Certification recognizes Bethesda’s knowledge in assistive technology for people with disabilities
(Milwaukee) – Bethesda, a national nonprofit organization that supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is pleased to announce Barb Silver-Thorn, a technologist with Bethesda, has earned the Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). This certification will create opportunities to put technology to work to greatly enhance the lives of people we support.
An assistive technology professional analyzes the needs of individuals with disabilities, assists in the selection of the appropriate equipment and trains the consumer on how to properly use the specific equipment. The ATP certification recognizes those who have reached an internationally accepted standard of knowledge in assistive technology and who demonstrate a commitment to provide only the highest ethical standards of practice.
“This is an outstanding accomplishment,” said Mike Klimkosky, chief information officer for Bethesda. “Barb should be personally very proud of the fact her entire career has shaped this achievement. And, professionally, this achievement not only reaffirms her commitment to technology but provides the people supported by Bethesda with an industry expert. With ATP credentials, the door is now wide open for Bethesda to be considered in some states that otherwise wouldn’t consider Bethesda due to specific provider qualification requirements,” added Klimkosky.
Silver-Thorn will use the knowledge learned through the credentialing to support assistive technology integration throughout the organization. Her work includes the assessment of people supported to determine how and what technology can further enhance independence and inclusion – ultimately changing the way care, support and services are delivered.
“The work I do at Bethesda includes the assessment of people we support to determine how and what technology can further enhance independence and inclusion,” said Silver-Thorn. “With so many different types of assistive technology now available, I’m thrilled to be able to take a holistic approach to every situation to then determine what equipment will enable the people supported by Bethesda to optimize their life at home, school, work and in the community.”
To become certified, one must establish eligibility (through 3,000 hours of work experience and education) and pass a rigorous exam that tests competency in the field of assistive technology. The exam covers main principles of assistive technology including psychology and sociology; human anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics; basic etiologies and pathologies; learning and teaching; assessment procedures; service delivery systems and funding for assistive technology; design and product development; product knowledge of assistive technology devices; integration of person, technology and the environment and professional conduct.
There are almost 4,000 rehabilitation engineers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, suppliers, educators and other professionals who have successfully received ATP certification.
Headquartered in Watertown, Wis., Bethesda is a national organization providing homes and other services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and is celebrating its 115th anniversary in 2019. Bethesda strives to become a central point of connection that unites people who have disabilities with communities and provides essential resources to help them live their lives to the fullest. The organization offers more than 300 programs across the country, and is guided by Christian faith. For more information, go to https://www.bethesdalc.org, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.