Vol. 1 No. 5 (2021)
Health Technology Reviews

Funding and Access to Assistive Technologies: Electronic Aids to Daily Living

Published May 6, 2021

Key Messages

  • The overall objectives of this Environmental Scan were to identify and describe the essential components of an electronic aids to daily living (EADL) assistive technology (AT) program, circumscribe barriers and facilitators to equitable access, and identify and describe funding mechanisms. A literature search and stakeholder consultations informed this Environmental Scan.
  • There is a lack of consensus as to how to define EADLs, who should be eligible for EADLs and how they should be funded, as demonstrated by the heterogenous findings in both the literature and the consultations.
  • Funding mechanisms and eligibility criteria vary between jurisdictions with limited integration of funding available for EADLs and modified consumer product technologies.
  • The majority of included publications generally discussed AT devices and service provision, with a lack of availability of information specific to EADL devices.
  • User-centred approaches that are anticipatory of user needs in AT service delivery provision were noted in the literature as key to facilitating effective AT service delivery.
  • Barriers to providing equitable access to EADLs include lack of awareness by both health professionals and users of AT devices and services, shortage of trained professional staff to provide individual supports, affordability and access to ATs, and limited user participation in decision-making with professionals in selecting ATs.