Informing the Australian government on AT policies: ARATA's experiences


Friesen, Emma L.; Walker, Lloyd; Layton, Natasha; Astbrink, Gunela; Summers, Michael; De Jonge, Desleigh


This article describes the development and dissemination of an evidence-based Policy Statement and Background Papers by the Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association (ARATA). An experienced project team was engaged to conduct literature reviews and member consultations, develop resources and implement a targeted advocacy strategy that included a policy launch and meetings with government officials. The Policy Statement and Background Papers have enabled ARATA to represent the views of Assistive Technology (AT) Practitioners in consultations around the National Disability Insurance Scheme and other AT-related inquiries. In ARATA's experience, developing a policy statement and disseminating it through a targeted advocacy strategy is an effective way for a not-for-profit professional organisation to influence government policy.Implications for RehabilitationAT practitioners must consider political factors in working towards effective policies to support their practice.To be effective at a systemic level, AT practitioners must develop political awareness and an understanding of the drivers of policy.This case study provides a blueprint for AT practitioners and organisations in tackling policy change.

Publication year


Publication type

Journal article


Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Vol. 10, no. 3 (2015), pp. 236-239




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