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Article

Assistive Technology Provider Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Access to Assistive Technology Team, World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
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Rehabilitation, Ageing and Independent Living Research Centre, Monash University Australia, Clayton 3800, Australia
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Center for Inclusive Policy, Washington, DC 20005, USA
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Occupational Therapy Department, Monash University Australia, Clayton 3800, Australia
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Liliane Fonds, 5211 TX s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
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HelpAge International, London SE1 7RL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Roy McConkey and Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10477; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910477
Received: 23 August 2021 / Revised: 28 September 2021 / Accepted: 29 September 2021 / Published: 6 October 2021
Globally, health systems face challenges in the delivery of assistive technology (AT) and only 10% of people are currently able to access the assistive products they need. The COVID-19 pandemic presented an uncharted path for AT providers to navigate, placing them under pressure to be agile and rapidly adapt. This article, part of a series, explores the experiences and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on AT providers and aims to inform how AT providers can be better prepared and supported in the future. A mixed methods approach was used to gather service data and perspectives from AT providers via a survey. A total of 37 responses were received from 18 countries. Service data showed extensive service disruption throughout 2020. Thematic analysis suggested significant changes to routine AT service delivery including rapid momentum towards home-based, decentralised, and digital services for which many AT providers were not prepared. Providers were required to make difficult decisions and deliver services in new ways to balance meeting demands, complying with government restrictions, and ensuring the safety of staff and clients. Few but important positives were expressed including the belief that expanded capacity to use remote and digital AT service delivery would remain useful in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: assistive technology; policy; disability; aging; assistive products; personnel; service provision; health systems; COVID-19 assistive technology; policy; disability; aging; assistive products; personnel; service provision; health systems; COVID-19
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MDPI and ACS Style

Puli, L.; Layton, N.; Mont, D.; Shae, K.; Calvo, I.; Hill, K.D.; Callaway, L.; Tebbutt, E.; Manlapaz, A.; Groenewegen, I.; Hiscock, D. Assistive Technology Provider Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 10477. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910477

AMA Style

Puli L, Layton N, Mont D, Shae K, Calvo I, Hill KD, Callaway L, Tebbutt E, Manlapaz A, Groenewegen I, Hiscock D. Assistive Technology Provider Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(19):10477. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910477

Chicago/Turabian Style

Puli, Louise, Natasha Layton, Daniel Mont, Kylie Shae, Irene Calvo, Keith D. Hill, Libby Callaway, Emma Tebbutt, Abner Manlapaz, Inge Groenewegen, and Diana Hiscock. 2021. "Assistive Technology Provider Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 19: 10477. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910477

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