Appropriate Assistive Technology Co-Design – from Problem identification through to Device Commercialisation

David Hobbs, Sandy Walker, Natasha Layton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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The role of assistive technology (AT) in the lives of people living with an impairment cannot be understated. Defined as commercially available or customised devices to maintain or improve functioning, independence and thereby well-being (1), assistive products are part of the assistive technology ecosystem that includes skilled personnel, effective policy, and coordinated product provision (2). Product innovation is one key strategy for a vibrant
marketplace that enables AT users to participate and flourish. Innovation and the
development of new products and services is an essential ingredient for any sector or organisation, particularly the disability sector. Innovation within the disability sector often benefits mainstream users, for example telephony itself, vibrating alerts, speech recognition and speech output devices. The objective of this paper is to illustrate the applicability of innovation and design thinking at every stage, from need identification through to commercialisation. Two case studies within the field of AT are presented to exemplify design processes and examine how methods such as co-design and design thinking tools can be used to nurture user-centred innovation within design teams.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal perspectives on assistive technology
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the GReAT Consultation 2019
EditorsNatasha Layton, Johan Borg
Place of PublicationGeneva
Number of pages17
VolumeVolume B
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventGlobal Perspectives on Assistive Technology Summit 2019 - World Health Organisation Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 22 Aug 201923 Aug 2019


ConferenceGlobal Perspectives on Assistive Technology Summit 2019
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Some rights reserved. This work is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO licence (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO;


  • Co-design
  • Design
  • Innovation
  • End User
  • Products
  • Creative Thinking


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