For Immediate Release, Contact: - Don Clayback, Executive Director 716-839-9728 or [email protected]

Washington, DC — July 17, 2009

The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART) has released an educational video entitled "All's NOT Well in Wellsville". This video illustrates the type of access problems that are occurring across the country for people with disabilities that require complex rehab equipment such as specialized power wheelchairs, custom positioning systems, and other adaptive equipment.

Reimbursement levels for Complex Rehab products and services have been significantly reduced over the past three years. In 2006, power wheelchairs and accessories were reduced by 27%. Then in 2009, this equipment, along with seating systems, repair parts, and other items were reduced an additional 9.5%. As a consequence, the availability of the necessary technology and services has suffered.

Gary Gilberti, NCART President, stated, "There is a small group of people in the US that have significant disabilities and deal with physical, functional, and cognitive challenges every day. They, and their medical teams, use assistive technology and rehab equipment to maximize their function and minimize the extent and costs of their medical care. But there is a crisis upon them. Funding cuts are taking away access to the complex rehab products and services they rely on."

The "All's NOT Well In Wellsville" video will be used to educate policymakers regarding access problems that are negatively impacting people with disabilities, their family members, and the medical professionals that care for them. The video provides a real-life view of individuals that rely on this equipment and the supporting services that are required. It also depicts the challenges they and their medical professionals are facing.

Don Clayback, NCART Executive Director, stated, "This video gives a snapshot of what is happening across the country. Action needs to be taken to stop this growing negative trend. The first action must be focused on educating Congress and getting them to help. A great opportunity for relief is the 2009 healthcare reform legislation, where Congress can include a provision to restore the 9.5% cut to complex rehab products and related accessories that was put in place on January 1, 2009."

The 15-minute video can be viewed at Copies of the video and related talking points can be obtained by contacting NCART at [email protected].

Release Date: 17-Jul-2009