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AT Info Mapping Project takes off!

12 April 2018

The participants at the seminar

In an effort to redress the information gap on Assistive Technology (AT) in Southern Africa, an Assistive Technology Information Mapping Project (AT-Info-Map), which is being implemented by SAFOD (The Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled) in partnership with the University of Washington, the African Network for Evidence-to-Action in Disability (AfriNEAD), and Dimagi has started off.

This innovative project is aimed at capturing, organizing, and mapping availability of AT in 10 countries in Southern Africa using a mobile data system. Through this mobile data system, developed by Dimagi, the project aims to inform AT designers, producers, service providers, and policymakers about the local availability of AT so that there is an influence to increase access to AT for people with disabilities.

According to information from the project website, it is estimated that 85-95% of people with disabilities who need assistive technology (AT) do not have access to it. Without information on availability of AT, these needs will continue to go unmet. It is in this context that the AT-Info-Map project was initiated in April 2016 to help redress the existing information gap in the immediate term, and help improve access to AT by persons with disabilities in Southern Africa and beyond.

Recently, field officers – also known as admins – from Botswana, Mozambique, Angola, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe met in Benoni, Johannesburg for a training workshop.

The training workshop aimed to introduce the admins to the two CommCare apps (ATInfo-Map Portal app and Consumer App) that are currently used to capture, organize, and map availability of AT in the region, to orient them on how to undertake Data Entry, Application Navigation, Upkeep and Reporting.

“This is exciting for us at SAFOD to undertake a project of this magnitude as it has a regional footprint and it is the first of its kind in these parts of the world,” said Mr. George Kayange, SAFOD Projects Manager.

“The project will mainly have information in English and Portuguese to start off with. We encourage service providers and disability organisations to make use of Commcare to provide as much information as possible to build this extensive and useful database.”

Commcare is currently available on Google Play only.

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