Physiopedia celebrates the first World Day for Assistive Technology #UnlockTheEveryday

Along with leading health and development organisations around the world, Physiopedia celebrates the first World Day for Assistive Technologies by promoting learning on assistive technologies and the power of education to improve lives.

Today 4 June 2024 marks the first ever World Day for Assistive Technology. Assistive technology refers to any product, piece of equipment or item used to maintain, improve or increase the functional ability of people with disabilities. Assistive technology products enable people to live healthier and more independent lives – working, studying and enjoying the everyday moments that many of us take for granted. This year’s campaign to #UnlockTheEveryday is an opportunity to highlight and address the urgent need to improve access to assistive technology in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where only 10% of people can access the assistive technology they need, compared to 90% in high-income countries. For people living in LMICs, or those affected by injuries sustained in natural disasters or conflict, assistive technologies give a better chance of reducing health complications, fostering autonomy, enabling them to participate in society and increasing economic productivity. 

Physiopedia has long recognised the importance of education about assistive technologies and it’s potential to improve the lives of those in need, in fact it is in our mission – to improve global health through universal access to rehabilitation knowledge. We strive to contribute to addressing the availability, affordability, accessibility and quality of assistive technologies and are pleased to share the following resources on World Day for Assistive Technology.

Training in Assistive Products

When the World Health Organisation (WHO) embarked on developing education around assistive technologies we were delighted to be involved and supported this groundbreaking project by developing the platform for the open access Training in Assistive Products (TAP) online training resource. The TAP equips community-level personnel working in any context to safely and effectively provide a range of simple assistive products. It is available in 10 languages, including the six UN languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish and is free to access.

Assistive Technologies Programme on Physiopedia Plus

On our own online learning platform Physiopedia Plus (Plus) the ReLAB-HS Assistive Technologies Programme is available free or at discounted rates for individuals living in low and middle-income countries through a subscription to Plus. The programme covers the following crucial elements:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has detailed four critical steps in assistive technology provision. Following these steps helps to ensure the user is safe and gets the most benefit from their device. The Steps to Assistive Technologies Provision course explores considerations for assistive technology provision and introduces types of assistive devices commonly used for self-care.

This course is unique and can help change the narration and myth surrounding people living with a disability. It is essential to have more people go through this course; ultimately, we will have more changed agents worldwide!

  • The need for assistive technology is growing rapidly! Assistive technologies allow individuals to have independent, productive lives. They can decrease users’ need for healthcare services and caregiver support. The Access to Assistive Technologies course describes barriers and solutions to accessing assistive technology in low-income countries.
  • Timely access to appropriate assistive technology for individuals with disabilities, older individuals or individuals with health conditions allows them to maintain and improve their function, health, and well-being. The Self Care Assistive Technology course discusses many different assistive technology devices and products that can assist with self-care, from grooming, bathing and toileting aids to dressing and feeding aids.

This course gave me a broader understanding of the devices available to recommend to patients and family members.

  • Standing has many benefits, from increased strength and bone mineral density to improved cardiovascular health. The Assistive Technologies-Standers course explores the various types of standers and equips healthcare providers with the knowledge to select an appropriate stander for paediatric clients.

This course has helped me make good decisions about selecting assistive devices for clients who need attention. I also learned that selecting the right devices helps in mitigating the problem of disability; in the same way, selecting the wrong devices can be dangerous.

  • The primary purpose of assistive devices and technologies is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence. The Assistive Technologies-Gait mobility devices course teaches rehabilitation professionals how to safely mobilise patients with different weight-bearing precautions with walking frames, crutches and canes.

This course is excellent! It equips us with knowledge of safe transfers to and from a chair using different gait mobility devices. It offers instructions for using axillary and elbow crutches with different weight-bearing precautions, which is very important for safe practice since these are the various ATs we commonly prescribe.

  • Adaptive seating is any modification to a seating device that improves postural control or sitting posture. Increased postural stability facilitates improved functional skills, and adaptive seating can also promote social interaction and participation. The Adapted Seating course discusses the many forms of adaptive seating and explains how to assess an individual for adaptive seating.
  • The overview of the steps to appropriate wheelchair provision, followed by a more detailed review of the wheelchair assessment, prescription and preparation process, is presented in the Introduction to Wheelchair Service Provision course. This information has been used by various healthcare professionals, including those in medical practices.

And keep checking back for more courses being added on hearing, cognition communication soon. Let’s celebrate the FIRST World Day for Assistive Technology by reducing barriers and finding solutions to early access to assistive technologies. Let’s get educated! 

Physiopedia Plus is a subscription site that offers internationally accredited continuing education and professional development opportunities for the global rehabilitation community in 6 languages.

Your subscription fees fund the Physiopedia charity website to keep it updated and openly accessible to all.

Your subscription also provides FREE access to Plus for rehabilitation professionals in low income countries.

There are also discounts available depending on where you live and for students.


This work is part of the ReLAB-HS activity and is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).