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Post at: Jul 29 2022

First Global Report on Assistive Technology

Why in News ?

  • On 16 May 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) jointly launched the first Global Report on Assistive Technology.
    • WHO and UNICEF analysis looks at how to improve availability and access to wheelchairs, hearing aids, or apps that support communication and cognition of special abled persons.

Key Highlights of the Report

  • The report notes that the number of people in need of one or more assistive products is likely to rise to 3.5 billion by 2050.
    • It is  due to populations aging and the prevalence of non-communicable diseases rising across the world.
  • The 76th round (July- December 2018) of the National Sample Survey (NSS) reported that among persons with disabilities, 21.8% reported receiving aid/help from the government and another 1.8% from other organisations.
  • A survey of 70 countries featured in the report found large gaps in service provision and trained workforce for assistive technology, especially in the domains of cognition, communication and self-care.

The purpose of the Global Report on Assistive Technology (GReAT)

  • This report is the culmination of the 71st World Health Assembly resolution in 2018 to prepare a global report on effective access to Assistive Technology.
  • The report assumes significance as 90% of those who need Assistive Technology do not have access to it globally, and including assistive technology into health systems is critical for progress towards the targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) relating to Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Key recommendations:

  • Improve access within education, health and social care systems.
  • Ensure availability, safety, effectiveness and affordability of assistive products.
  • Enlarge, diversify and improve workforce capacity.
  • Actively involve users of assistive technology and their families.
  • Increase public awareness and combat stigma.

India's effort 

  • Assistance to Disabled Persons Scheme
  • Accessible India Campaign: Creation of Accessible Environment for PwDs
  • DeenDayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme
  • National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities
  • Unique Disability Identification Project
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities


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