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Advancing Opportunities Offers AT for Employment Certificate Program

When employment support professionals work with people with significant physical disabilities, they often look for work that the person can do without accommodation. This tendency comes from a lack of training and experience in developing and implementing accommodations, including the consideration of assistive technology (AT). With funding from the Kessler Foundation, Advancing Opportunities (which partners with the NJ AT Act program) is working to remove that barrier by offering a new certificate program that targets professionals working in employment.

Earning an AT for Employment Certificate will help employment support professions apply the ethical guidelines put forth by the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).

Advancing Opportunities’ certificate program is designed to train employment support professionals to develop and implement job accommodations and assistive technology supports. An essential component of this training includes loaning assistive technology to participants over a period of 2 months to assist their carrying out trials and applying what they have learned. Students are provided with a kit that includes an iPod Touch pre-loaded with relevant work-oriented apps (and an opportunity to keep the technology for their program).

Helping professionals who are not specialists in AT consider AT is not new. There are many professionals in the K-12 setting, case managers, and vocational rehabilitation counselors, and others who are expected to be able to include AT in a system of supports. While each application is unique, the basic knowledge and skills that are needed for professionals to consider whether or not a consumer can benefit from assistive technology is the same.

With may states proclaiming themselves Employment First states, and with the development of APSE’s Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP), the time is right to support these professionals, and support employment first.

Learn more about this certification program at Advancing Opportunities’ Assistive Technology Center


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