Frequently Asked Questions
Responses from Susan Simmons, Ph.D.
Why is the AT Applications Certificate through Susan Simmons & Associates 6 days/36 hours? It seems like a lot of time!
I know what you mean! I’ve tried several ways of teaching the course. In order to give you the time you need to experience software & apps as well as practice each aspect of the process we need the time. Each of the last 5 years that I have done the training I ask the participants what we could cut out and how long it should be. Virtually everyone wishes it was longer and says not to cut anything.
This year we are doing the whole program virtually, giving us weekly contact.
How much time will I need to devote between session?
One to 2 hours for exercises and software practice however, when you work on your assessments (with your own students) it may take more time. Remember you are learning so practice will take some time.
Will I have to do difficult assessments after I finish the course?
You will have solid foundational skills. If the first few you do are highly litigious and you are challenged by attorneys and advocates it could really turn you away from the joys of this work.
Your confidence will build as you see more students. You’ll meet AT mentors in the training and I will happily read & edit reports for you as you go.
Why might I attend even if I got a certificate from another institution?
Many participants have received certificates from other institutions such as CSUN or ATP. This course covers ONLY education, education law and curriculum access. Other courses may not emphasize education or curriculum access.
What are the requirements to be an AT Assessor in California?
Good question, it isn’t really very clear I ed code. There isn’t an endorsement added to teaching credentials. This is what Ed Code says:
The California Ed Code requirements are somewhat unclear.
Assistive technology services shall be provided only by personnel who possess a:
(A) license in Physical Therapy issued by a licensing agency within the Department of Consumer Affairs, where the utilization of assistive technology services falls within the scope of practice of physical therapy as defined in Business and Professions Code section 2620 and implementing regulations; or
(B) license in Occupational Therapy issued by a licensing agency within the Department of Consumer Affairs; or
(C) license in Speech-Language Pathology issued by a licensing agency within the Department of Consumer Affairs or a valid document, issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, where the function of the assistive technology service is augmentative communication; or
(D) baccalaureate degree in engineering with emphasis in assistive technology; or
(E) baccalaureate degree in a related field of engineering with a graduate certificate in rehabilitation technology or assistive technology; or
(F) certification from the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America and Assistive Technology Provider (RESNA/ATP); or
(G) a certificate in assistive technology applications issued by a regionally accredited post-secondary institution; or
(H) a credential that authorizes special education of physically handicapped, orthopedically handicapped, or severely handicapped pupils.
Susan’s note re: ed code
Basically, the only folks not on this list are teachers of non-severely handicapped students, who could qualify under (G). However, most AT for students who are non-severe could be considered AT Accommodations. The SLP, OTs, PTs listed above generally don’t have experience or expertise in AT.
It is critical to be able to show substantial training and expertise in AT (whatever your license or credential) if you are conducting AT Assessments & providing AT Services
Do students with 504 Plans receive AT?
Yes, absolutely. Remember Ed Code doesn’t say we have to “assess” every student. E.g. write a long report. It’s about accessing the curriculum. What is needed? There is an excellent resource on AT and 504 plans.