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Assistive technologies (AT) are products, systems and equipment that help people who have disabilities with things they need to do everyday such as learning, working and living. These technologies include a wide range of devices and systems, such as Braille, screen reading software, text-to-speech, large print materials, hearing aids, reading guides and much more. 

While there are at least 2.5 billion people around the globe who need assistive technology to help them thrive, only about 10% of people in low income countries are able to afford it. This is in comparison to the 90% of people in higher income countries who have access to assistive technologies.

World Day for Assistive Technology was founded to help draw attention to this urgent need and get more people involved in making a difference!

History of World Day for Assistive Technology

The first World Day for Assistive Technology was scheduled for 2024 when it was founded through the efforts of the organization called Unlock the Everyday. This group of concerned people is working hard to make sure that people all over the world who need assistive technology can get access to it, even if they are in low income countries. This day is here to encourage communities, policymakers and individual members of the public to stand behind this movement that seeks to open up more opportunities for people across the world.

How to Celebrate World Day for Assistive Technology

Consider some of these and other creative ways to get involved and participate in World Day for Assistive Technology:

Learn More About Assistive Technology 

The concept of assistive technologies has been around for hundreds of years, perhaps starting with early wheelchairs in 5th century Asia. From hearing aids to books in Braille, from closed captioning on videos to automatic door openers, the world is filled with many accommodations that help meet the special needs that people with certain disabilities have.

Check out, and perhaps share, some of these important facts from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the topic in honor of World Day for Assistive Technology:

  • With the aging population on the rise, along with noncommunicable diseases, it is estimated that at least 3.5 billion people will need assistive technologies by 2050

  • Integrated services for assistive technology are important because most people who use them use more than one

  • Early access to hearing aids in young children can make a difference in their ability to communicate for their entire lives

  • When elderly people are provided assistive technology in a timely manner, it aids them in their ability to function and remain independent for as long as possible

Promote Inclusion with AT

One important way that anyone can observe World Day for Assistive Technology is to use their voice to speak up for others who might need it. This might include sharing the events on social media, hosting an event to raise funds for assistive technology charities, encouraging a friend who is disabled and needs assistance, advocating politically for assistive technologies, or finding other creative ways to speak up and make a difference.

Another event with a similar cause that takes place in May is Global Accessibility Awareness Day.  

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