Assistive Technology Assessment and Services:
Assistive Technology is defined under IDEA (Sec 300.6) and ADA as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities”.
Assistive Technology Services is defined is under IDEA (Sec 300.6) and ADA as any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. The term includes--
(a) The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child's customary environment;
(b) Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
(c) Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
(d) Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
(e) Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or, if appropriate, that child's family; and
(f) Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of that child.
Assistive Technology Professionals:
Assistive Technology Professionals are professionals with an earned degree in the medical (e.g. Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech and Language Pathologists) or educational (e.g. Special Education Teachers, Diagnosticians, School Psychologists, Rehabilitation Counselors), field that have met the Assistive Technology Professional Standards of Practice requirements (national certification exam, qualified degree, and years of experience) through The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). The RESNA organization offers certification exams in three areas: Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS), and Rehabilitation Engineering Technologist (RET). RESNA provides training for professionals in AT Fundamentals and continuing education courses in AT and special education and rehabilitation.
Assistive Technology Professionals provide assistive technology assessment and services to children that may need assistive technology in order to meet their educational goals and functional independent skills. Dr. Zapf has worked extensively with Dr. Marcia Scherer in developing a client-centered assistive technology assessment process that thoroughly evaluates critical components that can influence and predict the outcome use of assistive technology. Dr. Marcia Scherer is know both nationally and internationally for her Matching Person to Technology (MPT) Assessment process and her assessment process is used in rehabilitation and educational settings.
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