WHO – Interesting Findings – Assistiveware and Disability

As part of the roll out of the World Health Organisations (WHO) Global Disability Action Plan 2014 – 2021 it was established that 1000 million people globally have a disability, this constitutes 15% of the world’s population or 1 in 7 people. Unfortunately, this number is set to rise as populations age and chronic health conditions increase. Sadly, another discovery was made, that only 5-15% of people who require assistive devices and technology currently have access to them.

WHO established that Assistive Technology is evolving rapidly and it is categorised as any item, piece of equipment or product, whether it is acquired commercially or is customised, that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. They conclude that Assistiveware covers many things such as wheelchairs, hearing aids and visual impairment aids, but also that there needs to be a strong focus on information and communication technologies that include computers, screen readers and customised phones/iPads and PC’s.

WHO establish that Assistive Technology plays a significant role in enabling people with disabilities to function and participate in life. Access to various services and technologies is often a prerequisite for people with disabilities to be able to work, participate within their community, access health care and attend schools and tertiary education.

We here at Disability Tek believe that access to Assistive Technology is a basic right, it is an enabler and allows our community to feel empowered, establish greater independence and connectivity. We feel that what we are doing is important, relevant and necessary. We hope that with community support we will continue to grow and be an important asset for all people interested in developing better knowledge and understanding about Assistive Technologies.