10:00—11:00 AM ET | 15:00 - 16:00 GMT

Assistive Technology: Shaping the Global Market and the Path Forward


  • Pascal Bijleveld, CEO, ATscale
  • Bo Stjerne Thomsen, Vice President and Chair of Learning through Play, LEGO Foundation
  • Andrea Feigl, CEO & Founder, Health Finance Institute
  • Michael Ashley Stein, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School
  • Kristoff Gandrup-Marino, Chief of Innovation, UNICEF


  • Prashant Yadav, Senior Fellow, CGD

Assistive Technology (AT) is an umbrella term for assistive products such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, prostheses, eyeglasses or digital devices, and their related systems and services. In addition to helping individuals participate in education, the labor market, and civic life, AT is essential because it improves the overall well-being of individuals and increases independence. However, only a minority of people in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) can get the AT they need. Nearly one billion of the world’s population are denied access to AT. In some low-income countries, as high as 97% of people do not have access to the AT they need, largely due to the high costs, lack of availability and awareness, and limited financing and trained personnel.

The affordability, availability, awareness, and product design related barriers to AT access are often the result of a series of market shortcomings in the global market for AT. Recent attempts to address these market failures include a new Global Partnership for Assistive Technology called ATscale.

Join the Center for Global Development for an expert panel discussion on the current market for assistive technology, the challenges of accessing AT in LMICs, and opportunities for targeted policy interventions in this issue domain. If you have questions for our panelists, please submit them to events@cgdev.org, tweet @CGDev #CGDTalks, or submit your comments via YouTube.


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