Launch of WHO Training in Assistive Products: a new open access online training resource for primary health workers
Training in Assistive Products (TAP) is a new open access online training resource to prepare primary health and other personnel to fulfil an assistive technology role. This new global resource has been driven by support from UK aid through GDI Hub's AT2030 programme.
A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) of the first TAP module, 'Introduction to Assistive Products', will run for a two-week period from 10 until 24 November 2022. The module will be available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Georgian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, and Ukrainian. Course content includes identifying people who may benefit from assistive technology; providing simple assistive products such as reading glasses or elbow crutches; or referral for more complex products and other services.
TAP is an open access online training resource to prepare primary health and other personnel to fulfil an assistive technology role. Appropriate to a broad range of contexts, TAP is targeted at primary health care and community workforce, as well as those providing services to people who need assistive products within other sectors.
This course is suitable for policy makers, educators, clinicians, advocates and beyond.
About the course
TAP includes a range of assistive products to support cognition, communication, vision, hearing, self-care, and mobility from WHO’s Priority Assistive Products List. TAP has a modular structure; personnel may select the modules that match their role and the needs of the local population. For each assistive product, an introductory and product-specific module will together cover key learning content to support the acquisition of skills to safely and effectively provide that product, through a four-step process: select, fit, use and follow up.
TAP is a flexible, modular training resource that can be tailored to support local health systems and training for assistive technology provision. This is achieved by blending online learning with clinical practice, supported by local mentors to build competencies for the referral and provision of assistive products:
1. Online learning on the TAP platform: self-paced modules that learners complete on their own or as a group; interactive elements and a discussion forum or local message groups;
2. Face-to-face learning: local mentors adding context and local knowledge such as referral pathways, interactive group work, and role-play practice;
3. Supervised practice, supported by local mentors until a learner is ready to practice independently.
TAP delivery requires service systems to be in place, including a supply of assistive products. The TAP platform includes supporting resources for managers and supervisors, to support the implementation into existing services.
To date, TAP has been implemented in 11 countries (Fiji, Ghana, Georgia, India, Iraq, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Ukraine) and more than 300 health personnel have been trained.