Say “No” to Ill-Fitting Wheelchairs

Hi DME Users, Rehab Professionals and activists,

Say no to ill-fitting wheelchairs and support the “Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act” now! Let’s ensure that everyone has access to individually-configured wheelchairs that best meets their physical and functional needs.

Take Action Now!  (click link)

Properly configured wheelchairs and other mobility equipment is critical to quality of life and independence. It keeps us moving. It allows us to do what we love. And most importantly, it enables us to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way. Isn’t that what life’s all about? If you’re stuck at home with a cruddy wheelchair, that isn’t much of a life.

 

Alexandra Bennewith Vice President, Government Relations

United Spinal

 

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MassMATCH Website Survey

Please Take Survey About MassMATCH Program Website  

MassMATCH is seeking feedback on the usability and usefulness of everything about our website. Please share your experiences by completing the MassMATCH User Experience Survey by June 26th at http://www.massmatch.org/survey.php.

Thank you.

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Easter Seals Assistive Technology Summer Bootcamps and Workshops

Easter Seals is offering many opportunities to enhance your AAC skills and knowledge this summer. You can choose from a multi-day AAC Bootcamp or a 1-day workshop.   Please visit eastersealsma.org for more details on all Bootcamp and Workshop offerings.

AAC Bootcamps

Professional Bootcamp: July 13-16th at Malden Public Schools      $400 early bird/$500 standard             ASHA CEUs available

Parent Bootcamp: July 27th-30th at Bourne Public Schools                         $200 early bird/ $250 standard

Advanced Bootcamp: August 10th-13th, Boston                              $400 early bird/$500 standard             ASHA CEUs available

 

Single Day Workshops- $80 each

Boston: Easter Seals, 89 South Street, Boston, MA 02111

June 22nd– Pictello App for Learning and Inclusion

July 6th– Tobii vocabulary options and programming

July 20th– Proloquo2go

August 3rd– Teaching eye gaze for future eye gaze AAC users

 

Worcester: Easter Seals, 484 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608

June 24th– Pictello App for Learning and Inclusion

July 8th– Tobii vocabulary options and programming

July 22nd– Proloquo2go

August 5th– Teaching eye gaze for future eye gaze AAC users

All Single day workshops run from 9:00am – 12:00pm

To register and obtain more information, contact Mallory Shelly at 508-751-6328 or mshelly@eastersealsma.org

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Google Impact Challege:Disabilities

Google.org is looking for your biggest and best ideas for how technology can expand opportunity and independence for people with disabilities.  Google is committing USD 20 million in grant funding toward this goal, some of which may be awarded to organizations identified through this call for ideas.  Ideas will be evaluated on a rolling basis, so you are encouraged to submit whenever you are ready.  Ideas will be accepted until September 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time.  For more information visit the link: g.co/OpenCallDisabilities.

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AT&T and New York University’s ABILITY Lab launch the ConnectAbility Challenge

 

AT&T has partnered with NYU and RESNA to design a technology contest titled “Connect Ability Challenge”.  AT&T will be awarding prizes to individual developers and small business that deliver software or apps to the Challenge review board before June 24, 2015.

The ConnectAbility Challenge is a three-month global competition for developers, engineers and makers to win more than $100,000 in prizes to design software, wearable devices and other technology solutions aimed at enhancing the lives of people with disabilities at work, home and play.

The competition directs developers to solve challenges facing people living withdisabilities in for four functional categories:

People with sensory disabilities

People in need of mobility solutions

People in need of social and emotional solutions

People with communicative and cognitive disabilities

Throughout the competition, developers will have the opportunity to interact directly with volunteers with diverse disabilities who will share the challenges they face and help guide competitors to find solutions. AT&T produced short videos available on the ConnectAbility website featuring four volunteers from New York:

Xian Horn— a teacher, speaker and writer from Manhattan who has cerebral palsy, whichimpacts her mobility.

Gus Chalkias—an assistive technology specialist, career counselor and college student from Queens who is blind.

Paul Kolter—a student, blogger, lecturer and advocate from Philadelphia who hasautism. He communicates using computer-assisted technology and struggles with anxiety and impulse control.

Jason DaSilva—a filmmaker from Brooklyn who has Multiple Sclerosis. DaSilva uses a powered wheelchair and has limited upper- and lower-limb use.

AT&T is joining the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America(RESNA) to facilitate team formation workshops in several markets across the country. These  workshops are designed to give aspiring teams context for creating assistive technology solutions, live feedback from persons with disabilities and direction on competing in the contest.

The participants’ final projects will be judged by a panel of experts from the engineering, technology and disability communities and winners will be announced on July 26th. Deadline for submissions is 5 PM Eastern June 24th.

For More Information Visit

http://connectability.challengepost.com/ #ConnectAbility© 2015

The prize money will be given in honor of the ADA 25th Anniversary.

To learn more about the Challenge, visit http://connectability.challengepost.com/ .  All the rules and guidelines are listed on the website.

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Supporting Medicaid Funding for Power Wheelchairs for Young Children

 “Power Wheelchairs for Young Children – Supporting Medicaid Funding for Children as Young as Two Years Old” This two-page document was recently published at http://www.nls.org/files/Disability%20Law%20Hotlines/Did%20You%20Know/DY%20Know%20-%20Power%20Wheelchairs%20for%20Young%20Children.pdf.  It summarizes findings from a number of recent studies that support the use of power wheelchairs for young children, including a RESNA position paper with an extensive bibliography of source material.  It also includes summaries of two recent Medicaid fair hearing decisions that awarded funding for power wheelchairs for very young children, with one awarding funding for a girl who was two and one half years old.  As noted, these hearing decisions are available through the National AT Advocacy Project by contacting Marge Gustas (mgustas@nls.org).  Those with an interest in this topic may wish to attend our session at the NDRN conference, “Meeting the AT Needs of Infants, Toddlers, and Very Young Children:  Looking to Medicaid and IDEA for Funding” (see conference details below).

You may also want to check out the Winter 2008 edition of the AT Advocate newsletter, “MEDICAID, AT AND KIDS – How Medicaid’s EPSDT Program Expands the Availability of Assistive Technology for Children Under 21 in All States,” available at http://www.nls.org/files/AT%20Advocate%20Newsletters/Advocatewinter08.pdf

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Mobility and Seating Clinic April 22nd

Need to make adjustments to your wheelchair? Or do you have pressure sores? Come to the Mobility and Adaptive Seating Clinic at Stavros CIL in Amherst! Take advantage of seat mapping and get the adjustments you need to get comfortable!

When? April 22nd from 9:30am – 2:30pm

Where? 210 Old Farm Road, Amherst, MA

How? Call Tory Dixon at 413-256-0473 ext. 200 by April 13th to register or for more information. See you then!

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Congressional Complex Rehab Technology Letter- Has Your Representative Signed On?

Letter from Don Donald E. Clayback Executive Director | NCART Office

Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Stakeholders and Friends,

We are starting to hear from some offices that they will be signing on to the House of Representative’s letter to prevent the application of Competitive Bid pricing to complex rehab wheelchair accessories. That’s good news and is a direct result of them hearing from people in their district.  The initial Representative additions are (by state):  NY- Joe Crowley (D); PA- GT Thompson (R); RI- Jim Langevin (D); and WI- Jim Sensenbrenner (R).  Thank you to those who have already sent an email or made a call. We know everyone is busy, but we need MORE activity.  Our collective challenge is we only have this week to secure more signatures.  So your emails/calls TODAY are critical.  And we KNOW they will produce results! Please take ten minutes to reach out to your Representative at http://cqrcengage.com/access2crt/CBpricing.  This page provides a copy of the letter, the Position Paper, the Call To Action, and other related information.  You can email your Representative with your request.  It also provides your Representative’s direct office telephone number and talking points for follow up. This is an extremely serious threat to CRT access.  We need as many Representatives as possible to sign on to this letter by Friday at noon. Without Congressional intervention, pricing for Complex Rehab wheelchair accessories will be reduced by 20% to 50% come January 1st. Thanks for finding the time today.  Let us know if you have any questions or need additional information.

Don Donald E. Clayback Executive Director | NCART Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754 dclayback@ncart.us<mailto:dclayback@ncart.us> | www.ncart.us<http://www.ncart.us/>

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Survey Seeking Feedback on MassMATCH Program Website

The MassMATCH Program is seeking feedback on the usability and usefulness of the MassMATCH.org website. Please take a moment to complete this brief survey.

Your feedback is very important to us. If you are not familiar with the MassMATCH website, please click on the live link above to familiarize yourself with the site before completing this survey.

This survey is completely voluntary, and your answers will be kept confidential. Please try to complete every question, and look for the “next” or “done” prompt at the bottom of the page.  The link is provided below:

www.surveymonkey.com

Please note – the previous email contained the incorrect survey link.  Please use the link in this email.  We apologize for any inconvenience. Please call 617-204-3851 or email info@massmatch.org if you require any technical assistance or accommodations to complete this survey. Thank you!

Kobena Bonney

MassMATCH Program Coordinator

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Is That $1 or $5? Ask This Money Reader for People Who Are Blind

“This device is my No. 1 choice,” Cotton says of the iBill, especially when it comes to sorting money as fast as possible without fumbling around after a transaction at the grocery store or the gas station. The other choices include folding bills with different creases to tell them apart or firing up a smartphone app.

There are actually a bunch of apps that can do what iBill can, made convenient by the iPhone’s voiceover functions. In particular, EyeNote was also developed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing to help identify bills. Another app, called LookTel, offers recognition for a multitude of countries’ currencies and VisionHunt distinguishes different kinds of bills and offers many tools for the blind.

But, “a lot of blind folks can’t afford an iPhone,” says Shawn Callaway, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington, D.C. Over 9 million people with vision loss in the U.S. have a family income of less than $35,000 according to the CDC’s 2012 National Health Interview Survey.

“People have been very appreciative that we are providing these to them at no charge,” says Len Olijar, deputy director at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. He believes it’s been received so well because it was already commercially available. “It wasn’t something new that was being developed specifically for [the Bureau],” he says. “It was tried and proven tech already in the marketplace.”

However, even though iBill can identify your money, it doesn’t mean it’ll tell you if it’s counterfeit or even how much you have. As Cotton says: “The rest of the mathematics is left up to you.”

Reminder: MassMATCH makes no endorsement, representation, or warranty expressed or implied for any product, device, or information set forth in this email or on its Web site. MassMATCH has not examined, reviewed, or tested any product or device here referred to.

 

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