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    Assistive technology policy: a position paper from the first global research, innovation, and education on assistive technology (GREAT) summit

    MacLachlan, Malcolm and Banes, David and Bell, Diane and Borg, Johan and Donnelly, Brian and Fembek, Michael and Ghosh, Ritu and Gowran, Rosemary Joan and Hannay, Emma and Hiscock, Diana and Hoogerwerf, Evert-Jen and Howe, Tracey and Kohler, Friedbert and Layton, Natasha and Long, Siobhan and Mannan, Hasheem and Mji, Gubela and Ongolo, Thomas Odera and Perry, Katherine and Pettersson, Cecilia and Power, Jessica and Ramos, Vinicius Delgado and Slepickova, Lenka and Smith, Emma M. and Tay-Teo, Kiu and Geiser, Priscille and Hooks, Hilary (2018) Assistive technology policy: a position paper from the first global research, innovation, and education on assistive technology (GREAT) summit. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 13 (5). pp. 454-466. ISSN 1748-3107

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    creased awareness, interest and use of assistive technology (AT) presents substantial opportunities for many citizens to become, or continue being, meaningful participants in society. However, there is a significant shortfall between the need for and provision of AT, and this is patterned by a range of social, demographic and structural factors. To seize the opportunity that assistive technology offers, regional, national and sub-national assistive technology policies are urgently required. This paper was developed for and through discussion at the Global Research, Innovation and Education on Assistive Technology (GREAT) Summit; organized under the auspices of the World Health Organization’s Global Collaboration on Assistive Technology (GATE) program. It outlines some of the key principles that AT polices should address and recognizes that AT policy should be tailored to the realities of the contexts and resources available. AT policy should be developed as a part of the evolution of related policy across a number of different sectors and should have clear and direct links to AT as mediators and moderators for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The consultation process, development and implementation of policy should be fully inclusive of AT users, and their representative organizations, be across the lifespan, and imbued with a strong systems-thinking ethos. Six barriers are identified which funnel and diminish access to AT and are addressed systematically within this paper. We illustrate an example of good practice through a case study of AT services in Norway, and we note the challenges experienced in less wellresourced settings. A number of economic factors relating to AT and economic arguments for promoting AT use are also discussed. To address policy-development the importance of active citizenship and advocacy, the need to find mechanisms to scale up good community practices to a higher level, and the importance of political engagement for the policy process, are highlighted. Policy should be evidenceinformed and allowed for evidence-making; however, it is important to account for other factors within the given context in order for policy to be practical, authentic and actionable.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Disability; policy; assistive technology; impairment; ageing; economics; accessibility;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 13229
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Malcolm MacLachlan
    Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2020 08:47
    Journal or Publication Title: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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