Earning the ATP

Our Story Thus Far, and the Chapters Ahead

Recapping the year and looking ahead.

Happy new year to all — those of you who are studying alongside or following along as I study to take the (practice) ATP exam, and those of you who oh-so-helpfully shout out to me in airports and at registration desks at hotels: “Hey, Laurie, how’s the exam prep going? Shouldn’t you be studying right now?”

So here’s the official update: My three-month bout with bronchitis at the end of August taught me a bit about nebulizers, but I don’t expect respiratory DME to be on the RESNA exam. So my illness wasn’t a learning experience from the exam standpoint, and from a time standpoint, it has put me several months behind where I expected to be.

For those of you just joining us — a year ago, RESNA’s Assistive Technology Practitioner and Assistive Technology Supplier certifications merged to become the current Assistive Technology Professional (ATP). I don’t have the face-to-face, hands-on assistive technology hours and experience to take the actual exam, but RESNA is fine with my taking the practice exam and sharing my results and experiences along the way.

I am trying to model my study parameters after what an RTS might face if he/she tried to prepare for the exam. In other words, I’m studying for the exam on top of my “day job,” not as part of it. My prep, therefore, is largely taking place during evenings, weekends and during occasional “dead times,” such as on planes while traveling to conferences and shows.

What We’ve Covered (& Learned) Thus Far

For anyone whose new year’s resolutions included preparing to take this exam, I’ve listed all the resources we’ve used so far. Many of them come recommended by the mentors who’ve helped us along the way. When possible, I’ve included information on pricing, too.

Next month, we’re returning to all-new info — and we’ll be tackling professional ethics and public policy

Resources for the ATP Exam: Main Texts

Cook & Hussey’s Assistive Technology: Principles & Practice by Albert Cook & Janice Miller Polgar: $71.36, new*
Human Anatomy Coloring Book by Margaret Matt: $3.95, new*
Fundamentals in Assistive Technology edited by Michelle L. Lange: $80, new**

Anatomy

Anatomy Made Ridiculously Simple by Stephen Goldberg, M.D.: $27.95 new*
Medical terminology classes at local community college
         Online: from no-cost (free-ed.net/sweethaven/MedTech/MedTerm/default.asp) to $400+ for an accredited course including the cost of the textbook
         In-Person: Contact community colleges or search online under “medical terminology class”
Visual aids, such as anatomical posters: anatomywarehouse.com, et al: $6-19.99 per poster
WebAnatomy, a free interactive quiz site: http://msjensen.cehd.umn.edu/WEBANATOMY/skeletons_skulls/default.html

Augmentative & Alternative Communications

Augmentative & Alternative Communication by David Beukelman and Pat Miranda: $52.47, new*
augcominc.com: An RERC grant is now enabling visitors to download all past issues of Augmentative Communication News and Alternatively Speaking
lburkhart.com: Linda J. Burkhart’s site provides links to all sorts of aug comm manufacturers, publications, resources and organizations.

Automotive Access

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheelchair Transportation Safety, divided into segments for consumers, prescribers, manufacturers & transporters. This comprehensive site on the WC19 standard explains what the standard requires and features a list of wheelchairs & seating systems that have been successfully crash tested: rercwts.org/WC19.html.
The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED), whose members assess motor vehicle drivers and passengers for adaptive automotive equipment. Check out the fact sheets, such as Driving & SCI, Driving & Stroke, and Driving& TBI. They describe the difficulties to look for during driver assessments: driver-ed.org.

* At retailers such as amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Borders ** At resna.org

This article originally appeared in the January 2010 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

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

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