Scoping Research Report on Assistive Technology - On The Road For Universal Assistive Technology Coverage

Catherine Holloway, V Austin, Giulia Barbareschi, Barajas F Ramos, L Pannell, Ramirez D Morgado, R Frost, I McKinnon, C Holmes, R Frazer
in Report


Over one billion people - largely disabled people and older people - are currently in need of Assistive Technology (AT). By 2050, this number is predicted to double.

Despite the proven advantages of AT for disabled and older people, their families, and society, there is still a vast and stubborn gap between the need and the supply; currently only 10% of those who need AT currently have access to it.

This Scoping Research Report on Assistive Technology (AT) seeks to unpick and understand the multi-layered and multifaceted ways in which economic, social, and political factors interplay and interact to create barriers to AT for those who need it the most.

Through primary and secondary research, they explore the current landscape, the limitations, and current initiatives, ultimately answering the question: "How best should a target intervention around AT sphere affect positive change for poor, disabled and older people in Global South priority countries?".

To understand this question, the research team asked two specific questions:

What are the barriers which prevent access to AT for the people that need it, with a focus on those living in low resource settings within DFID priority Global South countries?

How should DFID, in partnership with others best direct its intervention toward overcoming these barriers?

The work reveals that, while levels of AT market development vary across countries, key barriers are common. These barriers can be classified into 5 main categories related to both supply and demand factors and across the 5Ps of People, Products, Provision, Personnel, and Policy.

This work is part of the 'Frontier Technology Livestreaming' programme