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Tax Policy – New ABLE Act Resource Available    

In December 2014, the Stephen Beck, Jr.  Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law.  Since that time, over 50% of the states have passed their own version(s) of the bill and are now turning their attention to implementing the program.  In an effort to assist individuals with I/DD, their families, and advocates in tracking their states’ progress in this endeavor, The Arc has produced a resource outlining each state’s implementation status.  This chart details the effective date and the implementation date of their state’s Act; contact information for the administering agency; as well as any current details on implementation.  The Arc plans to update this document regularly in an effort to provide the most current information, as well as to manage expectations as to the availability of ABLE accounts in a particular state.  If you would like to view this document, please do so here.

Source: The Arc’s Capitol Insider

New “AT Funding Toolkits” Series Kicks Off with Materials/Links to Support Medicaid Application for Standing Wheelchair

This is a collaborative effort between New York’s State AT Project (TRAID) and the National AT Advocacy Project.  Marge Gustas of NLS is spearheading the effort to create “toolkits” for seeking Medicaid funding for a number of commonly sought items that can often be a challenge to get funded.  Although the toolkits focus on New York they should have value throughout the country.

The first toolkit focuses on the standing wheelchair, http://www.justicecenter.ny.gov/services-supports/assistive-technology-traid/at-toolkits/standing-wheelchair.  By going to the site you will see a Funding Request Checklist, with links to sample Letters of Medical Justification and other important resources to support the funding request.  Additional toolkits to publish later this year.

Evaluating Web Accessibility on iDevices

If you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, you have a screen reader. VoiceOver comes built-in to all modern Apple touchscreen devices. VoiceOver can be enabled in the device Settings, or by quickly pressing the Home button three times. The following core functions are available:

  • Read the entire page: Swipe two fingers upward
  • Stop reading: Tap with two fingers
  • Read through page elements: Swipe left or right
  • Open or modify the rotor (a list of elements which can be navigated): Twist two fingers on the screen
    • Select from multiple rotor element by twisting
    • Once selected, swipe up or down to cycle through the selected rotor element
  • Read from current location: Swipe downward with two fingers
  • Select an element: Press and drag finger to an item, or navigate to an item using another navigation gesture
  • Activate an item: Double tap
  • Zoom: Triple tap

Basic web accessibility evaluation (checking alternative text, form labels, heading structure, reading and navigation order, etc.) can easily be performed on any Apple touchscreen device.

A Better Aging Foundation Conference for Individuals and Caregivers

Friday, October 9th, 9 AM –3 PM @ MAC, Inc.

909 Progress Circle, Salisbury, MD

To register, call MAC offices at  (410) 742-0505 x172 or go online to http://betteragingmd.org/events/

Fee – $10 Registration fee includes snacks, lunch, information, and giveaways from exhibitors


9:00 a.m. Registration and light refreshments

9:30 a.m.Opening remarks

9:45 a.m.What Every Caregiver Should Know to Remain Happy, Healthy, and Helpful

10:45 a.m.Break

11:00 a.m.Technology -Tools to Solve Problems and Enhance Aging in Place

12:00 p.m.Lunch

1:00 p.m.Reaching Financial Independence in Retirement

2:00 p.m.Continuing conversations with each speaker

3:00 p.m. Closing remarks



The DIY movement is alive and well, especially in the world of assistive technology. Read all the latest and greatest that people are making in their homes, on their computers, and in their classrooms. AT in the news for the week of 7/6 to 7/10.

Making the Maker Movement Accessible

3D Printed Assistive Knives for the Elderly & Arthritic

Sign language, technology breaking down barriers between deaf, hearing people

Inspired by partially deaf son, mom designs awesome hearing-aids for kids

New haptics technology helps people w/ disabilities

Cloud-based solution opens internet to special needs users

Virtual Reality Job Interview Training Helps Veterans With PTSD Find Work

Boomer the wireless foot-operated computer mouse has mouse cursor and left/right click capabilities

GeoGO – Putting Accessibility on the Map

Licking blindness; US FDA approves device to help you ‘see w/ tongue’

Tablet Technology to Help Children with Autism

An App to Aid the Visually Impaired

Novartis Pharmaceuticals launches first smartwatch app for people with vision disabilities

World’s first tactile tablet using braille

ADAMAAS smart glasses to assist elderly and disabled in everyday tasks

Students cREATe new possibilities at UNG for physically disabled

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