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  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 (  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

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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  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<> |<>

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Survey Seeking Feedback on MassMATCH Program Website

The MassMATCH Program is seeking feedback on the usability and usefulness of the 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:

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 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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AT Training to Support Individuals with Autism at NEAT

April 27, 2015  |  9 AM – 3 PM  

Nicole Feeney, an Assitive Technology Specialist at the NEAT Center at Oak Hill, will discuss and demonstrate various assisitive technology tools that can help support individuals with Autism in various settings.

Workshop objectives include:

  • Participants will learn about various assistive technology tools that can help support students and individuals with Autism in a variety of environments including home, school, work and in the community.
  • There will be demonstrations of powerful apps, as well as accessibility options, for Android, Chrome and iPad devices.
  • Participants will gain insight on the power of low-tech tools for individuals with Autism.
  • There will be discussions on how to determine the most efficient tools and ideas for how to implement them successfully.
  • Assistive technology supports demonstrated will include items for enhancing social learning, sensory supports, leisure time, academic and functional skills, personal safety, visual supports and schedules, adapted books as well as social stories.
  • Contact hours offered for professionals in the field of Special Education.
  • Opportunities to meet with Exhibitors and Service Providers to gather important information about products, resources and supports available to individuals with Autism and their families.

Fee:  $35.00

Click Here to Register  

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Adventure Days at the Perkins School for the Blind

Introducing Adventure Days at Perkins School for the Blind and in partnership with the Massachusetts Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired (MAPVI)!

Perkins and MAPVI are inviting families to visit the Perkins campus and experience different aspects of the Perkins programs while also getting to socialize and meet other families, all in a kid-friendly environment!

Everyone is welcome! This event is free and open to the public as well as any kids currently enrolled in any Perkins program. Kids of all ages and their siblings are welcome to attend.

Our second Adventure Day will be on Saturday, March 14th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. We’ll meet in the Lower School auditorium for snacks and learn about sensory play and sensory integration! Interested families are invited to tour the Perkins campus after the fair.

Please click here to register!

What’s a Hands-On Sensory Fair?
This event will be led by Kathy Heydt (Assistant Education Director of the Lower School), Greta Mangini (Occupational Therapist in the Lower School) and Lindsey Moss (Physical Therapist in the Lower School). They will introduce families to the concept of sensory motor integration (SMI) and how we can use play techniques at home to help our children calm down or maintain a level of alertness. We’ll also learn how to avoid over- or under-stimulating our kids.

There will be multiple stations set up throughout the Lower School on the first floor where families and children can experience sensory play first hand. The stations will be based on vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile play. We’ll have the opportunity to play in the SMI room and Lower School gym, too!

10am to 10:15am: Snacks and visiting
10:15am to 10:30am: Introduction to Sensory Integration with Kathy Heydt
10:30am to 11:30am: Families can explore multiple games and play stations throughout the Lower School at their own pace with guidance from Greta and Lindsey
11:30am to 12pm: Tours of the campus for interested families

Please click here to register!

We’re planning more Adventure Days to come! Save these dates:

  • May 9th
  • July 11th


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The Carroll Center Seeking Cell Phone Testers

In this study of a new cell phone, we are seeking feedback from individuals who are totally blind or functionally blind – meaning that you must rely solely on the non-visual use of a screen reading software such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, or TalkBack in order to interact with devices and web content.  Some familiarity with a touch screen device such as a smart phone or tablet is essential, but you must be able to use that device without use of your vision in any way to qualify for participation in this study.

When it’s Happening

We will select a total of 12 qualified individuals for this study.  Each person must be willing to attend a 90-minute testing session scheduled between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. during a 3-day period from March 10 to 13, 2015.  User testing sessions will be held at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA; you are responsible for your own transportation to and from the center.


Each selected individual who completes their scheduled 90-minute testing session will receive $120 for their participation in this study.

If You Are Interested

Please send an email to David Kingsbury at that includes the following information:

  1. Your first and last name
  2. Your telephone number and best time to reach you
  3. Which screen reading software do you currently use for web browsing?
  4. Which smart phone or touch screen device are you familiar with?
  5. Confirm that you do not use any vision to interact with your device

All interested individuals who wish to be considered for this study must respond by email, but you may call David with any questions at 781-974-2001.

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Nationwide Release of the BEP’s U.S. Currency Reader Program to Help the Blind and Visually Impaired

By: Rosie Rios


The Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is now accepting and processing applications nationwide from blind or visually impaired individuals who wish to receive a currency reader to denominate U.S. currency.  Under the U.S. Currency Reader Program, U.S. citizens or persons legally residing in the U.S. and its territories who are blind or visually impaired can obtain a currency reader device at no cost.  The currency reader, known as the iBill® Talking Banknote Identifier, is compact in size, easy to use, and provides a response within just a few seconds.  A user simply inserts a Federal Reserve note into the device, presses a button on the side, and the reader identifies the denomination.  The device operates on a standard AAA battery and can read U.S. currency in circulation today.  The reader can be set to indicate the note’s denomination by voice, a pattern of tones or series of vibrations.

To apply for a reader, an individual must fill out an application, which is available on the BEP’s website at  The application must be signed by a competent authority such as a doctor, therapist or rehabilitation specialist, and then mailed to the BEP at the address listed on the form.  If an applicant has verification of a visual impairment issued by another Federal, State or local agency, a copy of that documentation can be submitted in lieu of certification.

The national rollout of the U.S. Currency Reader Program was preceded by a pilot program conducted in partnership with the Library of Congress’s National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), where NLS patrons were able to pre-order an iBill® Talking Banknote Identifier.  Under the pilot, which ran from September to December 2014, more than 16,000 readers were requested by NLS patrons.

The U.S. Currency Reader Program follows the BEP’s successful development and launch of two free mobile applications that operate through a mobile device’s camera to scan and denominate U.S. currency:  EyeNote®, which operates on the Apple iOS platform can be downloaded for free from the Apple iTunes Store, and the IDEAL Currency Reader, which operates on the Android-based platform, is available on Google Play.  To date these applications have been downloaded more than 20,000 times.  They provide an alternative for those who wish to use their cell phone rather than carry another device.

The U.S. government will continue to research a raised tactile feature for use on the next redesigned Federal Reserve note and will continue to add large, high-contrast numerals and different colors to each redesigned note denomination that it is permitted by law to alter.  The process for redesigning Federal Reserve notes is complex and time intensive.  Notes with any new features are not expected to be in circulation before 2020.

More information about the meaningful access program can be found at the BEP’s website at  For questions about the U.S. Currency Reader Program or assistance with the application process, individuals can call 844-815-9388 toll free or email

Rosie Rios is the Treasurer of the United States




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MIT’s Open Style Lab Summer Program

Greetings! There are solutions, and there are solutions. A good solution fixes a problem. An awesome solution changes our worldview beyond the problem. At Open Style Lab, we invite you to come up with awesome solutions!

We’re looking for 24 students to be part of our second Open Style Lab summer program at MIT (June 12-Aug 15). Over 10 weeks, we will design, prototype and refine a clothing solution for a client with a disability together. We’ll combine rigorous engineering concepts with strong sense of design and aesthetics.


  1. Current enrolled in college degree program, or not more than 2 years post-graduation
  2. Design, Engineering or Occupational/Physical Therapy backgrounds

Applications open from now till March 2! Questions? Visit our website or contact Lea Yoon at

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