What are assistive products and who are they for?

Assistive products are any external product (devices, equipment, software) which maintain or improve a person’s ability to carry out activities. Hearing aids, wheelchairs, communication aids, reading glasses, prostheses, pill organizers and memory aids are all examples of assistive products.

Assistive products enable people to live healthy, productive, independent, and dignified lives. They help people to be active participants and contributors in family, community and all other aspects of life.

Most of us will need assistive products during our lives, but they are particularly helpful to children and adults living with disability, people with chronic conditions and older people.

To learn more, take the Introduction to assistive products module.

What is TAP?

2.5 billion people today and 3.5 billion by 2050 need assistive products. However, in some countries only 3% of people have access to them. WHO has developed TAP and other resources to support countries to improve access.

TAP has been developed by WHO’s Access to Assistive Technology team in collaboration with stakeholders from around the world. TAP recognizes the many different settings in which people live and work. It is relevant to a wide range of environments including less or well-resourced, urban or rural.

TAP is a free online interactive learning resource. It teaches how to provide simple assistive products through four steps:

  1. Select
  2. Fit
  3. Use
  4. Follow up
The TAP logo with numbers 1,2,3,4 in each of the four sections.

Who is TAP for?

TAP is for everyone interested in using, providing or training others in simple assistive products.

TAP can be used in different ways. For example:

  • Health workers, especially those in primary or community-level settings, can learn to provide simple assistive products.
  • Service managers, supervisors and trainers or educators can use TAP to provide training on assistive products.
  • People who use assistive products and their families can find information about different assistive products and how to use them.
  • Policy makers and advocacy groups can find information to increase their understanding of assistive products provision and raise awareness of assistive products through their networks.

TAP and accessibility

TAP uses universal principles of accessibility such as:

  • Large and clear text
  • Plain English
  • Tagging of web page elements
  • Text alternatives to visual and audio content
  • Colours that meet accessibility standards
  • Compatibility with keyboard only access.

The TAP website has been tested by people with different accessibility needs. If you have any accessibility issues please let us know so that we can address your needs and improve the website for everyone.

TAP languages

TAP modules are currently available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Georgian, Kiswahili, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian. More languages will be added in the future.

TAP Development process

TAP has been developed in collaboration with stakeholders from diverse settings and backgrounds.

This includes people who use assistive products, service providers and managers, trainers and researchers.

Each module is developed through a process of content development, external review and piloting. TAP benefits enormously from the participation and feedback from real people, in real-life scenarios. Thank you!


Co-editors: Kylie Shae, Emma Tebbutt.

Core development team: Irene Calvo, Sarah Frost, Ainsley Hadden, Giulia Oggero, Lucie Pannell, Louise Puli.

Translators: Liu Bofei, Maya Busqué Vallespí, Vinicius Delgado Ramos, Laurence Duval, Akmal Eshankulova, Stanislav Kedrun, Evans Mwemezi, Alexander Shelepin, MS Translation, Gigi Tsiklauri.

Accessibility advisors: David Banes, E.A. Draffan, Adam Ungstad.

Illustrations, graphics and media: Codi Ash, Jordan Bang, Julie Desnoulez, Ainsley Hadden.

Website development: Physiopedia.

Development partners: Human Study, Mobility India, Motivation Australia, National Orthotics and Prosthetics Service Papua New Guinea.

Module development: Each module has benefited from the contributions of many stakeholders and source materials. These individuals and organizations are acknowledged at the end of each module. Financial support: UKAID’s AT2030 Programme led by GDI Hub, Governments of Norway and Austria, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), ATscale, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).


If you want to know more about WHO’s work on assistive technology, visit the WHO assistive technology website, join the GATE community and follow us on Twitter!

Copyright and disclaimer

Some rights reserved. This e-learning resource is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO licence (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/igo).

Under the terms of this licence, you may copy, redistribute and adapt the work for non-commercial purposes, provided the work is appropriately cited, as indicated below. In any use of this work, there should be no suggestion that WHO endorses any specific organization, products or services. The use of the WHO logo is not permitted.

If you adapt the work, then you must license your work under the same or equivalent Creative Commons licence. If you create a translation of this work, you should add the following disclaimer along with the suggested citation: “This translation was not created by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this translation. The original English edition shall be the binding and authentic edition”.

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Suggested citation

Training in Assistive Products (TAP). Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

Third-party materials

If you wish to reuse material from this work that is attributed to a third party, such as tables, figures or images, it is your responsibility to determine whether permission is needed for that reuse and to obtain permission from the copyright holder. The risk of claims resulting from infringement of any third-party-owned component in the work rests solely with the user.

Commercial use

To submit requests for commercial use and queries on rights and licensing, see http://www.who.int/about/licensing.

General disclaimers

This e-learning resource is primarily intended to support strengthening of primary health care level access to a range of assistive products. It may also be used to deliver training on assistive products for awareness raising purposes or within a broader training programme/curriculum.

All reasonable precautions have been taken by WHO to verify the information contained in this e-learning resource. However, the e-learning resource is being distributed without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the e-learning resource lies with the reader. In no event shall WHO be liable for damages arising from its use.

The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this e-learning resource do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WHO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted and dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.

The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers’ products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the World Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. Errors and omissions excepted, the names of proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.

For training purposes only, the e-learning resource contains names which are fictitious and which are not intended to bear any similarity to actual names; any such similarity is purely coincidental.

Consent for use of information

Please let us know if you give consent for information collected during this training to be used for future reporting and research activities.

Check yes or no to each question below. If you select no, you are still very welcome to continue the training.

1. I have read the Participant Information Sheet and understand TAP data collection.
2. I understand that my de-identified information collected during this training (including this registration form, online feedback survey, quiz results and discussion forum) will be used in reporting and research to help improve TAP and improve access to assistive technology, and I give my consent for this.