August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month!

About SMA

SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) is a disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe. It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants.



SMA is caused by a mutation in the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). In a healthy person, this gene produces a protein that is critical to the function of the nerves that control our muscles. Without it, those nerve cells cannot properly function and eventually die, leading to debilitating and often fatal muscle weakness. 

SMA affects approximately 1 in 11,000 babies, and about 1 in every 50 Americans is a genetic carrier. SMA can affect any race or gender.

There are four primary types of SMA—I, II, III, and IV—based on age of onset and highest physical milestone achieved.

Individuals with SMA have difficulty performing the basic functions of life, like breathing and swallowing. However, SMA does not affect a person’s ability to think, learn, and build relationships with others....


A Virtual 5K Race to Benefit Children with Special Needs

As stated by Ms. Karen M. Clay, “Play is such an Important part of the developmental process, and we feel it is aligned with the mission of FAAST to help families that do not have the resources to purchase expensive adapted toys.”

The Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology is Excited to announce the 2017 FAAST 5K! This 5K is a fundraising effort to benefit children with special needs across Florida. The Mission of FAAST is to improve the quality of life of all Floridians with disabilities through access to assistive services and devices. The Money Raised will be used to purchase these toys to be distributed to children receiving services from one of the six Regional Distribution Centers.

Adapted toys are specially manufactured products designed to meet the unique requirements of children with disabilities.  These toys can be expensive for parents who already have a huge load to bear with all of the other requirements their children need.

This 5K is a “Walk, Run, or Roll” Virtual Race that will take...

Assistive Technology in the Classroom

School is starting around the country, and students are being introduced into a brand new environment. This can be scary for most, but especially so when that student has a disability. They are exposed to new sights, sounds, and heaps of new stimuli. Teachers are thrown into the mix without the knowledge or tools to assist these new students. There are resources available to help, but here is a short list that may give you some ideas in the classroom.

First of all, 

What is Assistive Technology?

AT is any item that is used to improve, maintain or otherwise assist the functional capacity of a person with a disability. Assistive Technology can be anything from pencil grips to iPads and so many things in between. 

AT can be broken down into three categories...

Low Tech

  • Highlighters
  • Magnifiers
  • Pencil Grips
  • Colored or Raised Paper
  • Velcro to hold items in place
  • Walkers
  • Grabbers
  • Your Imagination is the limit

Middle Tech

  • Timers
  • Spell Checkers
  • Adapted Keyboard or Mice
  • Wheelchairs
  • So much more

High Tech

  • Computers with...
Join us for a webinar on Assistive Technology and Schools

Join us for a Webinar on October 10th and 12th to provide information to the parents, guardians, and all other interested parties on assistive technology as it relates to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) 

This Training will be sponsored by the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST) and will take place on both days for your convenience. 


Remember, we are #here2help!


The Webinars will be held on 

Oct 10, 2017 at 3:00 PM EDT
Click here for Webinar


Oct 12, 2017 at 3:00 PM EDT  
Click here for Webinar

Protect our Health and Long Term Care

Sustained Action Needed Over the Recess to Protect our Health and Long Term Care

As you know, Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) postponed plans to vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) this week due to a lack of support (he needs at least 50 Republican Senators).  However, he plans to bring up the bill as soon as possible after Senators return from the Independence Day recess on July 10.

Please send a message to Senators Nelson and Rubio and tell them your Medicaid Story.