556866.

Recent Events

MassMATCH Advisory Council Webinar Presentation
On December 16, 2014, Cathy Bodine and Maureen Melonis with the AT Program of Colorado, Wade Wingler with the Indiana AT Act Project, and Paul Galonsky with the RESNA Catalyst Project provided a webinar presentation to the Massachusetts Maximizing Assistive Technology in Consumers’ Hands (MassMATCH) Advisory Council. The presentation focused on the purpose and requirements of a statewide AT program advisory council, and statewide AT program presenters shared their strategies that have made their advisory councils more effective. If your statewide AT program would like a presentation for constituents on any subject related to the AT Act of 1998, as amended, please contact Paul Galonsky at pgalonsky@resna.org.

Upcoming Events

Device Demo and Loan Forum/Teleconference-Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 3:00-4:00p.m. Eastern
This forum will feature John Effinger (MO) and Lynette Strode (IL), who will facilitate a discussion on what is trending in the world of AT, new device discussion, and tablet and app update 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 participate in January, 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.

PAAT PROGRAMS


Announcements

Resources to Support Your Medicaid Work for Children, with a Focus on EPSDT
As many of us know, the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Medicaid requirements can be an extra tool for advocates who seek Medicaid AT funding through the durable medical equipment category. Two ways it can potentially expand the availability of AT for kids under 21: EPSDT makes all optional Medicaid categories, like occupational therapy and speech therapy services (both include necessary equipment as part of the federal definition), mandatory for children under 21; language in the Medicaid Act and in the CMS State Medicaid Manual make it clear that EPSDT should be viewed as a very proactive intervention to identify a variety of medically related deficits that relate to development and then address them through Medicaid services. These and additional EPSDT issues are addressed in the following resources:

If you have any questions on these issues, contact either Diana Straube (dstraube@nls.org) or Marge Gustas (mgustas@nls.org). Both Diana and Marge can discuss how they have used EPSDT in some of their Medicaid cases and provide fair hearing decisions that have relied on the EPSDT provisions in awarding funding for specialized equipment.

Video Portrays Very Young Children Using Motorized Toys to Achieve Better Mobility in Their School-Related and Other Environments-Can we get these items funded through traditional Medicaid or Medicaid waivers‌
Earlier this month, Victor Panoff of the Florida P&A shared a link to this very special video, Put a Brilliant Scientist in a Toy Store, And He'll Start Changing Lives Left and Right, available at http://www.upworthy.com/put-a-brilliant-scientist-in-a-toy-store-and-he-start-changing-lives-left-and-right‌g=2. This is a very moving video showing how one man’s project to provide motorized mobility, in the form of modified toys, is making a great difference in the lives of children who get them. Can we get these items funded by Medicaid‌ While we do not promise overnight success, the EPSDT mandates as discussed in the resources above may help to achieve the funding goal in individual cases. For starters, think about how access to these devices achieves functional mobility, promotes better peer relationships (note how the one child depicted is able to keep up with his peers during recess time with the motorized device), and leads to better social development. Of course, we may need to categorize them as something other than toys or face the same obstacles we sometimes face with therapeutic trike appeals. Here again, contact Marge Gustas or Diana Straube if you are looking into using EPSDT as a tool to promote funding.

National AT Advocacy Project to Collaborate with National Association of Benefits and Work Incentives Specialists (NABWIS) to Deliver Session on Using Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies to Fund a Range of Services, including AT, to Support a Work Goal-Session scheduled for February 4th, 3:00 to 4:30p.m. Eastern
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 series to better meet the needs of individuals involved in WIPA and other work incentives counseling projects. This is part of a 3-part webinar series and is free to NABWIS members or $75 to non-members (covers all 3 webinars and provides free NABWIS membership for one year). The other two webinars will cover Railroad Retirement and Disability Benefits (February 26th) and The Transition from Disability to Retirement Benefits (April 16th), with both offered from 3:00 to 4:30 EST. This series may be particularly beneficial if you split time between the PAAT grant and an employment-related project like WIPA or Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS). To get a copy of the promotional flyer or to register contact Ray Cebula at rac79@cornell.edu.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCING AND TELEWORK LOAN PROGRAMS


Announcements

Data submissions for MIS662 is now due!
Don’t forget to get your data into your respective reporting system (MIS572/MIS662/Telework). Data is due no later than December 31, 2014. Please contact the RESNA Catalyst Project with any questions or challenges with this requirement.

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 calls are short, usually lasting approximately 30 minutes. Keep an eye out for contact from Jason Luciano to schedule a time.

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

Recent Events

Data Collection Call for MIS 662 – December 4, 2014
The RESNA Catalyst Project hosted an open forum style conference call to discuss data collection and submission into the MIS662 for Fiscal Year 2014. Data is required no later than December 31, 2014. This call walked through some of the basic data elements, discussed how they are calculated, and answered specific questions on data submission.

AFP Conference Steering Committee - December 18, 2014
The AFP Conference Planning Steering Committee met to go over the results of the AFP Director Survey, and to begin discussing location ideas for the 2015 AFP Conference. Conference dates and a preliminary agenda are coming soon!

Upcoming Events

New Grantee Call – January 15, 2015, 4:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP grantees will be January 15, 2015, 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. The call in number is 800-211-4163 with pass code 58 48 484#.

Loan Directors Open Forum Call – January 20, 2015, 3:00p.m. Eastern
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace will host a Loan Program Directors Forum in January. Much like the successful forums for Statewide AT Program Directors, this forum is designed for AFP 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. The call in number is 800-211-4163 with pass code 58 48 484#.

OTHER RESOURCES

JAN's 2015 Federal Employer Winter Webcast Series
JAN will provide three free 1.5 hour Webcast sessions in 2015, which will cover Federal sector hiring and employment, reasonable accommodation, and best practices. JAN Webcasts are available at no cost. All Webcasts begin at 2 p.m. Eastern. You must register to attend at http://askjan.org/webcast/indexfed.htm.

Center on Technology and Disability (CTD) Launches Website
In November 2014, the CTD Institute opened its online doors at www.CTDinstitute.org. 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: ctd@fhi360.org.

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 http://www.resna.org/international-sig-do-it-yourself-contest.

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.