Updated: Sep 21
In May 2020, The British Assistive Technology Association (BATA) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) GATE Programme launched a survey to establish what are the most essential assistive products in the United Kingdom in 2020.
The initiative has already won the backing of many major UK organisations specialising in AT and they look forward to using the Assistive Products List (APL) to unify UK AT stakeholders into a voice for the sector.
The UK APL survey will enable those using and developing assistive technology (AT) to contribute to a list of the most essential assistive products so that UK policymakers, users and service providers can plan, procure and provide them even more effectively than we already do.
Which assistive products are in your life?
The current 100 items listed on the current survey are a broad selection of the many devices available and represent a template list from the WHO.
If there are products that people think should be considered for the final assistive products list, they are asked to suggest them in the suggestions box at the end of the survey.
This is important as it helps stakeholders to find out what products should be considered as essential in the UK today.
Why run an APL survey?
The idea of creating a national APL for each nation came from the WHO as a way to highlight the unmet need for AT around the world in the same way that its Essential Medicines List (EML) initiative has successfully raised awareness of the need for equitable access of affordable medicines around the world.
Each country is encouraged to develop a list of products that are considered most essential to their national need. What is considered essential UK will be different from another country where the climate, geography and culture may vary.
By collating a national survey, stakeholders can find out what assistive products are considered essential, across all areas of life such as education, rehabilitation, or medical care.
For further information on assistive technology and the work begun at the WHO please click here: https://bit.ly/3ciqzeo
What is GATE?
GATE stands for the Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology which is a landmark WHO programme. To learn more click here: https://bit.ly/32KfiQY
The WHO is a United Nations agency. It was established in 1948 after the Second World War and is tasked with taking care of the world’s health. It is based in Geneva and is a global organisation.
Why is BATA undertaking this survey?
The British Assistive Technology Association is a not-for-profit membership organisation of AT experts, committed to advancing standards, rights and addressing issues around AT in the UK and a GAATO founding member.
For further information click here:
BATA is leading in this initial stage of a UK APL creation because they understand how vital assistive products and services are in the UK today.
BATA think it is important to help establish their national priorities by finding out how many people are using which assistive products and how can they can improve access to the products and services around them. They are doing this by identifying the barriers and gaps in the current system.
The UK is only the third nation to carry out an APL survey and the first high-income country to do so. Britain is a world leader in disability rights and assistive technology.
By taking part in the survey they believe that contributors are helping their families, local community, and their nation, by ensuring that they have access to the AT they all need.
Who is taking part in the survey?
The British Assistive Technology Association and World Health Organisation GATE Programme are pleased to have received an overwhelmingly positive response from individuals and organisations around the UK and the number of stakeholders joining the initiative grows weekly.
Initial organisational stakeholders met on 21st July and have committed to supporting the UK APL roadmap. Notes from that meeting are available here.
Through establishing this first UK APL, BATA see that the newly unified stakeholder community shall be able to move forward to provide policy makers with the opinions and data they need to advance equitable access to high-quality AT in the UK, by identifying what barriers and gaps there are to accessing the most essential assistive products that people need in the UK in 2020-2021.