North Dakota AT Program staff commented on the proposed renewal of the Medicaid 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver. The AT program requested that the waiver be amended to include AT evaluations under the Specialized Equipment (SE) and Environmental Modifications (EM) portions. The program also requested that the qualifications for those providing AT evaluations under the EM portion be changed.
Due to these efforts, North Dakota Aging Services agreed to amend the HCBS Waiver. The waiver now includes a provision for AT evaluations under SE and EM. In addition, the requirements to be able to provide AT evaluations under the EM provision have changed. The documentation for the HCBS Medicaid Waiver for the Aged and Disabled is available at: http://www.nd.gov.
Michigan AT Program staff worked with people in the mental health recovery community to provide technical assistance on how to include AT in their recovery work. Staff assisted in creating a short video on the importance of AT and other supports for people in recovery. AT staff engaged in a general discussion on threats to funding of supports for non-Medicaid-eligible persons with severe mental illness and substance abuse issues and the importance of AT.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act outlines service delivery with special attention to AT. The act specifically mandates collaboration between State AT Programs and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services.
Iowa State AT Program collaborated with Iowa VR, outlining how lives would be impacted by additional referral and engagement with one another’s services. This advocacy resulted in the creation of an AT leadership team at Iowa VR, comprised of ten staff members from across Iowa. AT staff provided AT training in the Assistive Technology Demonstration Center to the Iowa VR leadership team.
Arizona’s AT Program’s program director met with representatives from the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. The goal was to explore strategies for strengthening collaboration between the organizations, and to ensure that Employment First initiatives address AT issues for high school students with disabilities as part of the transition process into post-secondary education, employment, and independent living. The AT program director now attends monthly Employment First meetings to provide input and recommendations.
As part of the implementation of Local Law 238, an AT specialist on information technology and computer access from Puerto Rico’s AT program conducted a series of training sessions on creating accessible documents at the University of Puerto Rico’s various campuses around the island. Additionally, AT staff provided individual support to professors, webmasters, and librarians on how to improve the accessibility of web pages and other online documents such as syllabi and presentations.
In collaboration with the Protection & Advocacy for Voter Access Program, the Wyoming AT Program hosted a training on voting and accessibility. The training provided information on voting rights for individuals with disabilities, and hands-on training on two voting machines that are used throughout Wyoming. Also demonstrated were AT devices used in the voting booth.
Due to demographic shifts, the Florida AT program adjusted its service delivery model to focus more on delivering services to an aging population. The staff developed senior kits for each Regional Demonstration Center to provide device loans, demonstrations, trainings, and public awareness activities. A wide range of devices are included in the kit, such as rescue and locate devices, home automation units, medication reminders, and simple vehicle modifications.