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Increasing Access To Assistive Technology
Increasing Access To Assistive Technology In Southern Africa Webinar
This 2-hour webinar includes a Q & A session focusing on the Assistive Technology (AT) situation in Southern Africa; the AT-Info-Map project; and the forthcoming regional AT Expo. AT includes a wide range of technology products that are used to support persons with disabilities as they work, learn, play and live in their communities. Some examples of AT include: crutches, wheelchairs, ramps, hearing aids, Braille printers, adaptive software, communication devices, just to mention a few.
The event is being co-organized by the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD); the African Network for Evidence–to–Action in Disability (AfriNEAD), and the University of Washington.
In Southern Africa, it is estimated that 85-95% of people with disabilities who need AT do not have access to it. For those who do get access, devices are often inappropriate for the individual and/or the environment, and lack repair and maintenance services. It is in this context that the AT-Info-Map project was initiated in April 2016.
The AT-Info-Map project aims to increase access to AT by gathering and providing information on existing AT resources (suppliers and services) in Southern Africa. The project has geographically mapped the current availability of different types of AT in ten countries in Southern Africa and organized AT awareness raising events with local disability organizations in multiple countries. During the implementation of the AT-Info-Map project, SAFOD and collaborators have discussed the challenges and potential solutions to increasing AT access with public, private, NGO and DPO stakeholders across the region. These discussions have highlighted the need to explore and interrogate a myriad of topics such as AT policies, regulations, and financing, in order to develop lasting solutions to the whole question of AT access. This webinar is part of our AT awareness campaign that aims to share knowledge and identify effective strategies for increasing AT access.