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Cognitive Technologies: Preparing for the ATP Exam

Cognitive Technologies: Preparing for the ATP Exam
Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
September 26, 2016

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Michelle: Welcome to today's course on cognitive technologies. This is part of a series of courses helping you to prepare for the ATP examination. Within this course, we will be covering definitions such as what are cognitive disabilities and what are some of the cognitive technologies that we can bring to the table to assist these clients. We are also going to go over strategies to address distraction, memory loss, organization, and task completion. We will also look at safety and security as these are important issues for people with cognitive disabilities, and we can bring strategies to the client to address these areas of need. We will wrap up with a quick discussion of learning disabilities.

Assistive Technology Professional Certification

Now, our goal here is to cover this information in the context of preparing for the ATP Certification Examination. This certification is offered through RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. This is a professional organization, and they offer several different certifications. This particular one is designed to demonstrate a basic level of competence in the practice area of assistive technology. Over 4,000 people hold this certification right now. This series of courses includes information to help prepare you for the exam. This series is not designed to be an exhaustive coverage of this topic of cognitive impairments and technologies to meet those needs, but rather an overview so that you are aware of this information. If you are interested in this certification, there are certain prerequisites that you must also fulfill before taking the exam. You must complete 1,000 hours of work experience over a six year period of time. More specific eligibility requirements are listed on this site.

Definitions

Cognition

Cognition is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge understanding through thought, experience, and the senses (Wikipedia). Knowledge and understanding are two different things. A person with a cognitive disability is going to have greater difficulty with one or more types of mental tasks than other people. These challenges can be separated into clinical disabilities, and functional disabilities.
 
Clinical disabilities, where we can see some level of cognitive impairment, include autism, down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, dementia, attention deficit disorder, and learning disabilities (Figure 1).
 
Figure 1. Examples of clinical disabilities.
 
Does this mean that in each one of these particular clinical disabilities, there is cognitive impairment? This is not always the case, and it depends how you define cognitive impairment. For example, someone with dyslexia, a learning disability, may have average to above average intelligence, but they still have learning disabilities which are categorized as a cognitive impairment.
 
Functional disabilities affect our capacity to think, to concentrate, react to emotions that we are feeling, formulate ideas, problem solve, reason, and remember (Figure 2).
 
Figure 2. Functional disability components.
 
These are all very specific, functional areas that are impacted cognitively. I believe that all of us are on a spectrum in terms of cognitive skills. We all have strengths, and we all have weaknesses. As such, we tend to use strategies on our own, sometimes without really being aware of it, to help us deal with some of those weaker areas. Our clients also need strategies to help them to address these issues, but they may lack the ability to come up with these strategies on their own. You or I might decide we need a list to go to the grocery store, but that requires us to formulate that idea. We need to identify where the gaps are for our clients and help them to identify strategies.

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michelle lange

Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Michelle is an occupational therapist with 25 years of experience and former Clinical Director of The Assistive Technology Clinics of The Children’s Hospital of Denver. She is a well-respected lecturer, both nationally and internationally and has authored 7 book chapters and over 175 articles. She is the editor of Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, 4th ed. Michelle is on the teaching faculty of RESNA and the University of Pittsburgh. She is on the RERC on Wheeled Mobility Advisory Board. Michelle is a credentialed ATP, credentialed SMS and is a Senior Disability Analyst of the ABDA.



Related Courses

Service Delivery: Preparing for the ATP Exam
Presented by Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Recorded Webinar
Course: #2620Level: Introductory1 Hour
The RESNA Assistive Technology Professional certification examination includes questions from a variety of content areas. One of those areas is Service Delivery. This module will cover the content area including ethics, standards of practice, information resources, service delivery systems and roles, consumer empowerment, quality assurance, outcomes, product development and liability.

Recreational Technologies: Preparing for the ATP Exam
Presented by Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Recorded Webinar
Course: #2625Level: Introductory1 Hour
The RESNA Assistive Technology Professional certification examination includes questions from a variety of content areas. One of those areas is Recreational Technologies. This module will cover the content area including recreational technologies for people who have motor, cognitive, and/or sensory impairments. Areas addressed include play, games, sports, and exercise.

Sensory Technologies: Preparing for the ATP Exam
Presented by Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Recorded Webinar
Course: #2630Level: Introductory1 Hour
The RESNA Assistive Technology Professional certification examination includes questions from a variety of content areas. One of those areas is Sensory Technologies. This module will cover the content area including technologies for people who are hard of hearing, deaf, have low vision, are blind or who are deaf blind.

Alternative and Augmentative Communication: Preparing for the ATP Exam
Presented by Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Recorded Webinar
Course: #2633Level: Introductory1 Hour
This course presents Alternative and Augmentative Communication. Definitions, terminology, access methods and strategies to optimize use will be addressed. Mounting and interfacing with power wheelchairs will also be presented.

Cognitive Technologies: Preparing for the ATP Exam
Presented by Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Recorded Webinar
Course: #2638Level: Introductory1 Hour
This course presents cognitive technologies which are designed to increase independence and safety for clients with cognitive impairments. Content includes definitions and categories of equipment, as well as examples.