In 2020, you can scroll your social media feeds on any given day and discover a new celebratory holiday or event. I tend to stick with the major holidays. I’m not one to really get involved with all the fads. Although, there is one awareness week in August that is near and dear to my heart.
August is the start of CRT Awareness Week. CRT stands for complex rehab technology. This is the official name for the power chairs and medical equipment we use in our everyday life that allows us to live active and independent lives. I’m very passionate about CRT. I have spent my whole career in this industry and have seen firsthand how complex rehab technology has changed my life and the lives of millions who have disabilities.
Since high school, I have been involved with the National Coalition for Assistive Rehab Technology, or NCART. I attend meetings in Washington D.C., two times a year with senators and representatives from Congress. I educate them about my disability and the importance of my Quantum® Power Wheelchair. I share stories about how my wheelchair allows me to be independent, so I can travel all over the country. I try to help the men and woman who create legislation to understand why the passage of federal legislation is vital to the lives of the disabled community.
Last month, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the ADA. The United States healthcare system always looks at value from the cost versus the value of quality. A lot of healthcare decisions for CRT are based on what value it brings to the end user. Lawmakers and individuals from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, always talk about value. To me, value is my independence. My independence is my wheelchair.
I want to share a real story that occurred last week. This story shows why legislation for CRT is imperative! I got a call from a good friend of mine who uses a power chair. He told me he was stuck and could not get his chair to work. After he was able to get to a safe place, I got the serial number of his chair and the contact information for his dealer. Being a Sunday afternoon, I told him to try calling but chances are he might have to wait until Monday. Considering the situation, the ATP for his dealer came out that day. The technician determined that he blew out a motor. Even though the ATP has the motors in stock, there is a protocol that he can’t just take the motors he has in stock and put it on any wheelchair. He had to place an order and fill out paperwork to order new motors. The ATP felt horrible. My friend was stuck until the motors were delivered.
All this happened because of the process and how the rules are written, which is why Legislating for CRT is vital to individuals with disabilities. If you are driving in your car and you get a flat tire, you call a tow truck and have the tire replaced right there in the spot.
Even though ADA is 30 years old, real life stories like my friend’s situation make me realize why we need continued awareness for complex rehab technology. My goal is to continue to work with CMS and NCART to help solve issues in our healthcare system. I recommend to anyone who is in a wheelchair to research the benefits of CRT. Let us push for continued access to CRT!
About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.