Public health, innovation, intellectual property and trade

Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE)

Key stakeholders at a side event of the High-level meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development, New York, United States of America, 23 September 2013, 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 (article 32 in particular).

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.

The vision of the GATE initiative: A world where everyone in need has high-quality, affordable assistive products to lead a healthy, productive and dignified life.

The GATE initiative has only one goal: to improve access to high-quality affordable assistive products globally. To achieve this, the GATE initiative will focus on four interlinked activities (4P):

  • Policy: assistive technology policy framework (ATP)
  • Products: Priority Assistive Products List (APL)
  • Personnel: assistive products training package (APT)
  • Provision: assistive products service delivery model (APS)

Assistive technology:

Is the application of organized knowledge and skills related to assistive products, including systems and services. Assistive technology is a subset of health technology.

Assistive products:

Any external product (including devices, equipment, instruments or software), especially produced or generally available, the primary purpose of which is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence, and thereby promote their well-being. Assistive products are also used to prevent impairments and secondary health conditions.

Priority assistive products:

Those products that are highly needed, an absolute necessity to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and which need to be available at a price the community/state can afford.