The WHO-UNICEF Global Report on Assistive Technology (AT) reveals that more than 2.5 billion people need one or more assistive products, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or apps that support communication and cognition. Yet nearly one billion of them are denied access, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where access can be as low as 3% of the need for these life-changing products.
The Global Report provides the best available evidence about the barriers currently preventing access, how access can be improved, and how enabling environments and AT can enable persons with disabilities to enjoy their human rights while generating a tremendous return on investment for governments. The report also makes 10 key recommendations for concrete actions that will improve access to AT, for everyone, that needs them.
Access to assistive technology for children with disabilities is often the first step for childhood development, access to education, participation in sports and civic life, and getting ready for employment like their peers. Children with disabilities have additional challenges due to their growth, which requires frequent adjustments or replacements of their assistive products.