The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/) guide current global development in member countries such as Australia. Goal 3, Good Health and Well-being, encompasses assistive technology products and services, as well as inclusive design and the built environment.
The World Health Organisation addresses global health, is taking steps towards assistive technologies and inclusive environments as key strategies to promote health and wellbeing. This impetus is partially due to the demographic trend of people with disabilities ageing, as well as people ageing into disability. The World Report on Disability was a significant step in depicting the lives of people living with disability globally, and the impacts of assistive products and services in minimising mortality and morbidity, as well as enabling productivity and the realisation of human rights http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
The World Health Organisation are delivering against this goal through the Global Cooperation on Assistive Health Technology (GATE) initiative (http://www.who.int/phi/implementation/assistive_technology/en/). GATE is an assistive technology stakeholder platform, which aims to improve access to high-quality affordable assistive products as an integral part of responding to the call for access to essential, high-quality, safe, effective and affordable assistive products. All ARATA members are encouraged to join the GATE Community (https://mednet-communities.net/gate/)
ARATA supports use of WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is a framework for describing and organising information on functioning and disability. It provides a standard language and a conceptual basis for the definition and measurement of health and disability. Freely availabile, the ICF provides a common language and set of assessment and classification tools for Australian practitioners use http://www.who.int/classifications/icf/icf_more/en/
ARATA participated in Rehabilitation 2030 at the World Health Organisation in 2017. Read the statement on AT in Rehabilitation here.
Australia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol. This international convention states that people have a right to support (Articles 3 and 4) to accessibility (Article 9), to live independently and be included in the community (Article 19), to personal mobility (Article 20). Other rights such as the right to freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information (Article 21), to Education (Article 24) and Health (Article 25), habilitation and rehabilitation (Article 26), work and employment (Article27), participation in political and public life (Article 29) and participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and support (Article 30) may require assistive technologies in order to be realised.
Many Australian jurisdictions across all levels of government also have statements on human rights and social inclusion.
During AATC 2016, delegates reviewed a Summary Statement on AT, made available in the conference satchels and revised during an active Breakfast Forum. We are pleased to publish the outcomes:
The resulting statements identify "what good looks like" and 'where to from here' for AT in Australia. ARATA freely provide these foundation documents as artefacts from AATC 2016. We invite continued dialogue from our members, partners and cross-sector collaborators to utilise and develop this work in ways which will contribute towards fair and equitable AT provision for all Australians.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration and Australian Standards are two bodies which address quality and safeguards of assistive technologies.
Most assistive technologies are able to be purchased on the open market. Customers are advised to ensure products meet the relevant Australian Standard http://www.standards.org.au/
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission exists to protect Australians from unsafe products or unfair treatment from businesses https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-protection