CRT Awareness Week Commemorated by Industry Organizations

More than 65 organizations, along with thousands of individual stakeholders, participated in National Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Awareness Week, Aug. 10-14.

Organized by NCART, CRT Awareness Week strives to “increase the understanding of policy makers and others about what CRT is, who uses it, how it is provided, and why access matters,” according to a news announcement from NCART.

All sectors of CRT were recognized and took part in the week’s activities. Each weekday focused on a different stakeholder group: For example, Day 1 (Monday) was Consumer day. Consumers who use CRT posted videos explaining how their seating and wheeled mobility equipment impacts their lives.

Justin Richardson, Numotion’s Director of Advocacy, said in his video post, “I know for certain my life would not be anywhere near what it is today without access to Complex Rehab Technology. My custom manual wheelchair allows me to be independent and mobile. It allows me to be a full-time employee in a job, in a career, in a field that I absolutely love, helping others gain access to CRT. Most importantly, it allows me to be the dad that my 7-year-old daughter deserves.”

Day 2 focused on CRT suppliers, while Day 3 focused on CRT manufacturers. CRT clinicians were the focus on Day 4, and Day 5 was CRT advocacy day.

NCART President Doug Westerdahl said in the announcement, “Each year, CRT Awareness Week gives our industry a chance to spotlight the numerous professions in the CRT industry. CRT providers, manufacturers and clinicians are operating in a very challenging environment when it comes to providing quality CRT equipment and services to people with disabilities who depend on it, and these challenges have been elevated in the COVID-19 environment. This week provided a great opportunity for spreading that message nationally and continuing to build on everyone’s past advocacy work.”

Friday’s CRT Advocacy Day focused on a Congressional letter from Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) that seeks to protect access to CRT manual wheelchairs and their critical components, aka, accessories. The letter will be sent to Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

NCART Executive Director Don Clayback said in the announcement, “Getting as many House Members as we can to sign onto this Congressional letter is especially important. The more signatures, the stronger the message to CMS that they need to take action, just like they did for CRT power wheelchairs in 2017.”

Sign onto the letter by visiting www.protectmymobility.org.

As for 2020’s CRT Awareness Week, Mickae Lee, NCART Director of Advocacy and Communication, was excited by the enthusiastic participation of the industry. “We are so pleased to have seen this level of involvement from the CRT community,” she said. “The number of organizations and individuals participating more than doubled from last year, which shows that this group of advocates has seen how powerful grassroots education and outreach can be, and that they’re ready to do the work needed to secure future successes for CRT access.”

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.