Assistive Technology

This page features disability news on Assistive Technology from the Debrief Library. See also news on other subjects.

International

Marketing Matters on how AT startups need to invest in marketing (Jul, AT2030)

The Global Report on Assistive Technology: a new era in assistive technology (Jun, Assistive Technology)

Making the direct to consumer model work for Assistive Technology warns about “unintended charitable consequences”:

“AT distribution that depends on charitable and philanthropic funding are highly vulnerable to financial cuts and changes in priorities. What’s more, AT distribution cannot be a one-off event like a vaccination camp. Distributed AT must be maintained, adapted and changed as the needs of the user change. Few charitable models are able to accommodate such a model- over time, people can be left with AT that is no longer fit for purpose, and disillusioned as to its value.” (Jul, AT2030)

A scoping review of Technologies Measuring Manual Wheelchair Propulsion Metrics (May, Assistive Technology)

From WHO and UNICEF, a Global Report on Assistive Technology. From the press release:

“A new report published today by WHO and UNICEF reveals that more than 2.5 billion people need one or more assistive products, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or apps that support communication and cognition. Yet nearly one billion of them are denied access, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where access can be as low as 3% of the need for these life-changing products.” (May, WHO and UNICEF)

See also comment from WHO and CBM Global.

Interesting discussion on Center for Inclusive Policy on Why is access to assistive technology not a global priority? (May, CIP)

What do you call technology that's meant to be assistive but isn't? This essay explores the term Disability Dongle coined by Liz Jackson to refer to well intended but useless “solutions“. The essay explores experience of what happens when the authors call out these technologies and how their idea has spread. (Apr, Platypus)

Evidence brief on promoting access to assistive technology for individuals with disabilities in Low- and Middle-Income Settings. "Limited access to assistive technology is exacerbated by the lack of awareness about assistive technology and what the technology can offer to people with disabilities". (Dec, Disability Evidence Portal)

A systematic review of global population-based research Estimating need and coverage for five priority assistive products. “The finding of high unmet need (>60%) for each of the five APs emphasises the need to secure political prioritisation and funding to expand access to AT globally.” (Jan, BMJ Global Health)

A new book Disability Interactions: Creating Inclusive Innovations "focuses on the interactions people have with their technologies and the interactions which result because of technology use" (Dec, Morgan Claypool)

TIDAL N+ "Transformative Innovation in the delivery of Assisted Living Products and Services" - "building a transdisciplinary network" (Jan, GDI)

UNICEF to introduce 24 new assistive products into the global Supply Catalogue. "Through global tenders, UNICEF and WHO have been able to negotiate low-cost prices which will ensure these highly technical and specialized pieces of equipment can be quickly and easily ordered by field teams, partners, and governments." (Dec, UNICEF)

Measuring assistive technology supply and demand a scoping review (Dec, Assistive Technology Journal)

Georgia

Nina’s story: How assistive technology is improving her quality of life (Jun, WHO)

India

Food Delivery Service With A Difference: This Motorised Wheelchair “Gives Wings To People With Disabilities” (Jun, NDTV)

Malawi

Age related increase in impairment across the life course: the use of Zomba curves to estimate assistive technology needs.

Rwanda

UNICEF supplies hundreds of children with life-changing hearing aids “UNICEF was able to significantly reduce the prices for these quality devices, providing them to the Government of Rwanda for $118. At this point in time, the same hearing aid can cost as much as $2,000 if buying it commercially within Rwanda.” (Jun, UNICEF)

United States

Disability At Home practical solutions and photographs that “document the ingenuity and creativity that caregivers and disabled people, including those with chronic illnesses, use every day to make home accessible.” (Laura Mauldin)

This is old, but I liked seeing this wheelchair kitted-out to plow snow with tracks and an attached blade. (2016, WOWT 6 News)