Your input needed as BATA launches WHO's UK survey of assistive products

02 June 2020

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BATA is pleased to announce that the UK priority Assistive Products List (APL) survey, carried out in conjunction with the World Health Organisation’s Global Cooperation Assistive Technology (GATE) programme, is live. Take the survey now at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LD7MYJ6 or download a PDF. 

The UK APL survey will enable those using and developing assistive technology (AT) to contribute to a list of the most essential products so that UK policymakers can plan, procure and provide them..

AT products promote greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing.

AT products are in use, every day in the UK. Ranging widely from spectacles and hearing aids, orthotic shoes and wheelchairs to screen reading software and fall detectors for the elderly. All of these products and many more are all types of AT.

Please take part in this survey by ticking products you consider most important to you personally; someone you care for or those persons your organisation represents.

You can access the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LD7MYJ6

The current 100 items listed are a broad selection of the many devices available. If there are products you would like to see considered for a final essential UK Assistive Products List (APL) that are not mentioned here, please add them to the suggestions box at the end of the survey.

Your involvement is valued and by completing this survey your voice will be heard.

The idea of creating a national APL for each nation came from 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 reduced costs and broadened availability of affordable medicines around the world.

Each country is encouraged to develop a priority list of products that are considered most essential to their national need. What we need in the UK will be different from another country where the climate and culture are different.  

By collating in a national survey, we can find out what types of items are important to us in the UK, across all the areas of life where we use AT, such as rehabilitation, education, physiotherapy or medical care.

For further information on assistive technology and the work begun at the WHO please click here. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/assistive-technology

What is GATE?

GATE stands for the Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology which is a landmark programme led by the Disability Team at the WHO. To learn more click here (URL link to https://www.who.int/phi/implementation/assistive_technology/phi_gate/en/

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. The UK is a member of the WHO.

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 addressing issues around AT in the UK.

For further information click here. (URL Link to https://www.bataonline.org.uk/about-bata )

BATA is leading in this initial stage of a UK APL creation because we understand how vital AT products and services are to almost every individual in the UK today.

We think it is important to establish our national priorities by finding out how many people are using which AT products and how can we reduce the cost of providing those products, so that all UK citizens can afford access to them.

Where items are currently provided by the UK Government free of charge, such as through the NHS or Department for Education we hope that the UK APL will help save costs and aid cross-departmental services.

The UK are only the third nation to carry out an APL survey and the first high-income country to do so. Britain leads the world in disability rights and AT.

By taking part in this survey you are lighting the way for other countries to follow and helping to ensure that the estimated 90% of the world population who need AT but currently have no access, will one day have the spectacles, hearing aids and crutches that they need.