ARATA began as a Committee in 1993 during the first Australian Conference on Technology for People with Disabilities, hosted by the Regency Park Centre in Adelaide. Towards the end of the conference, in a brainstorming session on service delivery, participants supported the formation of a Committee to set up a national association, based on a model similar to RESNA in America.

The original Committee, which became known as the Committee for Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology (CRAT), comprised a Working Group of three people in Sydney and nine Advisors from around Australia. The Advisors’ role as a sounding board provided broad perspectives, essential in achieving the goal of a national association.

ARATA received incorporation status in the state of NSW on 24 November 1994. The first Board consisted of five members whose primary task was to put in place the necessary procedures to call for members and to organise elections in the lead up to the first full Board being appointed at the AGM in October 1995.

Today ARATA is governed by a Board of 10 members, who are each elected for a two year term.  ARATA runs a biennial conference, encourages sharing of information through a listserver and represents the interests of its members in issues relating to assistive technology.