Update from RESNA's President - March 2015

This blog posting is an opportunity for me to inform RESNA members about a few of the activities your organization is involved in. First and foremost is our annual conference which will be June 10-14 in Denver, CO. In addition to our usual high-quality mix of preconference courses, workshops, scientific paper presentations, and exhibitors, I am personally excited about the emerging “Maker” theme, including content on 3D printing, microcontrollers for AT solutions, and Pete Stephens delivering a plenary talk focusing on the micro-manufacturing movement. Not a gearhead? There will still be plenty of content covering many interest areas. Registration is now open! Follow this link for more details.  
 
People wanting to work in the field of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology get their academic training in a variety of ways. While a number of college and university programs are providing courses, concentrations, and degrees in RE and AT, there is no standard for the content and quality of the training. In order to promote the field and better serve consumers by ensuring that students receive consistently good professional preparation, a RESNA committee led by Mary Goldberg and Roger Smith has begun working under the auspices of the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) to develop an accreditation program for institutions offering an AT-related curriculum. Anyone interested in working to develop guidelines for curriculum and service delivery competencies should contact Mary at mrh35@pitt.edu.
 
You’ve received news updates about RESNA’s efforts in the policy arena, including support for Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) funding and the movement to have Congress ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but do you know that we are a signatory to the Declaration on the Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access? Spearheaded by the Coleman Institute, this is part of an effort to highlight and address the challenges encountered as our society relies to an ever greater degree on complex electronics for even basic communication, entertainment, news, and other information. As technology promises to improve the lives of many people with disabilities, let’s remain aware of and support those who it may leave behind. 
 
In short, RESNA’s member volunteers, supported by a hard-working staff, continue our efforts to provide educational and networking opportunities, promote the quality of RE/AT professionals, and join with others in policy and advocacy initiatives. Want to lend a hand? Contact me at rgrott@sfsu.edu , or submit a comment. 
 
Thanks for your attention,
 
     Ray Grott, MA, ATP, RET
 

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