RESNA Announces Two Critical Changes to its Globally-Recognized Certification Program

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 8:00am
Certification News

The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Announces Two Critical Changes to its Globally-Recognized Certification Program

RehabWeek, Toronto, Canada – June 26, 2019 – RESNA’s Board of Directors and Professional Standards Board (PSB), announced at RehabWeek 2019 two changes to the organization’s Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification program. These changes are designed to address the issue of the critical need for more certified Assisitive Technology Professionals (ATP) as well as providing a way to validate the knowledge, skills and abilities of the Rehabilitation Engineering Technologist (RET).

RESNA will now offer a program called “Candidate for ATP” [ATP (Cand)], a new career pathway that will allow younger professionals, students and those relatively new to working in assistive technology to begin their journey towards certification by giving them the opportunity to sit for the ATP exam (and demonstrate their knowledge) before they have met all of the other eligibility requirements for certification. Once a person has achieved the ATP (Cand), they will then have to meet all of the certification requirements that a full ATP is bound too. Upon accruing all eligibility requirements for the ATP certification, the Candidate can then submit their qualifications and be awarded full ATP certification.

The term, “Candidate for ATP” comes from academia, where one can be identified as a PhD candidate or other advanced degree candidate. RESNA will keep a registry of successful Candidates for ATP that employers can verify. This new program will allow employers to identify professionals who are committed to assistive technology, and who are dedicated to achieving the full credential. Candidates for ATP will not be allowed to put “ATP” or “ATP (Cand)” after their name, as they haven’t achieved certification yet, but they can state that they are a candidate on their resume and profile.

The second change that RESNA has made is to re-introduce the “Rehabilitation Engineering Technologist” certification (RET). While this certification was not taken out of circulation, it had not experienced the growth that was projected at its inception. Based on consistent requests from the engineering assistive technology community to be identified and a desire to maintain a high “recognized” standard for this discipline, the RET certification will now be available to those professionals that achieve the ATP, and have a minimum of a 4-year engineering degree will be able to immediately apply for this additional designation.

“The RESNA Board and the Professional Standards Board are pleased to announce these new additions to our certification program, said Mary Ellen Buning, RESNA’s President. “We believe these additions will help dedicated and committed professionals distinguish themselves as leaders in the rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology field, advance our profession, and increase access to technology solutions for people with disabilities.”

“The Professional Standards Board is concerned with maintaining the integrity and value of the ATP certification,” said Brian Burkhardt, ATP and outgoing Chair of the PSB. “These changes are going to allow employers to identify qualified professionals who are interested in making assistive technology their career. We’re delighted to offer both of these programs.”

Both programs will be available soon. For more information, please visit:

RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, is the premier professional organization dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of people with disabilities through increasing access to technology solutions. RESNA advances the field by offering certification, continuing education, and professional development; developing assistive technology standards; promoting research and public policy; and sponsoring forums for the exchange of information and ideas to meet the needs of our multidisciplinary constituency. RESNA is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit membership association.