Advances in assistive technology are changing the landscape, but often these innovations do not reach those most in need. 

To accelerate access to AT,  ATscale, the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology, was formally launched at the Global Disability Summit by the Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt MP, on July 24, 2018. 

The partnership aims to reach 500 million people by 2030 with the life-changing assistive technology that they need through harnessing service delivery and market shaping approaches, creating partnerships with the private sector to build and serve markets in the lowest-resource countries, and catalysing innovation to design and introduce suitable assistive technology where needed.

ATscale will tackle both supply- and demand-side drivers to scale.


Drivers of supply

  • Appropriate design

  • Availability

  • Affordability

  • Assured quality

Supply and Demand

Supply and Demand

Drivers of demand

  • Users

  • Service providers

  • Countries

Barriers to demand:

  • Lack of awareness for the need for AT

  • Inadequate funding

  • Lack of national policies and insurance

  • Inappropriate products and services

  • Fragmented procurement

  • Stigma

Barriers to supply

  • Weak service delivery system

  • Manufacturing and procurement costs

  • Complex distribution and logistics

  • Lack of and/or untrained workforce

  • Absence of service standards and guidelines

  • Non user-centric innovation


Supply and demand for AT products and services are limited by numerous barriers caused by a lack of policies, insufficient financing, inadequate data, public stigma, and lack of empowerment of AT users, among others. Progress in accelerating access to AT is slow and sporadic, marked by uncoordinated investment. 

ATscale will help overcome these barriers through

  • Creating a cross-sector AT partnership for the first time, which is crucial to catalyse change in an under-resourced and fragmented area

  • Setting a unified strategy and agenda, coordinating stakeholders, advocating, mobilising resources, measuring and evaluating impact and progress, and sharing best practices

  • Enabling partners who work in distinct sectors to collaborate, facilitating complementarity, innovation, and capacity building

  • Breaking down supply and demand barriers in a systematic and coordinated fashion

Cover photo: UCP, Wheels for Humanity