The assistive technology programs at three universities have earned accreditation under RESNA’s new program.
In a news announcement, RESNA said the schools earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Education Programs (CAAHEP), a partnership that RESNA began last year.
The three programs now accredited are the University of Illinois/Chicago’s Department of Disability & Human Development; the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences; and the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee’s College of Health Science’s Certificate in Assistive Technology & Accessible Design.
In the announcement, RESNA said, “Each of these newly approved programs has found the accreditation process valuable to their purpose of recruiting and training the next generation of AT [assistive technology] and RE [rehabilitation engineering] professionals by them offering assurance of educational excellence. Graduates of these accredited programs are ready for employment and prepared for assuming the role of an assistive technology professional (ATP) following their successful passage of the RESNA Certification exam.”
RESNA is seeking additional university programs that would like to be accredited.
The announcement comes at a time that the complex rehab technology industry is looking for its next generation of professionals. At this year’s International Seating Symposium (ISS), hosted in March by the University of Pittsburgh, Mark Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, the Director of the ISS when it’s held in the United States, noted that ATPs are currently retiring from the industry faster than they’re being replaced. Schmeler added that the average age of today’s ATP — 52 years — is 10 years older than the average American worker.