RESNA shoots for accessible exam

Friday, October 31, 2008

ARLINGTON, Va.--RESNA will offer computer-based exams on demand for assistive technology professionals (ATP) candidates beginning next year.

“They will be able to call or e-mail and sign up for a time at a testing center near them,” said Anjali Weber, director of certification for RESNA. “They won’t have to wait for an administration of an exam.”

In late August, RESNA announced it would switch to computer-based testing in 2009, as part of implementing its new ATP certification.

RESNA plans to tap into an existing network of close to 700 centers across the country that offer proctored standardized testing, Weber said. Some states may have more locations than others, but there are at least two centers in every state, she said.

Computer-based testing not only cuts down on travel costs and time away from work for candidates, but also reduces “the good amount of paperwork and staff time” involved in administering the exam for RESNA, Weber said. Additionally, results will be available immediately after testing is complete.

“Right now, we have four to six weeks that it could take for results to be returned, scored, returned back to us, processed and sent out,” Weber said.

In 2007, RESNA administered 56 tests, she said. So far this year: 40 tests with another eight planned.

New test in the works?

RESNA also announced in August that it would develop an updated ATP test for January 2009, but candidates need not fear. The exam will still cover the same content areas “in terms of type of AT; different areas of testing that has to do with assessment procedures; product knowledge; integration of person; technology and the environment; and funding and legislation,” Weber said.

“We’re just going through a job analysis to make sure the content areas are still reflective of current practice,” she said. “If we have some areas that are under or over represented, it will just shift the balance of items in that area, but we don’t expect that will be a lot of change.”