RESNA Catalyst Project Logo

December 2015 Highlights

PROJECT WIDE NEWS


Announcements

Happy New Year!
On behalf of Joey, Jason, and Paul from the RESNA Catalyst Project, Happy New Year to you and to your AT Act Programs!  We look forward to serving you and providing technical assistance in 2016.

New Contact Information for ACL’s Rob Groenendaal
Rob Groenendaal with ACL has new contact information.  To contact Rob:
AT Programs
Administration for Community Living
330 C Street, SW
Switzer Building, Room 1317B
Washington, DC  20201
202-795-7356
robert.groenendaal@acl.hhs.gov

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, 2016, and the deadline to liquidate the remainder of FY 2014 funds is December 30, 2016.
  • 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.

ACL's Version of RSA's MIS Delay
Please be patient with the delay in ACL’s development of a version of RSA’s MIS for data submission to ACL.  The new system should be available to submit FY 2015 performance reports by the end of January, 2016.   If you have any questions about the status of data submission to ACL, please contact: Robert.Groenendaal@acl.hhs.gov.  

RESNA’s Call for Webinar Presenters
Catalyst’s parent organization RESNA, is looking for speakers to present one-hour webinars in 2016.  RESNA will consider webinar topics related to any specialty area within Assistive Technology.  Lengthier topics may be presented over a series of webinars; ideas for two-part or three-part series are welcome!  If needed, RESNA can pay a speaker fee of up to $200 per webinar. Presenters will be responsible for preparing their slides, delivering the content live, and preparing a brief three-question quiz on the content.  To submit your idea, please complete the form at this link or contact Melissa Campbell at mcampbell@resna.org

RESNA Catalyst Project and ATIA-Take Advantage of Free ATIA Webinars in 2016!
ATIA and the RESNA Catalyst Project continue 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!  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.

Upcoming Events

RESNA Catalyst Project Webinars for FY 2016
The RESNA Catalyst Project is developing several webinars with various collaborators in 2016. First, the RESNA Catalyst Project, Neighborhood Legal Services, and the National Disabilities Rights Network will be conducting a webinar series, which started in December.  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:

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

Third, The ADA, Sensory Disabilities, and Assistive Technology: Core Technologies for Nonvisual Access is scheduled for February 24, 2016. This webinar will combine aspects of the ADA as it relates to Assistive Technologies that benefit people with low vision or individuals who are blind.  Presenters include Diego Demaya, Human Resources Educator with the Southwest ADA Center, and Curtis Chong, Assistive Technologist with the New Mexico Commission for the Blind.  The February 17th and 24th webinars 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!

STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS


Announcements

SGAT Act Program Contact Sheet Update
Last month, the RESNA Catalyst Project began updating SGAT Program contact sheets, which will include all contact information for SGATs.  Thank you for all who have submitted your program changes.  If you have not yet responded with updated information, please do so soon so we can continue to provide accurate information.  In January, 2016, these sheets will be available to all AT Act Programs, the public, Federal offices, as well as on the RESNA Catalyst Project’s consumer webpage, www.findatnow.org

Upcoming Events

Indirect Cost Teleconference - Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 3-4p.m. EST
During this teleconference, Carolyn Phillips with Georgia’s Tools for Life, Curtis Edmonds with Disability Rights New Jersey, Sara Sack with Assistive Technology for Kansans Program, and Jessica Black-Magnussen, Associate Director of Kansas’s Bureau of Child Research will share their thoughts on Indirect Cost and help answer questions. Please forward additional Indirect Cost questions that you may have for the panelists to pgalonsky@resna.org.  To participate, dial 800-351-6810 and Passcode: 46172076#. This teleconference will be recorded and archived on the RESNA Catalyst Project Website at www.resnaprojects.org.

PAAT PROGRAMS


Announcements

Celebrating the Life of Naomi Walker – a Long-Time Advocate for AT
Through our friends at the Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO), we learned that Naomi Tsipora Walker, 46, died on December 19, 2015.   Naomi worked as a lawyer at the GAO and was one of the early PAAT attorneys in the mid-90s, working on AT issues during the past 20 years.  As reported by Lew Golinker: “Naomi was a long time attorney at the GAO.  She and I worked together on the Will T. litigation (1994-2000) that overturned GA Medicaid's refusal to cover [speech generating devices].”  You can view Naomi’s obituary at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/atlanta/obituary.aspx?n=naomi-tsipora-walker&pid=176970948&fhid=5314.

Sources of Funding for Wheelchair Vans and Other Modified Vehicles
Finding a source of funding for a wheelchair van or other modified vehicle can be a challenge, but there are some other possibilities.  Only a few state vocational rehabilitation agencies will fund a vehicle, but most will fund modification costs to allow the person with a disability to drive or travel as a passenger.  See http://www.nls.org/files/Disability%20Law%20Hotlines/National%20AT%20Advocacy/VRFundingofAT2013.pdf.   An SSI Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) – see http://www.nls.org/files/AT%20Advocate%20Newsletters/Advocatesprsum06.pdf -- can be a way to fund the van itself.  Some state Alternative Financing Programs may provide loans for modified vehicles (check with AFP in your state, http://www.resnaprojects.org/allcontacts/allafpcontacts.html).  If your state or a region of your state has an Individual Development Account (IDA) program – operating as a matched-savings program – it may be a source of funding for a modified van.  See http://cfed.org/programs/idas/directory_search/ to find out if there is an IDA program near you.

New Publication: Funding Assistive Technology through State Medicaid Programs – NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE!
Co-authors, Maureen O’Connell, Esq., Southern Disability Law Center & James R. Sheldon, Esq., National AT Advocacy Project  developed this AT funding manual, which includes extensive citations to law, regulation, policy, and case law in 138 footnotes.  The manual also includes a discussion of nearly all legal issues likely to be encountered in Medicaid AT advocacy, with a four-page summary of AT-related state and federal court decisions from the past 25 plus years. This manual was posted on the National AT Advocacy Project’s website in early December at http://www.nls.org/files/Disability%20Law%20Hotlines/National%20AT%20Advocacy/Medicaid%20DME%20Manual%20FINAL%20Nov%202015.pdf.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCING AND TELEWORK LOAN PROGRAMS


Announcements

Revisions to AFP 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 information.  Thank you!

Recent Events

Loan Directors Forum – December 8, 2015
The RESNA Catalyst Project continued with the Loan Director open forum call on December 8th.  This monthly call is presented as an opportunity for programs to come together and discuss topics of concern or to ask questions they have and share information with colleagues without adhering to a topic structure.

New Grantee Call – December 17, 2015
This monthly call bringing together the new AFP Grantees was held on December 17, 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.

Upcoming Events

Loan Directors Open Forum Call – January 12, 2016, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace will host an all Loan Program Directors Forum in January.  This call will focus on issues of concern and interest for all loan programs, and everyone benefits from the active participation programs bring to the discussion.  Please join the call by dialing in at 1-800-211-4163, with pass code 57 48 484#.

New Loan Director Series – January 13, 2016, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern.
The RESNA Catalyst Project will continue the New Loan Directors series on January 13th at 3:00p.m. Eastern.  This series will involve discussions and presentations on topics of interest as identified by invited participants.  If you have an interest in participating, please contact Jason at jluciano@resna.org.

New Grantee Call – January 21, 2016, 4-5:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP Grantees will be held January 21, 2016, 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.

OTHER RESOURCES

Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER)
ICATER is a technology and universal design resource for all members of the education community to build learner capacity, and increase access to learning opportunities.  ICATER provides many resources including archived webinars that may be of interest to AT Act Programs.  To learn more, visit ICATER’s website at http://www.education.uiowa.edu/centers/icater/home.  

Annual Disability Statistics Compendium Release - February 4, 2016
You are cordially invited to attend the release of the Annual Compendium of Disability Statistics & Report on Disability.  The annual event will be held Thursday, February 4, 2016 at The Washington Center, Blinken Auditorium, but can also be viewed live via webcast on the same date and time.  The Compendium is a web-based tool that pools disability statistics published by various federal agencies together in one place.  To register for this free event, visit: http://www.researchondisability.org/home/events/2015/10/01/register-to-attend-the-2015-annual-disability-statistics-compendium

Testing of South African Airways' Website Accessibility/DOT Compliance
Chris Miller with South African Airways’ e-Commerce for North America, is searching for organizations to assist with the testing of their website (www.flysaa.com), as they work to achieve compliance with the DOT’s Website Accessibility Requirements.  They would like to work with at least one (1) tester, which utilizes each of the following assistive devices:

  • Screen readers
  • Magnification device
  • Speech to text device
  • Keyboard only users
  • Literacy suite users

If you know of anyone who could assist South African Airways, please contact Chris Miller directly: ChrisMiller@flysaa.com.

New DOJ Update on Curb Ramps
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (DOT) issued joint technical assistance, entitled “Questions and Answers: Supplement to the 2013 DOJ/DOT Joint Technical Assistance on the Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act Requirements To Provide Curb Ramps when Streets, Roads, or Highways are Altered through Resurfacing" (http://www.ada.gov/doj-fhwa-ta-supplement-2015.html).  This supplemental document responds to frequently asked questions that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has received since the 2013 technical assistance document was published.  The document issued today is not a standalone document and should be read in conjunction with the 2013 DOJ/DOT Joint Technical Assistance.   To find out more about the technical assistance document or the ADA, visit the Justice Department's ADA website, ADA.gov, or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TDD).

Magic Mobility the Ultimate Joy Ride!  A Program of Special Kids Fund
Magic Mobility The Ultimate Joy Ride!, is now a part of Special Kids fund, a nationwide program, which receives donated adapted vehicles and distributes them to needy individuals and families. This service provides a wonderful legacy for the donor, as well as the best IRS tax deduction for a vehicle donation, since the vans are not sold, but are instead transferred to a needy recipient. Special Kids Fund will also take older and higher mileage vehicles, as long as they are in good running condition. If you know of someone who has a van to donate or needs one, please visit www.magicmobility.org to learn more.

DOJ’s Updated ADA Technical Assistance on Accessible Parking Spaces
The U.S. Department of Justice has published an updated 4-page ADA technical assistance document, ADA Compliance Brief: Restriping Parking Spaces | PDF. The document provides information about the features of accessible car and van parking spaces and how many accessible spaces are required under the ADA when parking facilities are restriped.

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 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.