Here’s your inside scoop for all-things having to do with the Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification! The ATP certification is managed by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). Per the RESNA website, “the ATP certification recognizes demonstrated competence in analyzing the needs of consumers with disabilities, assisting in the selection of appropriate assistive technology for the consumers' needs and providing training in the use of the selected devices.”
To be eligible to apply for the ATP, you need to present evidence of paid experience hours and pass the ATP exam. With the ATP, you are able to get reimbursed for provision of complex rehabilitation technology and home assessments. It also helps you stand out in the field. RESNA includes some compelling testimonials through its campaign, #ATProud where Assistive Technology Professionals describe the value of the certification as essential in providing support, standing out from the crowd, giving students and clients a voice, connecting to a wider world and opening doors.
RESNA supports the professionalization of the assistive technology field by not only sponsoring the Committee on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Education (CoA RATE) programs, but also linking it with experience hours required to sit for the ATP exam. Each course credit hour that is part of an accredited program reduces the work experience required to sit for the ATP exam by 15 hours. PLUS, each field work hour earned during an accredited program reduces the work experience required to sit for the ATP exam by one hour.
Did you know that the Pitt Master of Rehabilitation Technology (MRT) is the ONLY accredited master’s program in rehabilitation technology in the country? The accreditation status guarantees that the program is best-in-class with highly qualified faculty, state-of-the-art resources and an evidence-based curricula that aligns with CoA RATE educational standards (the governing document used to recommend a program for accreditation).
Plus, if you graduate from Pitt’s MRT program, you are closer to becoming an ATP! Your master's degree not only affords you the knowledge and network to succeed but also adds a minimum of 720 practical experience hours under your belt. This means when you are hired for your first job, you only need to work about 6 weeks before you’re eligible to sit for your ATP certification exam. With the combination of the MRT and ATP, you will be unstoppable in the field of assistive technology! Enter a global network of hundreds of MRT alumni and thousands of ATPs with the confidence, knowledge and skills to make a difference in helping people live independently.
Want a tip? If you haven’t joined RESNA yet, consider doing so. You’ll receive a $100 discount for the ATP exam application fee when you join!
Written by: Mary Goldberg, PhD
MRT Program Director