Disability Solutions Through Technology

KATS Network

KATS Network FFY 2020 Data Roundup

Graphic of Data Chart Analysis

The KATS Network would like to share some of the highlights from our FFY 2020 Federal Data report as submitted to The Administration for Community Living.

With all of the challenges and restrictions that we have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the KATS Network would like to commend our Regional AT Centers for the tremendous work they have accomplished. Thank you for all you do, and thank you to all of those that we have served. Our mission is to make assistive technology (AT) information, devices, and services easily obtainable for people of any age or disability. We hope that we have played a small part in enabling you to live, learn, work and play with ease and independence. We wish you much success as we continue to navigate through this unprecedented time.

James Brown, KATS Network Program Coordinator

To view the full report, visit www.katsnet.org/ffy2020.

Kentucky’s annual allotment for FFY 2020 was $512,837. View allotments for all states.

View the most recently published Annual Federal Report to Congress.

View national data from all State AT Act programs and build custom reports – https://catada.info/

FFY 2020 Annual Federal Data Report Highlights

AT Reutilization

AT Reutilization refers to the reuse of Assistive Technology (AT) and Durable Medical Equipment (DME) that is no longer needed or used by its original owner. Recipients typically obtain equipment at a significantly lower cost or no cost.
In KY, our reuse program is called Project CARAT (Coordinating and Assisting with the Reuse of Assistive Technology).

For FFY 2020

2,075 AT/DME items were donated, cleaned, refurbished, and redistributed to 478 individuals throughout the Commonwealth.

The total estimated value of items redistributed was $587,858.

This is actual savings realized to individuals, Medicaid, Medicaid Waivers, Medicare, Private Insurance, and other programs.

Comparison

FFY 2019FFY 2020
2,579 AT/DME2,075 AT/DME
777 Recipients478 Recipients
$632,309 Total Savings$587,858 Total Savings
2 Year Comparison for Reuse Activities

Items Redistributed

Category# Items
Daily Living1,357
Mobility, Seating & Positioning384
Hearing55
Chart of Top Three Items Redistributed in KY

Reuse Success Story

Recently discharged from Cardinal Hill Hospital following surgery, Mr. Vanderpool was referred to our center by the occupational therapy staff. We were able to give Mr. Vanderpool a quad cane, a walker, a rollator, and a pair of compression stockings, all from our CARAT project. Mr. Vanderpool expressed how appreciative he was for our help as he is on a fixed income and could not afford to purchase these items. He thanked us for the rollator and walker, which helped him safely maneuver throughout his home and community.

Submitted By Project CARAT – Lexington, KY

View more Reuse Success Stories

AT Device Lending Library

Lending libraries allow individuals to borrow devices for a limited period to use at home, school, work, etc. Device loans provide an opportunity for individuals to try out AT in their environments to determine if a device will meet their needs before deciding to purchase. Device loans can also provide loaner AT while a device is in repair, while a consumer is waiting for funding approval, or to use for training or professional development purposes.

For FFY 2020

1,111 AT/DME items were loaned to 730 individuals to assist with decision making, serve as a loaner during repair, waiting for funding, or self-learning.

Comparison

FFY 2019FFY 2020
1,244 Borrowers736 Borrowers
1,886 AT/DME Borrowed1,111 AT/DME Borrowed
2 Year Comparison for Lending Library Activities

Items Borrowed

Item Category# Loans
Mobility, Seating & Positioning277
Learning, Cognition & Developmental167
Computers & Related150
Chart of Top Three Item Categories Borrowed in KY

Borrowers

Category# Borrowed
Family Members, Guardians, and Authorized Representatives399
Representatives of Health, Allied Health, and Rehabilitation145
Individuals with Disabilities77
Chart of Top Three Borrower Types in KY

Lending Library Success Story

Due to COVID-19 visitor restrictions, staff from Outwood Intermediate Care Facility in Dawson Springs needed a way for a resident with hearing impairments to communicate with family. Through a referral from KCDHH, we loaned an iPad and a selection of communication apps for the Speech Therapist to trial with the individual. The loan allowed the therapist to determine the most effective communication methods for this person. She downloaded several apps onto a facility iPad that is now used with multiple residents, allowing for improved communication with family, staff & residents.

Submitted By Wendell FOster ATRC in Owensboro, KY

View more Lending Library Success Stories

AT Device Demonstrations

AT Device Demonstrations provide opportunities to learn about and become familiar with AT by comparing and contrasting functions and features through hands-on exploration. Instruction is provided by knowledgeable AT professionals in a product-neutral environment that does not favor one company or manufacturer.

For FFY 2020

1,098 Individuals participated in 279 AT/DME demonstrations.

Comparison

FFY 2019FFY 2020
2,297 Participants1,098 Participants
653 AT/DME Demonstrated211 AT/DME Demonstrated
2 Year Comparison for Device Demonstration Activities

Items Demonstrated

Item Category# Demos
Speech Communication164
Learning, Cognition & Developmental91
Mobility, Seating and Positioning21
Chart of Top Three Item Categories Demonstrated in KY

Demonstration Participants

Category# Participants
Family Members, Guardians, and Authorized Representatives375
Individuals with Disabilities258
Representatives of Education243
Chart of Top Three Categories of Participants of Device Demonstrations

Device Demonstration Success Story

A Physical Therapist (PT) working with a young child wanted to determine the most appropriate seating and positioning equipment. The ATRC Coordinator and ATRC librarian demonstrated a variety of seating equipment for the PT, young child, and the family so they could try the options and compare them. Unable to sit up by himself, this demonstration overcame the barrier of positioning for this child. The ATRC collaborated with the PT in demonstrating a variety of seating options. The device demonstration helped the family and their PT make an informed decision on which seating equipment would be most appropriate for this child and led to a loan. The seating equipment helped position the child so he could sit up. The seating equipment improved this child’s access to education and allowed him to sit up to play and more fully engage with toys and his family.

Submitted by Redwood ATRC in Ft. Mitchell, KY

View more Device Demonstration Success Stories

Additional Services Provided

In addition to the services detailed above, the KATS Network and it’s Regional ATRCs also provide Training, Technical Assistance, Public Awareness, and Information & Referral to individuals, service providers, and entities throughout the state.

Training

Training activities are instructional events, usually planned for a specific purpose or audience designed to increase participants’ knowledge, skills, and competencies. Training Activities are provided to large or small groups, in-person, or via telecommunications or other distance education mechanisms.

In FY 2020, a total of 1,433 participants participated in training events. 

Representatives of Education (27 percent), followed by Individuals with Disabilities (19 percent), and Reps of Health/Rehab (18 percent) were the types of individuals receiving training.

Example of Innovative High Impact Training Activities provided

The KATS Network hosted a session on “3D Printing Fundamentals for Assistive Technology” as part of our Annual Summer AT Conference. The presenters for this session were Dr. Elaine Kirkpatrick, a Physics Professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Amber Willett, a graduate student in the School of Occupational Therapy at Eastern KY University, and Michael Weber, an Electrical Engineer. There were 126 participants who attended this session virtually using the Zoom platform.

Dr. Kirkpatrick focused on the basics of 3D printing and its applicability to assistive technology. Participants learned how to search online for free or paid drawings that can be printed using a home 3D printer. They learned how to locate a file, download the file, prepare it for printing on your 3D printer, and then print it. For those who want to design their own assistive technology, Michael Weber then demonstrated how to use computer-aided drawing software to make a 3D drawing that can be printed. Dr. Kirkpatrick then took Michael’s file, prepared it for printing, and printed it, allowing you to see the design process from start to finish.

For those with computer-aided drawing experience, Michael also demonstrated designing a more complex item that integrates with other components.

Amber Willett presented her undergraduate dissertation, “3D Printing and Occupational Therapy: The Process of 3D Printing Adaptive Devices.” The paper explores the potential for 3D printers as a tool for occupational therapists. Samples of 3D printed devices used for the study included adaptive keyboard devices, two bottle openers, three pen holders, a key turner, and a signature guide.

Cognizant of cost issues, the research team used a 3D printer that sells for about $350. Participants learned about devices that can be created ‘in a timely and low-cost manner.’

Example of training activity related to transition

Our Western KY ATRC hosted a Go-Baby-Go build day, where participants adapted five ride-on PowerWheels cars for children with limited mobility. Wendell Foster’s physical therapists developed a plan for each child based on their seating and positioning needs. The modified cars will improve access to the child’s environment and allow them to participate in age-appropriate activities.

Example of training activity related to Information and Communication Technology accessibility

Our Annual AT Conference included a session titled “Google Chromebook Accessibility – Using ChromeVox”. The instructors were Seth Basham and Derek Allen, both are Rehab Tech staff with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Learning goals were 1) Participants will develop their ability to use ChromeVox, the ChromeOS screen reader, through practical, real-world instruction and demonstration, 2) Participants will be able to identify the basic accessibility tools that are built into ChromeOS, and 3) Participants will demonstrate their understanding of the ChromeOS accessibility tools. There were 127 participants attending the session, with 61 requesting CEU credits and 9 requests for RESNA credits.

Technical Assistance

Technical Assistance activities improve the capacity of the beneficiary organization to establish or enhance assistive technology policies and procedures made by entities “targeted” in the AT Act, including but not limited to “representatives of State and local educational agencies, other State and local agencies, early intervention programs, adult service programs, hospitals, and other health care facilities, institutions of higher education, and businesses.” Technical assistance may involve multiple contacts and interactions over an extended period.

Technical Assistance Provided that IS Related to Transition

The OVR Statewide Deaf-Blind Services Coordinator approached the KATS Network about a private donor with the Bluegrass Community Foundation who wanted to discuss the possibility of setting up a grant or other funding opportunity specifically for low-income deaf-blind individuals. The BG Foundation was reaching out for ideas to target the funding. Specifically, they wanted to gear funding towards Assistive Technology.

Ideas discussed included setting up a lending library of AT equipment to be utilized by deaf-blind individuals in both school and work settings, including refreshable braille displays, braille embossers, and laptop computers with screen reading software. Other ideas included setting up scholarships for students and caregivers to allow them to attend the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), a weeklong training that explores job opportunities and identifies skills of strength and needed support, planning for the future.

Technical Assistance Provided that IS NOT Related to Transition

The KATS Network worked with the Office of Vocational Rehab to improve the accessibility of forms throughout the agency. Staff responsible for developing and editing PDF forms received training on how to check for accessibility and how to ensure accessibility during the development phase. This work resulted in an OVR Accessibility workgroup being established with staff representation from each Branch to discuss and implement guidelines, training, and policies related to the accessibility of all forms, documents, memos, and emails sent out within the agency to both staff and consumers. The workgroup will be implemented in FFY 2021 and includes KATS staff.

Public Awareness

The AT Act describes public awareness activities as activities “to provide information to targeted individuals and entities relating to the availability, benefits, appropriateness, and costs of assistive technology devices and services.” Public Awareness includes the development and distribution of informational materials regarding the state AT program activities. Public awareness activities generally reach large numbers of individuals through exhibits and expos, blogs and websites, and the distribution of program marketing materials.

Due to the difficulty of quantifying, beginning with FY 2017, data for public awareness activities were submitted as anecdotes.

Example of Public Awareness provided in FFY 2020

The KATS Network Program Coordinator guest lectured for a course at the University of Louisville College of Education. The class consisted of Masters of Education students preparing to be Special Education instructors. Instructional materials included an overview of AT, ADA and Section 504, IEPs, and funding options for AT. Students learned about becoming better advocates to the students they teach, identify AT and AT funding, and improving the overall quality of education for their students after they graduate and become licensed teachers.

Information & Assistance

Information & Referral services reflect the specific needs of people with disabilities, their families, and other stakeholders contacting the state AT program and provide consumers with accurate, timely, and complete responses to their requests for information related to AT.

Representatives of Health, Allied Health, and Rehabilitation represented the largest group of the 20,844 recipients of Information and Referral Services. 

Top three types of individuals receiving Information & Referral

  • Representatives of Health – 14,861
  • Individuals with Disabilities – 2,709
  • Representatives of Community Living – 1,481