SYSTEMS THINKING and MARKET SHAPING: exploring the economics of accessible and assistive technologies

Increasing demand for assistive products as a result of demographic change requires systemic thinking to address needs. In this session we will explore the economic case for investment in assistive technologies to support decisions on public spending. A systems approach reflects the complex nature of successful implementation of assistive products and the need to address key dimensions of an interrelated ecosystem that includes

‘People (as the primary beneficiaries of assistive technology), Policy, Products, Personnel, Provision and Procurement, Place, alongside Pace, Promotion and Partnership (as key situational factors for systems).

A Thematic Session centering on the economics of assistive technologies would link economic concepts including approaches to costs and benefits of AT products and services with primary and secondary (including social) return on investment using SCAI, economic pathway analysis and SROI methodologies.

The session would also address markets and delivery exploring cost of AT services, comparing current service delivery and models derived from low- and medium-income countries, the impact and potential of disruptive innovation, the role of open source hardware and software and base of the Pyramid markets and Frugal Innovation.

By integrating innovation with an investigation of the economics of provision, groundwork will be laid for a business case for both public and private investment in products and services, recognizing that the economic and cultural dimensions will vary from state to state.


In case you are interested to contribute and present an abstract for this session, please contact David Banes before February 18th: david (at) davebanesaccess.org


Women, Disability and Technology: Increasing the knowledge base

The RISEWISE Project and the ENTELIS network have taken the initiative to organise a Special Thematic Session at the 15th international AAATE conference about the engagement of girls and women with disabilities with (assistive) technology. Contributions are welcome.

Girls and young women are underrepresented in technology related education and employment. This is particularly true for girls and women with disabilities. The resulting digital divide is a serious problem, because active engagement with technology can help to level inequalities in participation in all realms of the current digital society, not to speak about the future one. The 11th Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (12-14 June 2018, New York) has put gender issues high on the agenda, but has acknowledged lack of disaggregated data by disability, sex and age, fundamental for understanding the position of women and girls with disabilities and informing policies to ensure their effective inclusion.   

The RISEWISE project (www.risewiseproject.eu) and the ENTELIS network (www.entelis.net) are two non-for-profit networks, the latter supported by EASPD, AAATE and EVBB, that aim at identifying the barriers that girls and young women with disabilities experience in engaging with technology.

The aims of the session is:

– to analyze the digital divide and to understand the nature of digital discrimination;

– to present research outcomes related to the perceptions/opinions of girls and women with disabilities on the use of technology and how technology influence their life;

– to assess gender differences in the choice and use of and approach to Assistive Technology;

– to explore the challenges women with disabilities encounter in accessing and using technology and technology based services.


Please contact:

Ayşe Ulu-Yalçınkaya, Mustafa Alperen Kurşuncu, Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf and Valentina Fiordelmondo

Corresponding address:

ulayse (at) metu.edu.tr

mustafakursuncu (at) odu.edu.tr