Two key documents published in May: WHO’s Global Report on Assistive Technology (GReAT), hand in hand with GAATO’s Report on Grand Challenge on AT Outcomes and Impacts

In May, two important reports were published, underlying the large, unmet need for assistive technology worldwide. WHO UNICEF estimates that over 2.5 billion people in the world would benefit from having one or more assistive products, however access to AT varies between 3% to 90% depending on the country.

“Access to appropriate, quality assistive technology can mean the difference between enabling or denying education for a child, participation in the workforce for an adult, or the opportunity to maintain independence and age with dignity for an older person.” wrote Catherine M. Russell UNICEF Executive Director, in her opening words to the Global Report on Assistive Technology (GReAT). Followed by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO Director-General, who summarized the essence of the report as a “way forward through ten key recommendations that call for peoplecentered, collaborative and multisectoral actions to make access to assistive technology a reality for all those in need”.

The Global Report on Assistive Technology presents a comprehensive dataset and analysis of current assistive technology access, drawing the attention of governments and civil society to the need for, and benefit of, assistive technology, including its return on investment. The Global Report sets out ten recommendations for improving access to assistive technology, which in turn support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, inclusive Universal Health Coverage, and alignment with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Guided by an Expert Advisory Group, the WHO and UNICEF have jointly developed this report in the context of an integrated approach, based on the best available scientific evidence and international experience, in collaboration with stakeholders from diverse settings, multiple countries, and all regions. It is primarily directed at policy-makers, providers of assistive technology, donors and funding agencies, and industry leaders. It is also aimed at broader stakeholders including users and potential users of assistive technology and their families or caregivers.

Leading up to the Global Report on Assistive Technology, the Global Alliance of Assistive Technology Organisations (GAATO) invited stakeholders from around the world to share views on AT Outcomes and Impacts through a Grand Challenge process. The aim was to identify and clarify the set of current challenges that needed to be addressed to successfully measure assistive technology outcomes and impact at the individual, community, local, national, and global level.

This second report, names the top challenges for defining, acquiring, documenting, and using assistive technology outcome and impact evidence which sets out baseline challenges against which we can measure change and improvement.

Download the reports:

Link to GAATO’s Report on Grand Challenge on AT Outcomes and Impacts:

Link to WHO UNICEF’s Global Report on Assistive Technology (GReAT):