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

Open call for contributions

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)