Users' perspectives on the provision of assistive technologies in Bangladesh: awareness, providers, costs and barriers.

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Abstracts Purpose: The purpose of this work was to contribute to a better understanding of challenges and solutions to equitable provision of assistive technologies in resource limited environments by (i) describing sources of awareness, types of providers and costs of assistive technologies; (ii) describing common reasons for not possessing assistive technologies; and (iii) comparing these sources, providers, costs and reasons among younger and older men and women living in urban and rural settings. Methods: Descriptive and analytic statistics were used to analyze cross-sectional data from a total sample of 581 hearing aid users, wheelchair users, individuals with hearing impairments not using hearing aids and individuals with ambulatory impairments not using wheelchairs living in eight districts of Bangladesh. Results: Major sources of awareness, types of providers and costs paid varied between users of different types of assistive technology. Lack of affordability was the main reason for not possessing assistive technology. Outcome differences were found between younger and older groups, men and women, and literate and illiterate respondents, while no differences related to place of living were identified. Conclusions: Age, gender, type of impairment and socioeconomic status need to be considered when planning and implementing equitable provision of assistive technologies. Implications for Rehabilitation Provision of assistive technologies needs to be made affordable as lack of affordability was the major reason for not possessing such technologies. To ensure equitable provision of assistive technology, services ought to consider age, gender, impairment and socioeconomic status of their target groups. This includes offering a range of products of different sizes provided by culturally appropriate personnel at affordable cost, which to many may be at no or reduced cost. To cater to the assistive technology needs among the most vulnerable groups, assistive technology providers may learn from CBR strategies, such as, awareness raising and service delivery at community level, the use of local resources, collaboration and coordination, and the consideration of cultural factors.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalDisability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology
Issue numberOct 27
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes