RESNA forced to pick up speed

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

ARLINGTON, Va. - With a 2008 deadline looming, RESNA has launched a campaign "to get the word out" about its ATP and ATS credentials, said Glenn Hedman, the organization's president.
Beginning April 1, 2008, CMS will require that an ATP evaluate beneficiaries for certain power wheelchairs. The agency will also require that a supplier who employs an ATS provide the equipment.
RESNA has been promoting its ATP and ATS credentials through various newsletter articles, advertisements and trade show displays.
"We want people to know what the credentials are and how they're being used," said Hedman, director of the Assistive Technology Unit at the University of Illinois, Chicago. "For instance, what kind of wheeled mobility services can you deliver?"
RESNA also planned to boost awareness by debuting a revamped Web site in January. The site will include "more descriptive" information on the credentials, including case studies, Hedman said.
To accommodate an expected "significant jump" in the number of ATP and ATS applicants in 2007-08, RESNA has scheduled additional exams this year, said Tom Gorski, its executive director. Typically, RESNA schedules about eight exams each year. For 2007, it will schedule about 20.
RESNA will schedule additional exams upon request, provided there are at least 15 applicants sitting for each exam.
To further sharpen its profile, RESNA has also developed a committee to create a specialty credential for seating and mobility. (Eventually, it will also develop specialty credentials for augmentative communication, computer access and job accommodation.)
"The ATP and ATS address a baseline knowledge and skill level," Hedman said. "We want to enable people to demonstrate a higher level of expertise within a specific area."