About AAATE 2019


The AAATE Conference is organised and promoted by the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe, the European umbrella organisation for stakeholders in Assistive Technology in Europe. 

The  Conference gathers researchers and practitioners from academia, service providers and industry to discuss the latest innovations and visionary ideas in the field of assistive technology (AT). We invite contributions on all aspects related to technology and disability down the value chain: Research, Design & Development, Production & Distribution, Service Delivery, Education & Training and Use & Impact.

Broad conference themes include but are not limited to:

  • AT for cognitive, sensory and motor disabilities
  • Emerging and innovative AT devices
  • AT, smart environments and IoT
  • AAC
  • eAccessibility
  • Mobility and seating solutions
  • Ageing and technology
  • AT service delivery systems, practices, quality and outcomes
  • AT and social assistive robotics
  • AT, digital health and innovation in care
  • AT in low- and middle-income countries
  • AT and education
  • Policy related to AT and services



“Fitting all pieces together”, that is what the 2019 AAATE conference will be about, according to Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf, the Secretary General of the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE). “Over the last decades many communities of researchers and practitioners have been working on the relation between Technology and Disability. Now it is time to bring that wealth of expertise together and to see where we stand, here in Europe as well as globally.” According to Hoogerwerf the Bologna conference has the ambition to provide an overview of progress in the various domains of Assistive Technology and related fields. “There is not such a conference in Europe where you can get in less than three days  a complete picture of the opportunities provided by technology for persons with disabilities and elderly, but also of the challenges, gaps and pitfalls”, he continues.

The conference is hosted by the University of Bologna and by AIAS Bologna onlus, an AT service provider in the Bologna area. As a matter of fact the conference would like to make the link with the professional community and policymakers, reason why for the first time “educational sessions” and “policy sessions” will be scheduled. “We would like the conference to remain focussed on innovation”, says Hoogerwerf, “but this includes the knowledge translation from research to practice and policies.”  

Bologna is a nice city with its medieval city centre and the oldest University of the world. Roaming through its streets the atmosphere is gentle and cosy, especially in the evenings when bars and restaurants offer a wide range of excellent food and drinks. “We trust that Bologna for some days will not only be the capital of mortadella, tortellini, Lamborghini and Ducati, but also of Assistive Technology and technology enabled human empowerment”, concludes Hoogerwerf.