ARLINGTON, Va. (Feb. 21, 2011) — Since 1996, those working in the field of assistive technology have been eligible to sit for the Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) exam, which tests a broad knowledge base. In 2010, the RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America) Professional Standards Board (PSB) began administering an exam for a new specialty certification with an exclusive focus: the Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) credential.
“Certification of a service provider, in any field, is the process by which a non-governmental agency or association validates an individual’s qualifications and knowledge in a defined functional or clinical area,” said Carmen DiGiovine, PhD, ATP, RET, chairman of RESNA’s PSB. “The SMS certification accomplishes this for the field of seating and mobility.”
Kevin Phillips, ATP/SMS, CRTS, a complex rehabilitation technology supplier at Ability Center in San Diego, took the SMS exam in August.
“Before the SMS exam, the industry lacked a standard to differentiate the professionals who have specific expertise in mobility and seating,” said Phillips. “Clients, clinicians and payors have not had a reliable reference point to identify and select qualified professionals to care for complex seating and mobility needs, until now.”
Those with an ATP certification in good standing who have direct seating and mobility experience are eligible to take the standardized 165-question computerized test, which covers five major domain areas: performance of seating and mobility assessment; funding resources, coverage and payment; implementation of intervention; outcome assessment and follow-up; and professional behavior. Designed to test candidates’ ability to use knowledge required in daily practice, the exam includes case studies, videos and photographs.
Advocates of the SMS certification hope it will yield a number of advantages to those who earn it. This specialty certification differentiates professionals who have demonstrated competency in depth of knowledge related to seating and mobility.
People in need of seating and mobility services may request a professional with the ATP/SMS certification as an assurance that the credential holder has demonstrated work experience, specialty training and education in seating and mobility, and have participated in professional activities dedicated to advancing the field.
About RESNA
RESNA is a nonprofit professional organization whose members serve people with disabilities seeking technology applications to maximize their health and well being. RESNA’s membership consists of researchers, clinicians, suppliers, manufacturers, consumers and educators who work in a variety of settings providing AT-related services. All members are dedicated to promoting the exchange of ideas and information for the advancement of assistive technology. For more information, please visit www.resna.org.
(article taken from Consense Bulletin)