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Global Report on Assistive Technology:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.



The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have released the first Global Report on Assistive Technology (GReAT).



What is Assistive Technology(AT)?

Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software programme, or product system that is used to help people with disabilities increase, maintain, or improve their functional abilities.

  • Examples: Prosthetics, braces, walkers, customised switches, special-purpose computers, screen readers, and specialist curricular software.


Key findings of the report:

  • Over 2.5 billion individuals require one or more assistive items.
  • A billion people are denied access, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
  • The number of persons in need of
  • assistive devices are predicted to reach 3.5 billion by 2050.
    • This is because of the aging population and the rising incidence of noncommunicable diseases around the world.
  • In the areas of cognition, communication, and self-care, there are significant shortages in service provision and qualified personnel for assistive technology.


Key recommendations:

  1. Improve access within education, health and social care systems.
  2. Ensure availability, safety, effectiveness and affordability of assistive products.
  3. Enlarge, diversify and improve workforce capacity.
  4. Actively involve users of assistive technology and their families.
  5. Increase public awareness and combat stigma.


Disability in India – status, challenges and way ahead:

  • Reference: read this.


Initiatives by the Indian Government for the disabled:

  1. Accessible India Campaign: Creation of Accessible Environment for PwDs.
  2. DeenDayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme.
  3. National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities.
  4. Unique Disability Identification Project.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that the Global Report on Assistive Technology (GReAT) is the culmination of the 71st World Health Assembly resolution in 2018 to prepare a global report on effective access to assistive technology? Reference: read this.



Prelims Link:

  1. What are Assistive Technologies (AT)?
  2. Global Report on Assistive Technology (GReAT)- Key findings.
  3. Schemes/programmes by the Indian Government for the disabled.

Mains Link:

Though the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 was a landmark step but much is left to be desired to achieve inclusivity and accessibility for the disabled. Examine.



[Q.2) Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme seeks to:
    1. Create an enabling environment to ensure equal opportunities, equity, social justice and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
    2. Encourage voluntary action for ensuring effective implementation of the People with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities and Protection of Rights) Act of 1995.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

    1. 1 only.
    2. 2 only.
    3. Both.
    4. None. ]

Sources: the Hindu.