The Assistive Technology Information Mapping project (AT-Info-Map) was funded by the Google Impact Challenge as one of the ‘big ideas that will use technology to expand opportunity and independence for people with disabilities’
What is the problem?
In Southern Africa, it is estimated that 85-95% of persons (or 11.5 million people) with disabilities need assistive technology (AT) but do not have access.
What is a solution?
This ambitious 3 year project will develop a mobile data system that will be used to capture, organize, and map the current availability of AT in 10 countries in Southern Africa. Identifying WHAT types of AT are available and WHERE those products are located will serve three purposes:
- Connecting persons with disabilities to the available AT near their community,
- Supporting key actors in identifying AT needs. Key actors include public AT providers (clinics, community health centers, secondary and tertiary hospitals, schools), civil society, government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), disabled people organizations (DPOs) and businesses,
- Informing AT suppliers, manufacturers, and designers of unmet public demand.
Who can benefit from assistive technology?
Anyone with a temporary or permanent limitation in functioning can benefit from AT. AT includes a wide range of technology products that are used to improve mobility, hearing, vision, communication, and learning.
Through access to AT, persons with disabilities can realize their basic human rights such as access to education, health care, employment, information, communication, and activities of daily living