RESNA Strategic Plan 2015-2018

Adopted by the Board of Directors on December 15, 2014

RESNA’s four year strategic plan reflects our vision to be the leading source of knowledge and leadership in Rehabilitation Engineering (RE) and Assistive Technology (AT) in North America and around the world. Our mission is to maximize the health and well being of people with disabilities through technology. Our strengths include an excellent reputation as experts on AT and RE, a passionate and committed volunteer leadership, and a diverse membership that represents the breadth of the field. Our challenges include a shifting landscape for membership associations, competition for limited economic resources, and the need to reinvent our business model to meet the needs of stakeholders in a fast-changing world with rapidly evolving technologies.
Through a strategic planning process that included a board planning session, multiple discussions, and a staff retreat, the Board of Directors has prioritized the following goals for the next four years. (Note: These priority goals do not negate the importance of continued work and improvement in other established areas that are not mentioned here, such as office operations and management and organizational governance.) This strategic plan will guide our workplan and priorities over this four year period. 

Goal I: RESNA will support the professional and educational development of its members, students, and others in the field in North America and the world.

To achieve this goal, RESNA will:
  • Host a world class annual conference that engages attendees and advances policy, practice, and research.
  • Explore the creation and begin implementation of an accreditation program in the U.S. for colleges and universities offering advanced training in AT, creating a framework that can be emulated in other countries.
  • Support and engage students, including those with disabilities, who may be interested in the field of RE and AT. 
  • Develop new high quality educational offerings for working professionals.
  • Improve and expand the means by which members and other professionals, or those considering entering the field, can learn about career opportunities in RE and AT.
  • Strengthen communication and education regarding the role and profession of RE/AT and the work of RESNA to stakeholders on all levels who work with people with disabilities.

Goal II:  RESNA will improve the quality of AT services and products for people with disabilities. 

To achieve this goal, RESNA will:
  • Maintain and grow our Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) certification programs by supporting the work of RESNA’s  Professional Standards Board and responding to emerging needs and opportunities, including the exploration of other certifications and instruments, such as a registry for Rehabilitation Enginering Technologists (RET) and other specializations in the field.  
  • Maintain and grow our work in developing and disseminating AT Standards by supporting the work of  RESNA’s Assistive Technology Standards Board (ATSB).  
  • Explore and respond to opportunities for expanding RESNA-branded certifications and standards in other countries.
  • Lead the AT/RE field in promoting the improvement and use of Evidence-Based Practice and Outcomes Methodologies. 

Goal III:  RESNA will increase membership recruitment and retention, with an emphasis on younger professionals.

To achieve this goal, RESNA will:
  • Enhance the membership experience with regard to knowledge sharing, communications, customer service, and an open and inclusive culture. 
  • Enhance the value of membership through improved services and benefits. 
  • Address the needs of younger members, including in the areas of mentoring, networking, and  leadership opportunities, while promoting the value of membership to employers and the field in general.
  • Work to understand and respond to the needs and interests of sectors of AT professionals who have not typically been members, such as those in the K-12 arena.
  • Increase RESNA’s visibility and facilitate the identification of members’ affiliation in their communications and presentations.

Goal IV:  RESNA will strengthen its relations with government entities and increase its influence on public policy issues.

To achieve this goal, RESNA will:
  • Support the efforts of the Government Affairs Committee to lead in developing a policy agenda for the Board of Directors, staff, and membership, identifying our values, vision, priorities, and strategies.  
  • Develop a strategic overview to our connections with government agencies and collaboration with organizations with whom we have common interests, nurturing existing relationships and exploring new partnerships to positively impact technology access, service delivery, funding, and policy matters.
  • Continue to work in coalitions to present a larger voice on matters of mutual interest.
  • Respond in a timely and effective manner to legislative or regulatory processes that impact access to technology, service delivery, and research and development.
  • Increase the awareness, knowledge, and engagement of the RESNA membership in policy matters. 
  • Explore ways to help members outside the US be informed about and respond to policy issues of concern in their respective countries. 

Goal V:  RESNA will advance research on assistive technology.

To achieve this goal, RESNA will:
  • Maintain and grow the quality and distribution of our Assistive Technology Journal, supporting the work of the AT Journal Board. 
  • Identify and address the needs and interests of researchers in the organization and the field as a whole.
  • Provide means for researchers to have two-way communication with AT practitioners and consumers to establish research priorities and disseminate results, and to translate research findings into usable and accessible information for all stakeholders. 
  • Promote enhanced funding for AT-related research.

Goal VI:  RESNA will expand its international presence and influence.

To achieve this goal, RESNA will:
  • Develop a strategic overview to international collaboration, leading to the strengthening of existing ties and developing partnerships or regular communications with other organizations with whom we share interests.
  • Strengthen our presence and membership in Canada and Mexico, in keeping with our North American designation.
  • Continue to engage the United Nations and other international forums, and seek to influence its work involving assistive technology 
  • Develop a strategy and capacity for sharing information, technical assistance, and educational materials with organizations in different countries. 
  • Develop and implement an affiliation/partnership model that grows the RESNA brand beyond the US and Canada. 

Goal VII:  RESNA will pursue new resources to strengthen the Society while benefitting the field. 

To achieve this goal, RESNA will:
  • Actively promote the Founders Fund and demonstrate its value by using the Fund for its stated purposes. 
  • Pursue efforts to continue funding for current grants, as appropriate. 
  • Develop a strategic approach, including a cost/benefit analysis, to actively seeking out other grant opportunities. 
  • Examine its business model and explore new revenue streams.
  • Explore partnerships or collaborations with other organizations where there is common cause and the potential for mutual benefit.