Assistive Technology

Assistive technologies are any product, high or low tech,whose primary purpose is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence to facilitate participation and to enhance overall well-being. (WHO)

Provision of assistive technology (AT) for children, particularly in pre-school is very rare in India. To examine the barriers and facilitators to assistive technology provision and use for children in rural India, we conducted a study, by surveying local service providers. The study found that the main barriers and facilitators to AT provision and use were:

  1. Acceptability
  2. Affordability
  3. Availability
  4. Accessibility
  5. Adaptability

Read the study findings here: Local Provision of AT.pdf

Based on the study findings, Amar Seva Sangam’s Enabling Inclusion program launched an assistive devices provision program.

The program includes:

  • Provision of staff capacity building on various stages of AT provision including:

➢ Referral, assessment & prescription for key Assistive Products (AP)

➢ Funding and ordering

➢ Product preparation, fitting and modifications

➢ Training in use of AP

➢ Maintenance & repairs and follow-up

  • Review referrals: establish priority lists
  • Establish regular AT assessment camps
  • Identify AP suppliers: commercial and custom-made AP suppliers were identified.
  • Develop educational material for service users and families for various AP.
  • Community and school disability awareness programs were enhanced to reduce AT-related stigma
  • A total of 2061 Assistive Products were prescribed to children with disabilities (see chart below).
  • A follow-up study to understand how AT that was provided to children and families is being used, its benefits, and challenges is planned.
  • The EI® app is being updated to assist with prescription and track usage of AT.
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