Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Henry C. Wessman


Quality Assurance, Health Care; Self Help Devices; Technology Assessment, Biomedical


This independent study report provides an overview of the current state of the field of assistive technology for persons who have significant disabilities.

The field is extremely broad, and encompasses both low and high technology. Personnel working in field are diverse as well, representing nearly a dozen different disciplines. Two key issues confronting the collective field are professional education and credentialing.

In general, pre service professional programs do little to prepare students to deal with technological interventions. Some professionals who want to improve their competence in this area are doing so through graduate or post-graduate study, workshop attendance, or clinical traineeships.

Given the diversity of assistive technology, and the professionals who practice in the area, the subject of credentialing seems daunting. Professional organizations concerned with the application of assistive technology are working toward a system of individual and program credentialing. The rationale for such efforts is sound--consumers with disabilities and payors have a right to know what constitutes a professional qualified to provide assessment and assistance in procuring assistive technology devices.

This report will examine these issues and provide the reader with the current state of the field.