Karen M. Dishman, Julie Duckart, Leslie J. Hardman; Perceptions of Assistive Technology Education From Occupational Therapists Certified as Assistive Technology Professionals. Am J Occup Ther 2021;75(2):7502205110. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.041541
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
Importance: Missing from the recent literature is information about specific categories of assistive technology (AT) education provided in entry-level occupational therapy curricula.
Objective: To examine occupational therapists’ perceptions of the AT education received in occupational therapy entry-level programs, specifically the AT categories in which therapists received training.
Design: Quantitative survey study with Likert-scale, multiple-choice, or ordinal ranking-scale questions and three open-response questions. Format was a web-based Qualtrics survey tool; participants had approximately 2 mo to respond.
Participants: Occupational therapists certified as Assistive Technology Professionals (ATPs) were recruited through the Rehabilitation and Engineering Society of North America email database (response rate of 21%; N = 148).
Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes may contribute to determining what categories of AT are missing from occupational therapy entry-level curricula and what further education is needed to develop competency.
Results: Occupational therapists with ATP certification did not perceive their entry-level curricula as having adequately prepared them in the AT categories of technology for learning disabilities (67%), computer access (57%), augmentative and alternative communication (57%), and accessible transportation (52%).
Conclusions and Relevance: This study supports the need for occupational therapy entry-level programs to reexamine the categories and amount of AT training they currently provide. Future research with a larger and more generalized sample could provide more detailed evidence of which AT categories should be provided.
What This Article Adds: This article provides evidence that to use AT in intervention, entry-level occupational therapists require increased training in specific AT categories.
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