One of the goals of the Assistive Technology Information Mapping (AT-Info-Map) project is to bridge the information gap that exists within the many communities in Southern Africa in terms of people getting to know where they can find ATs, at what cost, supplier location, and such relevant information.
However, one of the key issues emanating from the recent consultations the AT-Info-Map partners have carried out in Botswana relate to lack of awareness of what constitutes AT in the first place, even before we think of identifying where AT exists.
For this reason, moving forward, one of the strategic interventions the AT-Info-Map will try to raise general awareness about ATs. Thus, the AT-Info-Map App will be rooted within the framework of awareness raising initiatives, if its uptake or usage is to make any impact in the target communities. For example, a person with disabilities requiring AT to help him/her improve certain day-to-day functions may not find the App useful if he/she doesn’t understand exactly what types of ATs exist out there.
Ordinarily, this is often the job of the rehabilitation officer, to assess and advise those who do not have adequate information about what AT they need. But what the AT-Info-Map project seeks to achieve is increased uptake within the communities for all types of AT – both AT that require rehabilitation professionals to obtain and AT that community members can get on their own. In some cases, community members should be able to, on their own, identify their ATneeds and locate AT without having to go consult the rehab professional. They should be able to understand the basic categories of ATs that one can look for. Then they would definitely find the App handy if at least they already have a basic idea of what they are looking for.
It is on this basis that AT-Info-Map partners have, therefore, consolidated a draft list of AT categories that will guide not only community members in need of ATs, but everyone concerned with ATs (Rehab officers, Government procurement officers, suppliers themselves, etc). It is going to be an advocacy tool for raising awareness about AT in general. In so doing, we hope that our stakeholders will find the AT-Info-Map App relevant as they will be able to link what’s in the App with the information/knowledge the taxonomy intends to impart.
To download the taxonomy, please click on this link.
Please note that as we continue with our consultations, the taxonomy will be updated for V2 of the App.