No. 2

Conference News
Connect with your fellow members in Denver

The RESNA annual conference is a unique, multi-disciplinary gathering of assistive technology professionals from around the world. No other AT conference connects professionals across all the different specialties. Whether it's seating and mobility, communication, computer access, universal design or new technologies - RESNA is where connections are made and conversations happen. 

This year's conference program is jam-packed with 6 pre-conference instructional courses, the two-day Fundamentals course, over 40 educational workshops, three plenary sessions featuring inspiring speakers, and multiple research paper platform sessions and posters.  But that's not all - there's also the AT Pavilion with innovative exhibitors and products, the Developers Forum, the Student Design Competition, multiple networking and special events, member group meetings, and the annual Awards Luncheon. 

Thank you to our conference sponsors: National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), Ride Designs, Innovations Health, Permobil, Quantum Rehab, and Invacare. 

Message from the President
Will 3D Printers Make Our Profession Obsolete? 
Ray Grott, RESNA President

I want to talk about one big reason I'm pleased that RESNA's upcoming conference will include courses and workshops on popular tools such as 3D Printing and Microcontrollers, along with presentations on the "Maker Movement" and AT&T's Connect Ability Challenge. 

I don't know about you, but it exasperates me when I see the media promoting yet another 11-year old who has designed a clunky 3D-printed plastic prosthetic hand that "promises to change the lives" of people in less-resourced settings. I have a hard time hearing about designers and entrepreneurs, however well-intentioned, who spend hundreds of hours re-inventing assistive technology devices that are already available at reasonable prices.

I'm all for efforts to make lower cost options available to people who need them. How do we, as professionals, stay in the game when almost anyone can write an app or print out a hand? 

Board Elections This Month
Members to receive voting information next week
Keep an eye on your e-mail Inbox next week for a message from RESNA with voting information for this year's Board of Directors elections. The e-mail will include your personal Voter ID and a link to VoteNet, the on-line voting service. Voting will be open for 30 days from the date of the e-mail. 

There are three open Board of Directors positions, with five candidates running for office. Bios and statements will be posted in the voting portal. The candidates are: 
  • Mary Ellen Buning, PhD, OTR/L, ATP/SMS
  • Carmen DiGiovine, PhD, ATP/SMS, RET
  • Meghan Donahue, MS, ATP
  • Doug Gayton, ATP
  • Simon Margolis, ATP/SMS
Government Relations Update
Schoolhouse Rock Bill Character
Copyright 2015
ABC Schoolhouse Rock
Steve Gleason Act passes the U.S. Senate
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Steve Gleason Act of 2015 (S. 984), on April 22. The act allows Medicare beneficiaries to transfer ownership of speech generating devices to the patient, thereby removing them from the Medicare capped-rental requirement. Steve Gleason is the former professional football player now battling ALS. The legislation now awaits passage in the House. Link to the ALS Association and more information

101 representatives sign "Dear Colleague" letter supporting CRT accessories

Complex rehab technology advocates and professionals were successful in convincing 52 Democrats and 48 Republicans House of Representatives members to sign on to a letter to CMS to stop the application of competitive bid pricing for complex rehab accessories and prevent major access problems for people with disabilities.  See if your representative supported this effort. 


CRT bill introduced in the Senate

Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have reintroduced the "Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act" (S. 1013), the companion bill to H.R. 1516, which will establish a separate CRT category in the Medicare program. The work now begins to get last year's co-sponsors to sign up again and secure new co-sponsors. Visit the campaign website. 


RESNA joins partners in support of rehabilitation research

RESNA joined partners in the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition (DRRC) to support the "The Enhancing the Stature and Visibility of Medical Rehabilitation Research at the NIH Act" (S. 800 and H.R. 1631). Among other things, this legislation would improve, coordinate, and enhance medical rehabilitation research at the National Institutes of Health. Read more on the Government Relations webpage. 

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


AT&T Connect Ability Challenge
Images of 4 people with disabilities
Meet the Challenge Exemplars
RESNA helping to connect members to the Challenge
RESNA is a proud partner of New York University and AT&T on the first ever Connect Ability tech innovation challenge, which will offer over $100,000 in prizes to developers for software, wearables and other technology solutions aimed at enhancing the lives of people with disabilities. The deadline for submission is June 24, 2015. Click here to visit the Challenge website. 

What's unique about the challenge is that the teams have the opportunity to work one-on-one with four "Exemplars," individuals with diverse abilities, who can provide feedback and share the challenges they face to help guide innovators to find solutions. 

RESNA members Anita Perr, Jerry Weisman, and Paul Schwartz are involved in the project, helping AT &T connect with developers and forming teams in metropolitan areas with large numbers of computer science, rehabilitation science, and engineering students.  Read more

Member News

RESNA member Craig Kraft's work at Shriners Hospital in Tampa featured in news article

RESNA member Craig Kraft, ATP/SMS and his custom wheelchair workshop was the subject of a feature article in the Tampa Bay Times. Craig and his assistant see anywhere from 5 to 20 children a day who need customized wheelchairs. The best moment, he says, is when a child takes delivery. Read the article


BlueSky Designs firm receives write-up in magazine

RESNA member Dianne Goodwin, MEBME, ATP and her firm, BlueSky Designs, were highlighted in The Hub, a Southern California monthly magazine for the wheelchair community. In the article, Dianne talks about how she founded her company, her staff, and the mentors who inspire her. Read the article


Congrats to AOTA Fellows

Congratulations to RESNA members Eileen Garza, PhD, OTR, ATP/SMS, Elizabeth Goodrich, PhD, OTR/L, ATP, and Mary Isaacson, EdD, OTR/L, ATP, who were named Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association at the organization's national conference in Nashville, TN.  


Have news to share? Send your item to Andrea Van Hook, RESNA's Communications & Marketing Manager.


Summer Webinars
All webinars are $28 for RESNA members, $40 for non-members, unless otherwise indicated. RESNA is authorized by IACET to offer 0.1 CEUs per webinar.

For the full calendar, visit the Webinars section on the website.  

Resources and Tools for Members
RESNA offers a variety of tools and resources for members and for the community.  Here's a sampling:
  • Member Logo: Members can show their professional pride with a special logo created just for member use. E-mail the RESNA office to receive the guidelines and the logo files. 
  • RESNA Job Board: Find your next exciting opportunity on the RESNA Job Board! Job seekers can post their résumé for free and be contacted directly by employers. We recently added a new service to the Job Board that now pulls in assistive technology jobs that are posted anywhere on the Internet. Click here to visit the Job Board. 
  • Conference Proceedings: Did you know you can access the annual conference proceedings on the website, back to 2003? Click here for the Conference Proceedings 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.