We provide individualized training to consumers. How do we report the data?
Individualized training is considered public awareness and should be reported as such.
We had a booth at a conference and we provided a presentation session about our program and services, how do we report this data?
Both of these activities are Public Awareness events and should be reported as such. Only presentations that are designed to increase participants’ knowledge, skills, and competencies regarding AT should be reported as training.
We participated in a conference where we brought multiple AT items and set up a demonstration area. Attendees were able to try devices and some received training on devices. Can we report these as demonstrations and training?
General demonstrations of equipment and individualized trainings are a public awareness activity not a training.
Is there a minimum duration required for a session to be considered training?
There is no required length of time. However, a session must increase the skills and competencies of the participants to be considered training. Providing an overview of services and/or showing different AT devices does not meet the criteria to be considered training.
We are hosting a webinar in which we will review device/software features of a particular category of AT with participants. During the live webinar, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions in real time. Our learning objectives include attendees’ increased knowledge and skill in matching this kind of device/app to consumers. We plan to recruit broadly. Is this training?
Yes. Although the description of your event has some of the characteristics of a demonstration (exploration of features with a technology expert; ability for participants to ask questions in real time), it exactly meets the definition of training. This is an instructional event, planned in advance for a specific audience or purpose, designed to increase participants’ knowledge, skills, and competencies regarding AT. This would be a training counted under the category of “AT products/services”.
One of our signature training events is a statewide conference. We would like to use AT Act Program funds to underwrite speaker honoraria and facility rental. Are there restrictions on either of these uses?
In accordance with Uniform Guidance §200.432, speaker honoraria and facility rental are allowable costs. Conference sponsors are cautioned not to pay speakers who are doing this work under this or another federal grant. Conference hosts/sponsors must exercise discretion and judgment in ensuring that conference costs are appropriate, necessary and managed in a manner that minimizes costs to the Federal award.
At our conference we want to distribute t-shirts to identify staff and volunteers working the conference (e.g. sighted guides and interpreters), and purchase promotional items for door prizes. Can we do this?
No, these are not allowable expenses. T-shirts and promotional items would fall under the Uniform Guidance §200.421 restrictions regarding Advertising and Public Relations and federal grant funds cannot be used.
Our staff was an invited speaker on AT funding at a statewide AT conference in a neighboring state, sponsored by that state’s AT Act Program. She did her own session evaluation and collected information on the attendees and their satisfaction with the training. Can we count it, even though the event occurred in another state?
Yes, assuming the session meets the definition of “training”. Caution: If the hosting state did an overall conference evaluation that includes your session, there’s the risk of this data being “double counted”. It makes sense to discuss evaluation and reporting with the hosting program prior to the conference.
Our staff did a training session on the challenges of matching home automation as an ATIA webinar in September. ATIA provided the session feedback they collected. Can we count it, even though the event was virtual and reached people in other states? What if the evaluation data was not received until the following federal report period?
Yes, you can count this training session even though others outside of your state attended, as long as you obtained the requisite information about attendees (e.g., RUCC) and satisfaction data. It makes sense to coordinate with the sponsoring entity beforehand to make sure their evaluation form contains all the data elements you will need for reporting. It is advisable to count the event AND the associated data in the program year in which you received the data.
Our AT subcontractor does a multi-session training about AT for Occupational Therapy (OT) students. There are student fees associated with the course, which is competency-based and specific in its focus. Can we collect and “count” performance measures for this activity, even though it is not free to participants?
There is no prohibition against charging for activities performed and reported by the AT Act. However, programs are encouraged to develop policies and procedures delineating circumstances under which training is free and when there will be a charge. For example, a training that is customized for a specific audience in response to a specific request for that training may have a fee, although the basic AT (type) for (diagnosis/age/activity) may be offered at no cost.
Must a program provide Information and Communication Technology Accessibility training?
What type of ICT training must be provided?
AT Act Programs are required to provide training on the importance, development, application, and integration of accessibility for information and communications technologies. This can include laws related to ICT, organization infrastructure to address accessibility, development of accessible documents, multimedia, and websites, procurement policies, accessible communications, and other technology and communication components related to ICT infrastructure.
Is training for computer access or phones considered ICT training?
No. ICT training can be distinguished from other trainings in that it addresses policies, development, integration, and/or infrastructure related to accessible ICT. Specific AT devices, hardware, and/or software is not ICT training and should be reported under the AT Products/Services category.
What are the performance measures for Information and Communication Technology Accessibility Training?
There are two possible outcomes related to ICT training: 1) Information and communication technology procurement or development policies, procedures, or practices will be improved or better implemented to ensure accessibility and/or 2) Training will be developed or implemented to ensure accessibility of websites, software or other ICT.
Does the ICT training count only if the participants are IT professionals?
Participants are usually representatives of technology and are individuals who interacted with the AT Act Program primarily for purposes related to accessible technology (using computers, software, websites, telecommunications, office equipment, and media). This category can include technology experts such as computer programmers, web and application developers, information technology professionals and procurement officials, e.g., the owner of a web consulting business; a university director of Information Technology. In some cases, participants may fall into other categories such as education (for example, the teacher who runs the “computer club” at the high school; graduate students in computer sciences). Whether your training “counts” as ICT training depends not so much on the topic or the identity of the participants, but whether the training is designed to result in meeting the performance measure requirements.
What if our program does not have staff that are skilled in this topic area?
The AT3 Center can assist programs with ICT training and technical assistance needs in order to build capacity. Contact AT3 to discuss your specific TA needs. Don’t forget to check out our online learning modules and resources.
Where can I find more information on specific laws related to ICT?
Access to information and communication technology (ICT) is addressed by the US Access Board standards and guidelines issued under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act.
Must a program provide training on Transition?
AT Programs must implement at least two required types of transition activities. One activity must be related to school transition (e.g., secondary school to post-school) and one must be related to community living transition (e.g., congregate living to community living). The activity conducted may be either a training event or a technical assistance initiative and should only be reported once in the appropriate section of the APR.
What is the fiscal requirement for transition activities?
Section 4(e)(3)(A) of the AT Act requires that at least 5% of the money spent on State Leadership activities be used for the transition training and/or transition technical assistance activities.
How do programs calculate the 5% requirement?
The 5% is a required minimum and is calculated based on the expenditure of funds used for state leadership activities; not the full award. This expenditure should align with your state plan and APR.