AAATE in New York: discussing how assistive technologies enable independent living and inclusion

Press Release

13 June 2018

New York: In a side-event to the 11th session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) taking place this week, AAATE is joining a high-level panel to discuss how assistive technologies enable independent living and inclusion.

While the overarching theme of this week’s conference is “Leaving no one behind through the full implementation of the CRPD”, the side event will take a closer look at how assistive technologies are delivered in a European context, often as a social service, with the aim to facilitate independent living and active participation in the community. Aspects to be discussed in include the selection of assistive technology, barriers but also potential benefits to a larger take up of technology in this space and the necessary policy frameworks.

AAATE considers the access to assistive technology as human right and is convinced that the existing technologies and emerging innovations in this space offer a huge potential for highly effective solutions that may serve many people with disabilities. But harnessing that potential and making it available to everyone is a huge challenge, requiring research and development efforts as well as directed policies on national and international levels. Unfortunately AT related research for the benefit of people with disabilities is rarely the focus of research funding programmes.

There is therefore a need for effective and efficient AT provision policies and systems to bridge the gap between what is possible and what is available to the people who need these solutions. So what better opportunity to discuss these issues in the wake of one of the most successful UN treaties of all time, which is the UNCRPD.

Speakers joining in this discussion include:

  • Moderator: Inmaculada Placencia, Senior Expert on Disability, European Commission
  • Chapal Khasnabis, World Health Organisation
  • Adam Kosa, Member of the European Parliament
  • Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf, Board Member of EASPD
  • Luc de Witte, President of AAATE
  • John Patrick Clarke, Vice President of the European Disability Forum
  • Miguel Angel Valero, Director CEAPAT (IMSERSO)
  • Malin Ekman Aldén, Director General for the Swedish Agency for Participation


If you come by New York and have opportunity to follow the event, do come and meet the president of AAATE, Dr. Luc de Witte, and AAATE Secretary General and EASPD Board Member, Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf.

A summary of AAATE’s main message to the delegates to the UNCPRD in New York can be found at


Side Event: “AT services enabling independent living and inclusion”

UN Headquarter – 13 June, 6:30 to 8:00pm, CF room 4


Contact: –


AAATE is an independent non-for-profit association of assistive technology stakeholders in Europe and beyond. Both Institutions and Individuals can join the Association.


The 15th international AAATE conference will be held in Bologna, Italy, 27-30 August 2019 under the title “Global Challenges in Assistive Technology”. Don’t miss it!