No. 4

Conference web banner
2016 Conference Call for Proposals
Workshop and instructional course proposals due November 19

It's that time again!  RESNA/NCART 2016 is July 10-14 at the Hyatt Regency in Arlington, VA. This is the first-ever collaboration between the two organizations, and will take the place of the RESNA Annual Conference and the National CRT Leadership Conference. NRRTS is involved as a conference partner.  Workshop and  instructional course proposals are due November 19

The conference will include the "best of" from both events, so expect clinically-focused workshop sessions, scientific platform and poster sessions, an interactive exhibit hall, and due to the proximity to Washington, D.C., visits to Capitol Hill. 

"We believe this collaboration will help yield strong proposals from the assistive technology community," said John Anschutz, ATP, RET, and the 2016 Program Committee Chair. "By combining forces, we are looking to foster greater innovation and interdisciplinary cooperation." 

Breaking news! The call for scientific and student scientific papers has just been posted; deadline is February 17, 2016. 

Board News
President Ray Grott appointed two members to the Board of Directors in August. The new board members are: 
  • Doug Gayton, MMM, CD, RCA, ATP - Doug, a Canadian RESNA member, is a retired certified ATP with extensive experience in facilty and community-based rehabilitation for spinal cord injury and acquired brain injury. He has a specialized interest in augmentative and alternative communication systems. 
  • Cindi Pichler, ATP, CRC - Cindi is Assistive Technology Specialist at Independence First, a community-based non-residential Independent Living Center in Milwaukee, WI. She is also Co-Chair of the Accommodations SIG. 
To read the bios of all of the new board members, please click here for the press release. 
Member survey now fielding
The bi-annual membership survey is now underway. RESNA members received e-mail notification on November 9 with the survey link. Results help  shape the services and benefits members receive. Once you've completed the survey, enter to win a Starbucks gift card! Please note that if you've already completed the survey, the link will not work. 

Webinar: Coding & Reimbursement for a Successful Seating Clinic
November 23, 2015 at 5pm ET 
Developed based on requests from members of the Physical Therapists PSG, this two-hour comprehensive webinar will be dedicated to the use of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and G-codes, including how to use them for reimbursement of wheelchair and seating services.  

The presenter is Barbara Crume, PT, ATP, C/NDT, a seasoned instructor with over 30 years of experience providing evaluations, fittings and training for clients of all ages and all diagnoses to obtain manual and power wheelchairs with custom seating. 

Coding & Reimbursement for a Successful Seating Clinic will be offered at 5pm ET on November 23, 2015. The cost is $56 for members, and RESNA is authorized by IACET to provide 0.2 CEUs for this webinar.   Click here to register. 

Guest Blog: What Butts Tell Us About Biomechanical Risk 
Sharon Sonenblum
By Sharon Sonenblum, Senior Research Scientist at Georgia Tech

Editor's note: This edition's blog post is a bit different. We've asked RESNA member Sharon Sonenblum to share her thoughts on some very important topics: sitting mechanics, pressure ulcers, wheelchair cushions, and butts. Below is an excerpt from what is the first in a two-part series. Thank you to Ride Designs for donating the blog post space for this topic. 

Sitting-acquired pressure ulcers are a critical problem for people who use wheelchairs for mobility. More than 50% of people with SCI develop a pressure ulcer during their lifetimes, with over 20% requiring surgery. Our research shows that if we could consistently identify someone's Biomechanical Risk, we could prevent more pressure ulcers.  Read the entire blog

Behind the Scenes at a Google Makeathon
Bay Area Makeathon workspace
TechShop Space at the Google Makeathon
What's it like designing, creating, and prototyping an AT solution over 72 straight hours?

RESNA member Ronny Gaal had the opportunity to find out at the Bay Area Makeathon, September 11-13 in San Francisco. Sponsored by Google, this event featured 18 different teams all gathered together for one purpose: design, engineer, and prototype an assistive technology product in one weekend.   Link to Ronny's interview 

"I do not do all-nighters anymore; but to be on a team and just stay focused and keep working, not to mention in a fabulous machine shop, was just ridiculously fun." 
- Ronny Gaal, RESNA member 

What's Trending Now: Evidence-Based Seating Systems
Tom Hetzel
Interview with Tom Hetzel, CEO of Ride Designs

Editor's note: Ride Designs, a unique practicing seating clinic and manufacturer, was a Gold sponsor at the RESNA 2015 conference in Denver. We followed up with Tom Hetzel, PT, ATP, CEO to get his thoughts on industry trends and what's next for the company. Here's an excerpt:

We are only scratching the surface ( research on evidence-based seating). Manufacturers are prone to bias, and with funding in such turmoil, they simply do not have the resources to be the primary funder of the level of research needed. We need less computer modeling and more solid human subject testing. We need better tools for measuring risk and predicting outcomes that are valid, repeatable, economical and easy to use. 

Government Relations Update
Act now to protect access to CRT accessories
Woman and Man in Wheelchair
Legislation that would provide a technical correction to stop CMS from applying competitive bid pricing to complex rehab wheelchair accessories is now moving forward in both the U.S. Senate (S. 2196) and the House of Representatives (H.R. 3229). Congress must act before the legislative session ends on December 31, 2015, in order to stop the CMS program slated for next year. The National Coalition of Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART) has issued a call to action for advocates to contact their elected officials and urge them to sign on in support of the legislation. See NCART update  


RESNA's Government Affairs Committee is chaired by Nathan Moon. See the Government Relations webpage for more information. 


AT Standards Board News
Standards committee on cognitive technologies changes name
The RESNA Standards Committee on Cognitive Technologies voted to change their name to the RESNA Standards Committee on Cognitive Accessibility, which the committee felt was a more accurate description. The term "cognitive technologies" is generally used for augmentative technologies, while most of the work in the field is to find applications of computing technologies that are of value to people with cognitive disabilities. The committee is working on standards to increase accessibility to a wide variety of products, including assistive technologies, consumer technologies, internet resources, and household appliances. Read more

Standards committee on inclusive fitness to hold next meeting on January 5
The RESNA Standards Committee on Inclusive Fitness will hold its next virtual meeting on January 5, 2016 at 9am PST. Meetings are open to anyone; voting requires membership. The committee is also currently seeking new members.  Read the update

Adaptive sports equipment committee seeks members
The RESNA Standards Committee on Adaptive Sports Equipment is seeking new members. the goal of the committee is to develop standards that affect users and organizations representing the technical needs of adaptive skiers.   More info
New SIG and PSG groups forming 

RESNA 2012 reception Get involved! RESNA's Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are interdisciplinary groups that connect assistive technology professionals to other members that share similar interests. The Professional Specialty Groups (PSGs) allow members to form connections based around their professional identities, such as physical therapists, engineers, suppliers and manufacuters, etc. 

A new SIG and a new PSG are now forming. 
  • Emerging Technologies SIG - this new SIG's mission is to seek out new technology and innovations that can be used for persons with disabilities, assess and explore the use of the new technology, distill and refine the best way to use the technology in practice, and provide a platform for discussion and education on emerging technology.  About the ET SIG 
  • Vocational Rehabilitation PSG - the purpose of this group is to connect professionals who work in vocational rehab or in collaboration, and have an interest in service delivery, including assistive technology, for people with disabilities to obtain and maintain successful employment. About the VR PSG 
Members can join as many SIG and PGS groups as they wish. Simply login to the website and go the "My Committees" section to sign up. Need help with your login?   Contact the RESNA office. 

Accreditation image
Ad-Hoc Committee Update
The Accreditation Ad-Hoc Committee continues to complete activities for accreditation of rehabilitation engineering/assistive technology certificate and degree programs in higher education. The Commission on on Accreditation of Allied Education Programs (CAAHEP) is currently reviewing the proposal. Read more  

USA Today Project Image
RESNA in USA Today
An article by RESNA Executive Director Michael Brogioli entitled "Expanding Access to Assistive" appeared in a supplement dedicated to assistive technology published by USA Today in select media markets across the country. Read all about it!
Stephanie Gatson
Welcome Stephanie!
Stephanie Gatson has joined the RESNA staff as our new office manager. Stephanie has an M.A. in Human Resources Management and a B.A. in Information Technology from The Catholic University of America. She can be reached at or (703) 524-6686 x310. 
Member Benefits Spotlight
Are you taking full advantage of all of your member benefits? Keep these in mind: 
  • RESNA member logo: Members can show their professional pride with a special logo created just for member use. E-mail the RESNA office to request the logo files. 
  • AT Journal on-line: Members have full on-line access to every issue of Assistive Technology Journal. Tip: You must sign in on the AT Journal page on the RESNA website for access, nowhere else! Bookmark this page
  • Member discount for webinar archives: Earn CEUs when it's convenient for you, thanks to RESNA's newly re-launched webinar archives. Members receive a discount on all webinars. Visit the webinar archive webpage
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.