GDI Hub, World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Assistive Technology


News and events

Keep up to date with what’s happening in the WHO Collaborating Centre for Assistive Technology at UCL and more broadly in the UCL GDI Hub and Assistive Technology innovation world.


First ever global guide for assistive technology to improve the life of millions

Many people in the world today lack access to appropriate assistive technology. To address some of those barriers WHO has created the Assistive Products Specifications guidebook, which contains specs for 26 prioritised assistive products, including the minimum quality requirements for manufacturing. 

Funded by UK Aid under Global Disability Innovation Hub’s AT2030 programme, the Assistive Products Specifications supports a focus on innovative products, new service models, and global capacity to drive disability innovation for a fairer world.

Assistive technology capacity assessment ATA-C tool

The World Health Organization (WHO) launch of the assistive technology capacity assessment (ATA-C) tool. The ATA-C is a system-level tool to evaluate a country’s capacity to finance, regulate, procure and provide assistive technology. It can enable countries to better understand the current status and identify key actions to improve access to assistive technology.

The tool development and country assessments were funded by UK aid under the AT2030 programme led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub with contributions from the United States Agency for International Development.

Assistive Technology: What is in a name?

One of the World Health Organization’s Assistive Technology Team goals is to promote access to safe and effective assistive technology for everyone who needs it. In this blog post, we focus on the value of building consensus and clarity on the terminology we use, particularly the use of the terms assistive technology and assistive products.

Understanding the Assistive Technology Landscape in 7 African Countries

Country Capacity Assessment (CCA) are a system-level assessment of a country capacity to appropriately provide Assistive Technology (AT) to meet its population needs. The CCAs are a joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), and the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) under AT2030

Powering Inclusion: Artifical Intelligence (AI) and Assistive Technology (AT)

This briefing summarises the findings of an online expert roundtable on AI and AT held in November 2020.

The event brought together experts working at the forefront of AI and AT to highlight the potential of using AI for AT and establish a list of ‘grand challenges’ to drive forward innovation in the AI & AT sector ahead of the launch of the newly formed International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence under the auspices of UNESCO (International Research Centre in Artifical Intelligence - IRCAI).

Participants included industry leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and AT users. The roundtable was funded by the AT2030 programme which is funded by Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and led by Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub).

New economics of assistive technology: A call for a missions approach

Issues that affect access to appropriate AT are currently seen through the lens of supply and demand-side failures. Actions and policies that try to address AT access through a limited market failure perspective will not be able to deliver AT in the comprehensive way necessary to meet need, while ensuring the AT is user-appropriate and of high quality. In order to meet user need, new thinking is needed that recognises the value of AT by considering how the AT innovation ecosystem creates meaningful economic and social value. 

In order to unleash the full potential of AT value, this paper proposes a public sector-led, mission-oriented approach.

Estimating need and coverage for five priority assistive products: A systematic review protocol

To contribute to a global effort to increase the AT evidence base, we conducted a systematic review of studies which generated population-based data on AP access indicators for five priority APs (hearing aids, wheelchairs, prosthetics, glasses, or personal digital assistants). This review aims to (1) characterize existing population-level research producing estimates of AP access indicators for the five APs and (2) present and synthesise global data on AP access indicators to support scaling up AT provision. 

This review builds on the findings of an initial scoping review, commissioned by the WHO and published separately which primarily focused on methods used for estimating AP supply and demand at market-level.

Assistive Technology Need Data Repository

A comprehensive understanding of global assistive technology (AT) marketplaces is essential to identify unmet needs, argue for political prioritisation, attract innovation and investment, develop best practices for AT delivery, and ultimately expand access to AT. Yet data on assistive technology (both products and associated services) are challenging to identify and compare, limiting their potential use for informed decision-making. This is the result of barriers at market-level and in the research sector. 

A centralised repository of empirical and grey literature would begin to address this multi-faceted problem by mapping what has already been done and what learnings can be applied to settings with knowledge gaps.

GDI Hub “commits to change” at the Global Disability Summit 2022

Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) has made commitments at the Global Disability Summit 2022. GDI Hub has made 5 commitments, which fall across their 5 thematic areas of work, as outlined in GDI Hub’s most recent strategy: accessible and assistive technology, cultural participation, EdTech, Climate Justice and Inclusive Design