New Global Partnership
ATscale, the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology was launched in 2018 with the ambitious goal of catalysing action to reach 500 million people with life-changing assistive technology (AT) by 2030.
The Partnership’s vision is to enable a lifetime of potential where every person can access and afford the life-changing AT they need.
We seek build a cross-sector partnership that is a catalyst for change, amplifies existing work, and coordinates and mobilises global stakeholders with a unified strategy to increase availability of and access to affordable and appropriate AT.
Why Assistive Technology?
Access to appropriate Assistive Technology (AT) enables people to participate more in education, work, family and, community life. Today, over 1 billion people need at least one form of AT, but over 90% do not have access to the AT they require.
Without AT, individuals can experience:
- isolation and exclusion from education, work, family, and community life;
- poorer health outcomes including premature death, deteriorating mental health, chronic health conditions, and other secondary health complications;
- increased costs and lower incomes, leading to higher risks of poverty and unrealised economic potential from the individual to the country level.
Research demonstrates that, in contrast, increasing accessibility and affordability of AT unlocks unrealised economic potential and provides socioeconomic benefits for individuals, families and countries.
What are the challenges in providing Assistive Technology
Lack of an enabling environment
A wide range of systemic, underlying environmental challenges and cross-cutting factors contribute to the challenge in matching appropriate supply and demand for AT such as:
- inconsistent political will;
- lack of understanding;
- lack of commercial focus;
- significant gaps in resources and investment.
Market barriers limit both supply and demand of AT.
Lack of demand may be from users, service providers, and/or country governments because of lack of awareness, stigma and discrimination, insufficient and inadequately trained providers, lack of inclusion in insurance schemes and fragmented procurement systems.
On the supply side there are limitations on AT products related to availability, affordability, appropriate design, and assured quality.See more