Integrating medical, assistive, and universally designed products and technologies: assistive technology device classification (ATDC)

Bauer S, Elsaesser LJDisabil Rehabil Assist Technol.

2012 Sep;7(5):350-5. doi: 10.3109/17483107.2011.653000. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

SOURCE: Department of Rehabilitation Science, SUNY Buffalo, NY 14014, USA.

INTRODUCTION: ISO26000:2010 International Guidance Standard on Organizational Social Responsibility requires that effective organizational performance recognize social responsibility, including the rights of persons with disabilities (PWD), engage stakeholders and contribute to sustainable development. Millennium Development Goals 2010 notes that the most vulnerable people require special attention, while the World Report on Disability 2011 identifies improved data collection and removal of barriers to rehabilitation as the means to empower PWD.

BACKGROUND: The Assistive Technology Device Classification (ATDC), Assistive Technology Service Method (ATSM) and Matching Person and Technology models provide an evidence-based, standardized, internationally comparable framework to improve data collection and rehabilitation interventions. The ATDC and ATSM encompass and support universal design (UD) principles, and use the language and concepts of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).

PURPOSE: Use ATDC and ICF concepts to differentiate medical, assistive and UD products and technology; relate technology “types” to markets and costs; and support provision of UD products and technologies as sustainable and socially responsible behavior.

CONCLUSION: Supply-side and demand-side incentives are suggested to foster private sector development and commercialization of UD products and technologies. Health and health-related professionals should be knowledgeable of UD principles and interventions.