Access to appropriate, quality assistive technology can mean the difference between enabling or denying education for a child, participation in the workforce for an adult, or the opportunity to maintain independence and age with dignity for an older person. It deserves greater attention now than ever before, as more than 2.5 billion people require one or more assistive products, and this is expected to grow to over 3.5 billion by 2050 as the global population ages.
WHO and UNICEF’s Global Report on Assistive Technology captures for the first time a global snapshot illustrating the need, access to and the preparedness of countries to support assistive technology. The Report also features many stories illustrating the profound impact that assistive products such as spectacles, hearing aids, communication devices and wheelchairs can have on people’s lives, and shows evidence of the economic and social return on investment in assistive technology. It also offers a way forward through ten key recommendations that call for people-centered, collaborative and multisectoral actions to make access to assistive technology a reality for all those in need.