RESNA Changes ATP & RET Certification Programs

At its annual conference last week in Toronto, RESNA announced changes to its Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and Rehabilitation Engineering Technologist (RET) certifications.

RESNA’s board of directors and Professional Standards Board announced a new program aimed at putting ATP certification within earlier reach for incoming complex rehab technology professionals.

In a June 26 news announcement, RESNA said the “Candidate for ATP” program is “a new career pathway that will allow younger professionals, students and those relatively new to working in assistive technology to begin their journey towards certification by giving them the opportunity to sit for the ATP exam and demonstrate their knowledge before they have met all of the other eligibility requirements for certification.”

ATP certification requirements include work experience as well as assistive technology training and education, in some cases, depending on level of high school or college education and the type of college degree achieved.

RESNA recently changed its ATP certification policies to allow graduates who’ve completed certificates or degrees in assistive technology from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs to apply their academic course and field work toward the ATP exam work experience requirements.

A person who passes the ATP exam under the Candidate for ATP program will then have two years to meet the remaining certification requirements. Upon completing those requirements, the Candidate can apply for full ATP certification.

RESNA said it will keep a registry of Candidates for ATP.

“This new program,” the organization said, “will allow employers to identify professionals who are committed to assistive technology, and who are dedicated to achieving the full credential.”

RESNA also announced changes to RET certification, which the organization acknowledged “had not experienced the growth that had been projected at its inception.” Under the new format, ATPs who have a four-year engineering degree can immediately apply for RET certification.

RESNA President Mary Ellen Buning said of the changes, “The RESNA Board and the Professional Standards Board are pleased to announce these new additions to our certification program. We believe these additions will help dedicated and committed professionals distinguish themselves as leaders in the rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology field, advance our profession, and increase access to technology solutions for people with disabilities.”

About the Author

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

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