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January 2016 Highlights

PROJECT WIDE NEWS


Announcements

RESNA Catalyst Project Annual Conference for AT Act Programs
The RESNA Catalyst Project is again planning an inclusive in person conference for all programs funded under the Assistive Technology Act. This year’s conference will be held in conjunction with the RESNA national conference, located in Arlington, VA in July, 2016. We are currently recruiting individuals interested in participating on the conference planning committee. If you are up for the challenge, please contact Jason Luciano at jluciano@resna.org!

2016 RESNA Student Design Competition
Catalyst Project’s parent organization RESNA, is seeking undergraduate and graduate teams to participate in their 2016 Student Design Competition. The competition is an annual showcase of creative and innovative assistive technology designs. Competition participants have often moved on to become leaders in their field. Semi-finalist teams win a trip for two team members to the RESNA Annual Conference (June 10-14 in Arlington, VA) and a free membership to RESNA! Semi-finalists will showcase their designs to an international audience at the RESNA Conference, gaining access to contacts and connections to start a career in assistive technology! Cash prizes and more awarded to top designs! To learn more, visit: http://aac-rerc.psu.edu/wordpressmu/RESNA-SDC/.

Ability Tools 2016 Assistive Technology Photo Contest
California’s Statewide AT Program, Ability Tools, is hosting a nationwide AT Photo Contest. Five different photo winners will receive a cash prize. Deadline for photo submission is Monday, March 14, 2016. To learn more about this contest and the official rules, visit: http://abilitytools.org/contests/#rules.

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.

Recent Events

Three RESNA Catalyst Project Collaborative Webinars with Neighborhood Legal Services and National Disabilities Rights Network
The RESNA Catalyst Project, Neighborhood Legal Services, and the National Disabilities Rights Network have conducted two webinars thus far as part of a three part webinar series for 2016. The following webinars are archived on the RESNA Catalyst Project’s Website at: http://www.resnaprojects.org/statewide/webedarchive.html:

  • Funding AT for Blind to Support Work and Independence
  • Assistive Technology and Access to the Vote

Look for date and registration information soon on the third webinar in this series:Meeting the AT Needs of Older Americans in their Homes and in Facilities”.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: An Update on Cognitive Aids for People with Brain Injury - February 17, 2016
Tony Gentry, Associate Professor and Director of the Assistive Technology for Cognition Laboratory with Virginia Commonwealth University will provide an update on Cognitive Aids for People with Brain Injury. To register for this webinar, visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7852777288942619137.

Webinar: The ADA, Sensory Disabilities, and Assistive Technology: Core Technologies for Nonvisual Access - 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. To register for this webinar, visit: http://www.adaconferences.org/RESNA/.

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. Register today!

STATEWIDE AT PROGRAMS


Announcements

SGAT Act Program Contact Sheet Update
Last month, the RESNA Catalyst Project updated SGAT Program contact sheets, which will include all contact information for SGATs. Thank you for all who submitted program changes. 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

New Date! Indirect Cost Teleconference - Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 3-4p.m. EST
During this teleconference, Curtis Edmonds with Disability Rights New Jersey, Sara Sack with Assistive Technology for Kansans Program, Jennifer Lynn Myers, and Jessica Black-Magnussen with Kansas’s Bureau of Child Research will share their thoughts on Indirect Cost and help answer questions. Please forward your 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

SAVE THE DATES! June 11-16, 2016, The National Disability Rights Network Annual Meeting and Conference, Baltimore, Maryland (details coming soon).
A detailed agenda and online registration will soon be available at http://ndrn.org/en/events/events-calendar/month.calendar/2016/01/27/-.html. The PAAT’s National AT Advocacy Project will have a significant presence at the conference again this year. As soon as the conference agenda (including our sessions) is confirmed we will post this information. Look for more details soon!

Looking for Non-Traditional AT Funding Sources: Consider the “The United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Elsie S. Bellows Fund”
The Bellows Fund is a national program operated by the national UCP that provides grants for purchasing or repairing AT equipment for individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities and their families who are in financial need and do not have other funding resources are eligible. Nominations and funding are made through UCP’s local affiliates, which directly assess an individual’s AT needs and financial qualifications. Some examples of allowable requests for AT include but are not limited to:

  • Wheelchairs (manual and power)
  • Computer equipment
  • Lifts in the nominee’s own/parent’s van or home
  • Hearing aids

For more information about the Elsie Bellows Fund, contact your local UCP affiliate or the national UCP office at info@ucp.org. NOTE to readers: We regularly post information about little known funding sources such as the Bellows Fund. Just remember, the items above may be eligible for funding through more traditional sources such as Medicaid, Medicaid waivers, private insurance, or the state vocational rehabilitation agency.

New Publication – Funding Assistive Technology through State Medicaid Programs - NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE
This AT funding manual co-authored by Maureen O’Connell, Esq., Southern Disability Law Center & James R. Sheldon, Esq., National AT Advocacy Project, includes extensive citations to law, regulation, policy, and case law in 138 footnotes. In addition, this publication 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 publication 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!

Becoming a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Webinar Series Session II Coming Soon!
The RESNA Catalyst Project is working in conjunction with Lisa Wagner, who presented the first in the becoming a CDFI webinar. Based on feedback and recommendations from the AFPs, the second webinar will focus on stories and advice from those programs that have successfully received CDFI awards. Schedule and registration information will be released soon!

Recent Events

Loan Directors Open Forum Call – January 12, 2016
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace hosted an all Loan Program Directors Forum in January.  This call focused on issues of concern and interest for all loan programs, including planning the upcoming Catalyst Program conference for all AT Act funded programs.

New Loan Director Series – January 13, 2016
The RESNA Catalyst Project continued the New Loan Directors series on January 13th at 3:00p.m. Eastern. This series involves 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
This monthly call bringing together the new AFP Grantees was 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.

Upcoming Events

Loan Directors Open Forum Call – February 9, 2016, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern
RESNA Catalyst Project Director, Joey Wallace will host an all Loan Program Directors Forum on February 9, 2016, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern.  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 - Date TBD
The RESNA Catalyst Project will continue the New Loan Directors series in February. If you have been included in this group, please be on the lookout for information on scheduling this next in the series. If you have an interest in participating, please contact Jason at jluciano@resna.org.

New Grantee Call – February 18, 2016, 4-5:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP Grantees will be held February 18, 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

Two PEAT Talks in February and March

2016 National Education Technology Plan
The National Education Technology Plan (NETP) sets a national vision and plan for learning enabled by technology through building on the work of leading education researchers; district, school, and higher education leaders; classroom teachers; developers; entrepreneurs; and nonprofit organizations. The principles and examples provided align to the Activities to Support the Effective Use of Technology (Title IV A) of Every Student Succeeds Act as authorized by Congress in December 2015. Download the Plan at http://tech.ed.gov/netp/.

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Launches AirAccess30.org
PVA launched a new website (www.AirAccess30.org) as a way for PVA members and the broader disability community to share the successes and failures in air travel for passengers with disabilities. You are someone you know can visit the website and share stories, photos, videos, and graphics about air travel experiences as a passenger with a disability.

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.