Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE)

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Original Editors - Habibu Salisu Badamasi

Top Contributors - Habibu Salisu Badamasi, Naomi O'Reilly and Kim Jackson      


Introduction[edit | edit source]

Only 10% of the people who are in need of assistive products actually have access to them, despite such access being claimed to be a human right. An assistive product is any product (including devices, equipment, instruments, and software), either specially designed or produced or generally available, whose primary purpose is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence and thereby promote their well being. Common examples of assistive products are spectacles, hearing aids, wheelchairs, prosthetic, communication boards, incontinence products, pill organizers, and therapeutic footwear. Assistive products can improve the quality of life for people with impairments, including the extent of their inclusion and participation in society. The Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) is a program launched by World Health Organization (WHO) to promote Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology.[1] In addition to promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative services, the concept of assistive service need to be embrace with a longer-living global population,  WHO has responded to this challenge by establishing the Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE), seeking to remove barriers and to open the metaphorical gate to overcoming activity limitations, and facilitating inclusion and participation in society. Assistive technology systems is define as the development and application of organized knowledge, skills, procedures, and policies relevant to the provision, use, and assessment of assistive products.[2]

Background[edit | edit source]

On 23 September 2013, at a side event of the High-level meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development, New York, United States of America, Key stakeholders requested WHO to develop and coordinate a global initiative to realize the obligations of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities towards increasing access to assistive technology.

In response to this, WHO organized a key stakeholders meeting in Geneva on 3 and 4 July 2014 and established a global initiative: the Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE). This is in partnership with stakeholders who represent international organizations, donor agencies, professional organizations, academia, and user groups.[3]

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • GATE program is to improve access to high quality, affordable assistive technology for people with varying disabilities, diseases, and age-related conditions.[1]
  • GATE develop assistive products list; a list of priority assistive products based on addressing the greatest need at population level.[1]
  • Implementing a global commitment to improve access to assistive products by forming a stakeholder platform whose goal is to ‘improve access to high-quality, affordable, assistive products globally.[4]

Framework[edit | edit source]


GATE initiative focuses on interlinked areas (5P):

  • People,
  • Policy,
  • Products,
  • Provision
  • Personnel

People[edit | edit source]

WHO GATE initiative involve users and their families in all interventions. A user-centered approach is critical to make sure that users’ needs are addressed when developing policies and provision services. Services should not just be physically accessible but also culturally appropriate and tailored to users’ needs[3]

Policy[edit | edit source]

GATE initiative involves tools that support countries in developing national policy and programmes to ensure everyone, everywhere can access assistive products. The toolkit also include an assistive technology assessment toolkit and guidance on financing mechanisms, such as health and welfare insurance programmes, to ensure sustainability of service provision and universal access. It will also include guidance on implementation of the Priority Assistive Products List, minimum standards, appropriate training and service provision.[3]

Products[edit | edit source]

Gate initiative products involves the Priority Assistive Products List, which includes a list of minimum 50 products selected on the basis of widespread need and impact on people’s lives. The Priority Assistive Products List encourages countries to develop a list of national priority products, and is a guide to enhance production, procurement and service provision, to develop reimbursement policies and to shape markets.[3]

Provision[edit | edit source]

GATE initiative involves innovative models of service provision, including good-practice examples from across the globe. Fundamental components include the integration of assistive products service provision into the health system, and a network of specialist referral centres connected to the primary health care infrastructure. This would enable most people to access assistive products for all their functional needs from a single point and would support universal access and early intervention[3]

Personnel[edit | edit source]

GATE initiative involves developing an Assistive Products Training Package on provision of a range of simple assistive products selected from the APL; including assessment and prescription, fitting and user training, follow-up, maintenance and repairs. The package will support countries in building the capacity of their community-level workforce.[3] WHO recognizes that trained personnel are essential for the proper assessment, fitting, user training, and follow-up of assistive products. Without these four key steps, assistive products are often of no benefit or abandoned, and may cause physical harm . Many countries however face significant challenges in deploying a workforce to implement these four step, therefore WHO initiate a programme known as TAP-training in priority assistive products.[5]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Priority Assistive Products List

Training in Priority Assistive Products

Reference[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Boot FH, Dinsmore J, Khasnabis C, MacLachlan M. Intellectual disability and assistive technology: opening the GATE wider. Frontiers in public health. 2017 Feb 22;5:10.
  2. Khasnabis C, Mirza Z, MacLachlan M. Opening the GATE to inclusion for people with disabilities. The Lancet. 2015 Dec 5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 World Health Organization. Global cooperation on assistive technology (GATE). World Health Organization, Geneva. 2014.
  4. Rohwerder B. Assistive technologies in developing countries.
  5. World Health Organisazation. Training in priority assistive products: report from the first pilot.Bangalore:India 2018 . Available from: