May 2016 Government Relations Update

RESNA's Government Affairs Committee (GAC) has primary responsibility to develop and coordinate RESNA's position on public policy and related activities. For more information about the committee and RESNA's public policy priorities, visit the Government Relations webpage. 

Consortium Seeks Full Support for Assistive Technology (AT) Act for FY2017
 
In late March, partnering organizations of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), including RESNA, sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The letter requested the Subcommittee’s support for funding for the Assistive Technology (AT) Act programs, at a proposed level of $38 million for FY2017. Despite a modest increase in funding for the AT Act last year, certain programs such as the Statewide AT Act Programs have remained underfunded, which has made it difficult for them to fulfill legislative mandates. The Protection and Advocacy (P&A) for Assistive Technology program also have been underfunded. 
 
 
ICDR Continues Work on Strategic Plan for Federal Disability Research
 
The federal Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) has been working since last year to develop a new comprehensive strategic plan for federally funded disability research. Since last year, the ICDR has convened working groups related to health & wellness, community integration & participation, assistive technology & universal design, employment & education, and, most recently, medical rehabilitation research to inform this important effort. On April 14, over 30 researchers and advocates participated in a robust conference call conversation on disability and rehabilitation research priorities. John Tschida, Director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and ICDR Chair, described the discussion as the most varied and in-depth stakeholder input to date. ICDR will incorporate the feedback and follow up with additional materials for review. 
 
For more information about this effort on the ICDR strategic plan for federal disability research, please visit the ICDR webpage
 
Capitol Hill Visits - July 14, 2016
 
This year's annual conference, a collaboration with NCART (National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology) and NRRTS (National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers), offers attendees the opportunity to visit their elected representatives on Capitol Hill. Join other dedicated stakeholders as we take our Promoting Access to Assistive Technology message to Capitol Hill. Participants must sign up in advance and attend a training session during the conference. For information on how to participate, visit the webpage