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:
Read the study findings here: https://www.amarseva.org/uploads/default/files/Resomate/Enabling 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:
- Launch of an equipment provision fundraising campaign by the Boniface Family and Handi-Care Intl, to support the AT program at ASSA. https://www.handicareintl.org/assistive-technology-program
- 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.