The Certificate in Assistive Technology and Accessible Design is an interdisciplinary program designed to meet the demand for assistive technology and accessible design specialists. The School of Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology and the Communication Sciences and Disorders program in the College of Health Professions and Sciences, along with the Department of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education, collaborate on the course offerings and management. The certificate follows a model of prerequisite disability and technology basic knowledge, survey of the fields, assessment, intervention and leadership. Completion of the certificate will help prepare the students to sit for State and National certification examinations as Assistive Technology Specialists, Rehabilitation Engineering Technologist and Low Vision Specialist.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted into a certificate program.


Students interested in this certificate should contact one of the three sponsoring programs before enrolling in any certificate courses. Admission to the certificate requires evidence of a basic knowledge of disability and computer applications, evidence of an Undergraduate or Graduate course in anatomy and physiology equivalent to BIO SCI 201 with a grade of C or better (may be taken during first fall or spring semester enrolled depending when it is offered but will require special permission), an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 or a graduate GPA of at least 3.0.

Credits and Courses

Generally, students in the health sciences and exceptional education will have sufficient coursework in disability related studies. Prerequisite evidence in disability related studies may be obtained at the undergraduate level. One of the following is recommended to meet the computer applications requirement.

EXCEDUC 730Assistive and Instructional Technology for Students with Disabilities3
OCCTHPY 750Computer Applications in Occupational Therapy Practice3

The Certificate in Assistive Technology and Accessible Design requires completion of a minimum 15 credits as listed below. In special circumstances, the ATAD coordinator and advisory board may approve substitution of an equivalent Assessment or Intervention course relevant to assistive technology and adaptive design as appropriate.

OCCTHPY 620Introduction to Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology (must be taken at graduate level) 13
Select one of the following:3
Assistive Technology Service Delivery in Schools
Assessment and Intervention in Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Assessment in Assistive Technology and Accessible Design
Single Case Experimental Design
Intervention 2
Select one of the following:3
Design and Disability
Vision I: Introduction to Low Vision & Visual Impairment
Vision II: Practical Aspects of Visual Impairment & Low Vision Intervention
Introduction to Biomedical and Rehabilitation Instrumentation
Advanced Independent Study
Technology & Instruction for Students with Disablities
Fieldwork in Assistive Technology
Independent Reading
Special Populations in Communication Disorders
Research Experience in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Independent Studies
Select an additional 3 credits from either Assessment or Intervention list3
OCCTHPY 760Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology3
Total Credits15

Alternate related graduate-level course can substitute if this course has been completed on an undergraduate level.


Any U/G course must be taken at graduate level.

Additional Requirements

Minimum Grade Requirement

To be awarded the certificate, students must earn a minimum grade of B- in the certificate courses.

Transfer Credit

No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Grade Point Average Requirement

A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in PhD programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

  • 18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
  • 19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.