17 MAY 2022
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY: UN REPORT
“‘Almost one billion people with disabilities and older persons are being denied access to assistive technology, according to a UN report published, calling on governments and industry to fund and prioritize access,” reports the UN News on 16 May 2022.
“Assistive technology is a life changer – it opens the door to education for children with impairments, employment and social interaction for adults living with disabilities, and an independent life of dignity for older persons,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus calls for immediate steps to be taken on ‘The Global Report on Assistive Technology’ released jointly by World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The Report highlights the disparity in low and high income countries and reveals that more than 2.5 billion people require one or more assistive supports such as wheelchairs and hearing aids.
“Nearly 240 million children have disabilities. It deprives families and their communities of everything they could contribute if their needs were met,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell.
“Denying people access to these life-changing tools is not only an infringement of human rights, it’s economically short-sighted,” said the WHO Chief.
“Without access to assistive technology, children with disabilities will continue to miss out on their education, continue to be at a greater risk of child labour and continue to be subjected to stigma and discrimination, undermining their confidence and wellbeing,” warned the UNICEF chief.
The Global Report provides a series of recommendations to expand availability with quality products at affordable prices and access, raise awareness and implement inclusion policies to improve the lives of millions.