Assistive Technology - Global

WHO GATE Community

ARATA is an active supporter of the WHO GATE community.  The WHO have been running the GATE Community since 2014 and this global network of people interested in AT is working hard to connect and progress AT for all.  Check out the WHO GATE pages for projects and initiatives including the Global Research, Innovation and Education Summit in AT (GREAT SUMMIT); Priority Assistive Products List (APL); the Training in Priority Assistive Products (TAP); the World Health Assembly Resolution on WHA71.8 - Improving access to assistive technology and plans for the Global Report into Effective Access to AT.  


Global Alliance of AT Organisations (GAATO)

ARATA is a founding member of the new Global Alliance of Assistive Technology Organisations (GAATO), a non-profit informal association of legally established membership organisations from different countries or world regions. You can read more about this rapidly growing Global Alliance at and visit Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology to read about our progress in the following articles:

  • Layton, N., Bell, D., Buning, M. E., Chen, S.-C., Contepomi, S., Delgado Ramos, V., . . . de Witte, L. (2020). Opening the GATE: systems thinking from the global assistive technology alliance. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 15(5), 484-490. doi:10.1080/17483107.2020.1738565 This article is free to download and share
  • Layton, N., Smith, R., Cudd, P., Lee, S., & Okigawa, E. (2017). From International Assistive Technology Professional Organisations. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 13(3), 323-324. doi:10.1080/17483107.2017.1379102


Our International History ... 


ARATA is signatory to two international agreements in the assistive technology arena.


Alliance of Assistive Technology Professional Organisations (April 2016 - August 2019)

This agreement supplanted the Tokushima agreement originally signed in 2000.  Fellow signatories include AAATE, RESJA, RESKO, RESNA, TREATS. This agreement currently stands but will be replaced by the 2019 GAATO Agreement.  

The Alliance of Assistive Technology Professional Organizations is a collaboration of membership-based professional societies and associations working to advance the field of assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering to benefit people with disabilities and functional limitations of all ages. Assistive technology is a much needed solution for millions of people, yet we recognise that there are significant global challenges to providing these technologies, especially as our populations age. Some of these challenges are unique, but many more are shared across nations and cultures. We are committed to working towards equitable and reliable access to assistive technology through research, policy advocacy, educating people and organisations within and outside of the field, teaching, training, and knowledge translation. The intent of this agreement is to promote communication and information exchange, support each other's efforts, and speak with a more unified voice on international issues.


High level representation

The following statement was made at 11th session of the Conference of States Parties on the CRPD: United Nations, New York, June 12-14, 2018:

The AAATE and its sister organisations in other parts of the world have a shared responsibility to actively influence policies and research and innovation agendas on global and national levels. The AAATE is strongly committed to this responsibility and will take an active role on both a European and a global level. On a global level the AAATE will play an active role in the Global Alliance of Assistive Technology Professional Organisations. Many of the AAATE members are further actively involved in the GATE community led by the WHO.

Communication AAATE board in occasion of UN COP CRPD 2018 


The CREATe ASIA Agreement

On 13 August 2015, ARATA signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the formation of the Coalition on Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology in Asia. The Mission is to facilitate the advancement of Rehabilitation (RE) and Assistive Technologies (AT) and promote the adoption of these technologies by the people of Asia. Fellow signatories include AT and RE services in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.


Towards an African Community on Assistive Technology

Members of the African AT Community have expressed interest in ARATA’s structure and purpose, and are looking to build a similar organisation. A vision for a community of practice in assistive technology in Africa was proposed at the GREAT Summit, 2017 and this concept was further explored during the recent ISO meeting in Kenya, May 2018. Dr Natasha Layton of ARATA and Swinburne University in Australia, and Dr Diane Bell of Carel de Toit Trust and Stellenboch University in South Africa, established a listserv and shared Dropbox in June 2018 for a small group of interested persons. This rapidly grew to a group of over 30 participants from a dozen African countries, and a dozen supporting countries / entities including the WHO GATE team. It is early days, with people introducing themselves and their practice queries, and some focal enquiries underway around sustainable seating and WHO policy. The intent is to connect this wide practice community and to support Southern African players into leadership roles to take this initiative forward.  

This initiative delivers on ARATA’s Strategic Goal to develop, strengthen and support local and global assistive technology communities. ARATA also gains collegiate knowledge from our southern African colleagues, and global supporters. Practice-relevant learnings for Australia include approaches to remote service delivery, fit-for-purpose AT for harsh climates, and the building of sustainable and culturally safe networks. ARATA members with specific interests in and capacity to contribute to this community, please contact   Download further information - click here.