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Published: 18.09.2019

A child surprised to see clearly after wearing new glasses by Nguyen Thi Quynh Nhu/ Story: Webinar: Advancing Access to Vision-related Assistive Technology

Updated with webinar recording

A webinar on Advancing Access to Vision-related Assistive Technology will be held on 24th September 2019. It will be facilitated by International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and feature WHO GATE, Clinton Health Access Initiative, and Motivation Australia.

Focus of the webinar

A number of key initiatives aimed at changing the landscape of access to vision-related and other assistive devices are currently underway. Presenters will speak about these initiatives including how IAPB members and others can help shape them. The discussion will be advocacy- oriented with a view to sharing expertise and experiences of influencing policy and enabling environments so as to improve access to assistive technology as a part of Universal Health Coverage.

WHO’s Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) was set up with the aim to advance access to assistive technology. Focusing on the five Ps (people, policy, products, provision and personnel) actions include the development of the Priority Assistive Products Lists (APL) and an online learning resource Training in Priority Assistive Products (TAP)  for a range of assistive products selected from the APL, guidance on innovative models of service provision, and an assistive technology assessment toolkit and guidance on financing mechanisms –tools to support countries in developing national policy and programmes.

Further the resolution WHA71.8 – Improving access to assistive technology calls upon WHO to prepare a global report on effective access to assistive technology (GREAT Report) by 2021. Complementing the World Report on Vision due in the next months, it is expected that the GREAT report will be a major tool in spearheading change and overcoming the massive unmet need in access to assistive technologies. The first consultation was held this August in Geneva at WHO headquarters.

Motivation Australia is contributing to the development of TAP. TAP aims to support global efforts to increase access to Assistive Technology; through equipping community level workers with the knowledge and skills to enable them to provide a range of basic assistive products. Motivation Australia has recently supported WHO to pilot vision-related modules in Papua New Guinea, including a basic vision screen and modules on provision of reading glasses, magnifiers and telescopes.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is using the skills, experiences and lessons learned from its work in health areas to inform market shaping approaches for five priority assistive technologies (AT), including eyeglasses. Under the AT2030 program, funded by UK aid, CHAI is delivering market-oriented product narratives to inform the strategy of ATscale, the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology. The eyeglasses product narrative will be a strategy document that provides a market landscape and proposes an approach to sustainably increase access to high quality, low cost priority assistive products. CHAI is currently piloting innovative approaches to increasing access to inform the market-shaping approach.  They will also be participating in a session on revolutionising access to glasses at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’ Council of Members meeting in Tanzania this October.

Intended audience: NGOs, service providers, researchers, advocates involved in increasing access to vision- related assistive devices, including white canes, low vision devices, and glasses, particularly to those people most in need. Those involved in access to non-vision related assistive devices are also welcome to attend.

Speakers: Emma Tebbutt, Kylie Mines, Margaret Savage Facilitator: Zoe Gray

Time: UK 13:00Hrs / CEST 14:00Hrs / EDT 08:00Hrs

Photo credit: A child surprised to see clearly after wearing new glasses by Nguyen Thi Quynh Nhu