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The World Health Organisation (WHO) is holding an online training workshop that looks to measure the need of, and barriers to, accessing assistive technology in the global population.

Entitled ‘Online Master Training Workshop for Measuring Access to Assistive Technology’, the workshop will take place on 8 -10 February 2021 via Zoom.

The workshop is an integral part of the development of the WHO-UNICEF Global Report on Assistive Technology (GReAT), which looks to improve access to assistive technology globally.

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The resolution on improving access to assistive technology mandates WHO to develop the global report in the context of an integrated approach, based on the best available scientific evidence and international experience by 2021 and progress reports every four years after until 2030.

WHO’s new workshop will kick-off the global initiative of national surveys using the rapid Assistive Technology Assessment (rATA) to measure the need, unmet need of and barriers to access assistive technology in the population.

The workshop aims to: ensure common understanding of the purpose and process of the survey among all stakeholders; provide step-by-step guidance on the survey methodology and implementation to national data coordinators and the survey teams; and discuss and finalise the national survey deployment plans.

The provisional agenda timing is in Central European Time.

To register for the workshop, email assistivetechnology@who.int with the subject ‘rATAMSReg’.

In June 2020, WHO joined up with the British Assistive Technology Association (BATA) to launch an assistive technology survey in the UK.

The survey aims to draw up a priority Assistive Products List (APL), enabling those using and developing assistive technology to contribute to a list of the most essential products so that UK policymakers can plan, procure and provide them.

Assistive technology covers a broad range of products, including AAC equipment, prosthetic limbs, pressure care devices, technology enabled care (TEC) and powered wheelchairs, which all assist people in being able to live more independently.

WHO also recently developed an assistive technology capacity assessment (ATA-C) tool – a system-level tool to evaluate a country’s capacity to finance, regulate, procure and provide assistive technology.

The ATA-C tool enables countries to better understand its current status and identify key actions to improve access to assistive technology; it can be used for awareness-raising, policy and programme design, and ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

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