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The certificate in assistive technology and accessible design (ATAD) will help you prepare to sit for state and national certification examinations as an assistive technology specialist, rehabilitation engineering technologist, and low vision specialist.

The ATAD certificate is a collaboration between the Communication Sciences & Disorders and Occupational Therapy, Sciences & Technology programs in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences & Technology and the Department of Exceptional Education in the UWM School of Education.

Program Type

Graduate Certificate

Program Format

On Campus

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What can you do with a Certificate in Assistive Technology & Accessible Design?

The certificate in assistive technology and accessible design provides you with theoretical and practical backgrounds in assistive technology, which will prepare you to work in a variety of settings, including rehabilitation clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, consulting firms and school systems.

  • We offer the only certificate in assistive technology and accessible design in the country.
  • Classes are taught by world-renowned faculty members and are wide-ranging, so you can create your own individualized 15-credit certificate.
  • Many courses are offered in the evening or as hybrid online courses.
  • You will work under the direction of a faculty member to complete a capstone project, which, by design, is potentially publishable.

Credits and courses required for a certificate may double-count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements. Please contact your graduate program academic department to learn more about credits.

All applicants, including those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program, must complete an application to the UWM Graduate School.

Important Information

This certificate program is subject to federal gainful employment regulations.

Due to new federal financial aid regulations, beginning with the summer 2017 term, students who had not previously been awarded federal financial aid at UWM and are enrolled in a stand-alone certificate program will no longer be eligible for federal Title IV aid. Students in a stand-alone certificate who are seeking financial assistance may be eligible for private loans. Private loans are not guaranteed as they are subject to lender approval including a credit check.

FastChoice is a tool that will help you learn what to look for when shopping for a private loan. At the end of the short tutorial, it will provide a comparison shopping tool allowing you to sort, filter, and compare up to five lenders at one time.

Upon applying for the loan of your choice and being approved, the UWM Financial Aid Office will be notified by the lender to provide enrollment information. At such time the loan will be added to your financial aid award.

With a Certificate in Assistive Technology and Accessible Design, you will be better prepared to meet the diverse and adaptive needs of a career in the field of assistive technology and accessible design. You will gain classroom experience in the following content areas, among others:

  • Introduction to Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology
  • Assistive Technology Service Delivery in the Schools
  • Assessment and Intervention in Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Assessment in AT and Accessible Design
  • Design and Disability
  • Introduction to Low Vision and Vision Impairment
  • Practical Aspects of Visual Impairment and Low Vision Intervention
  • Introduction to Biomedical and Rehabilitation Instrumentation
  • Technology and Instruction for Children with Disabilities
  • Special Populations in Communication Disorders
How do I know if the certificate in assistive technology & accessible design is for me?

To get more information and guidance to help you make an informed decision, contact the certificate coordinator, Michelle Silverman, MS, OTR, at 414-251-5882 or

How can I apply?

To apply to the certificate in assistive technology and accessible design, you must apply to the UWM Graduate School.

Is there a deadline to apply?

No, the enrollment period is rolling. You can apply at any time. Deadlines only surround class schedules.

Is the certificate program online?

While not all of the courses are offered online, there are enough to obtain the certificate fully online. Please refer to the schedule of classes for the most up-to-date information. If you have questions, contact the certificate coordinator, MichelleSilverman, MS, OTR, at 414-251-5882 or

Are there any prerequisites for this certificate?

Admission to the certificate program requires evidence of a basic knowledge of disability and computer applications, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or a graduate GPA of 3.0.

What courses can I take to get the certificate?

The certificate program is a 15-credit, non-degree program. You are required to take Introduction to Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology and a Capstone course. You will also choose three electives in the areas of Assessment and Intervention. More information regarding qualifying courses is available in the UWM Academic Catalog or the program brochure (PDF). Please refer to the schedule of classes for the most up to date course offerings.

How much does the certificate program cost?

For the most up-to-date information, visit the UWM Enrollment & Financial Services website. Be sure you are viewing the Graduate Fee Schedule for the appropriate semester.

In addition to regular tuition, there are also mandatory/segregated fees, which are funds earmarked for the support of certain student services. See the Mandatory/Segregated Fees document for the appropriate semester on the UWM Enrollment & Financial Services website.

There may also be additional course fees that could include differential tuition, distance education fees, or special course fees. To see if your courses have additional fees, go to

How long do I have to complete the certificate program?

You must complete all certificate courses within three years of initial enrollment in the certificate program.

Michelle Silverman, MS, OTR
ATAD Certificate Coordinator