RESNA to ATPs: Don't blur the lines

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ARLINGTON, Va. – If you’re an assistive technology professional (ATP) who’s not playing by the book, RESNA’s on to you.

The group in September reminded ATPs how to use their designations properly. The reason: The group has been receiving complaints of ATPs misrepresenting themselves—“willfully or not.”

“It’s important for them to accurately identify the role they’re really playing to their clients and to their colleagues,” said Anjali Weber, RESNA’s director of certification.

In “Disclosure Guidelines: Usage of the ATP Designation,” RESNA reviews several standards of practice for ATPs, including standard #17: “Individuals shall be truthful and accurate in public statements concerning their role in the provision of all products and services.”

Some of the complaints RESNA has received have involved ATPs who are also OTs. If an ATP who’s also an OT works for a supplier, he or she must disclose that his role is to conduct a product evaluation—not a medical evaluation, Weber said.

“In this case, another medical professional needs to be involved to conduct the medical evaluation,” she said. “The lines can get blurry.”

RESNA has also received complaints of ATPs embellishing their titles, Weber said.

“We’ve had OT assistants become ATPs and think that gives them a license to practice as OTs,” she said. “That’s not true.”