Assistive technology in developing countries: a review from the perspective of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Peer-reviewed article
(2011 Mar) Prosthet Orthot Int, 35 20-9


Borg J, Lindström A, Larsson S



The 'Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities' (CRPD) requires governments to meet the assistive technology needs of citizens. However, the access to assistive technology in developing countries is severely limited, which is aggravated by a lack of related services.


To summarize current knowledge on assistive technology for low- and lower-middle-income countries published in 1995 or later, and to provide recommendations that facilitate implementation of the CRPD.


Literature review.


Literature was searched in web-based databases and reference lists. Studies carried out in low- and lower-middle-income countries, or addressing assistive technology for such countries, were included.


The 52 included articles are dominated by product oriented research on leg prostheses and manual wheelchairs. Less has been published on hearing aids and virtually nothing on the broad range of other types of assistive technology.


To support effective implementation of the CRPD in these countries, there is a need for actions and research related particularly to policies, service delivery, outcomes and international cooperation, but also to product development and production.


The article has a potential to contribute to CRPD compliant developments in the provision of assistive technology in developing countries by providing practitioners with an overview of published knowledge and researchers with identified research needs.