RESNA targets younger professionals

‘We’re getting people who are in the earlier stages of their career focused on this area’
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Friday, July 12, 2019

ARLINGTON, Va. – RESNA has made two changes that should help to grease the wheels for potential ATPs.

The organization announced at its annual conference in late June that it will allow younger professionals to sit for the ATP exam before they meet all of the education/training and work experience requirements for the certification and, if they pass, earn the distinction of Candidate for ATP or ATP (Cand), says Charlie Raphael, director of certification and education.

“Nothing changes—they still have to meet all of the requirements to become an ATP and they still have to apply for the certification, but this way, we’re getting people who are in the earlier stages of their career focused on this area,” he said.

Those requirements are not insignificant, ranging from 30 hours of training and education and 6,000 hours of work experience in 10 years for a person with a high school diploma; to 1,000 hours or work experience in six years for a person with a master’s degree or higher in rehab science.

That’s why RESNA also announced earlier this year that anyone completing a certificate or degree in AT from an academic program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, as recommended by the Committee on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Education, is eligible to reduce the required work experience. (Each course credit will reduce the work experience requirement by 15 hours; each fieldwork hour earned will reduce the work experience requirement by one hour.)

“It gives them a leg up,” Raphael said.

The two changes, together, help to address a projected scarcity in the number of ATPs in the next few years, as a significant percentage of current ATPs retire.

“These are two funnels that will be feeding into that pool right away,” Raphael said.

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