Sadly, there is no
quick reference book written for clinicians who feel lost in the myriad
of technological devices and jargon. Aside from surfing the web, hardworking
and frustrated clinicians may want to update their knowledge base by attending
conferences where assistive technology practitioners regularly meet. Attending
a conference provides hands-on opportunities through instructional workshops,
seminars and equipment exhibits. In addition, the opportunity to meet
developers, clinicians and consumers often generates new ideas for the
application of assistive technologies.
Here are a few conferences that you may want to consider attending
Conference for the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology
Society of North America (RESNA)
Usually held in June, this conference rotates its location throughout
the United States with an occasional stop in Canada. While it may sound
exclusive for rehabilitation engineers, clinicians and academics with
a strong interest in the clinical as well as research applications of
assistive technology usually attend. The abundance of short scientific
papers can be overwhelming for the novice clinician however, the interactive
poster sessions and labs may be more informative.
the Gap (CTG)
This three day conference typically attracts consumers, educators as well
as clinicians and technical experts who are interested in computer technology
for special education and rehabilitation. It is considered a good introductory
conference to attend since it offers a little bit of everything. This
conference hosts one of the most extensive exhibit halls and a variety
of one and two hour presentations in addition to pre-conference workshops.
It is always held in mid-October in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
and Persons with Disabilities Conference
Held at the California State University Northridge (CSUN) Centre on Disabilities,
one could not find a better location to be in March! This conference has
a big emphasis on educational and vocational applications. It is a nicely
paced conference and there is a good balance of research, clinical and
technical papers for paediatric and adult populations. Clinicians seeking
information for the sensory impaired (vision/hearing) will find many resources.
of Assistive Technology
This is a more recent venue that is more of a preparatory course for individuals
who wish to become a certified assistive technology practitioner through
RESNA. It covers the ABCs of assistive technology from assessment approaches
to securing funds for devices. Equipment suppliers or vendors are often
the biggest group of attendees.
If you are hesitant
to launch funds into these specialized conferences consider attending
the annual conference for the American Occupational Therapy Association
or CAOT. Both conferences have offered a hands-on assistive technology
show that features clinicians teaching clinicians without the pressure
of vendors and other product suppliers. Just one more reason to attend
your annual CAOT conference!
For further information
on these conferences, check out these web sites
2000 Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.
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