Cost of individual assistive technology programme: A population study

Renzo Andrich, Antonio Caracciolo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Based on a survey of 31 individual AT (Assistive Technology) programmes, an attempt has been made to infer social cost indicators for various categories of AT equipment. Cost analysis was carried out by means of the SCAI (Siva Cost Analysis Instrument). The first finding is that - not surprisingly - most AT solutions, though very expensive in terms of initial purchase price, lead to considerable savings in social costs, due to the reduced assistance burden: in some cases, the savings detected in social costs were in the range 150,000 euros over five years. The second major finding is the marked variation in the social costs of different individual cases where similar AT solutions were implemented, suggesting difficulty in establishing repeatable social cost figures for a given device: such figures also depend on the individual context of the implemented AT solution, and on its inter-relationship with the other AT solutions composing the whole programme. The findings also shed light on four critical issues needing investigation 1) the actual maintenance cost of AT devices 2) the determinants of the assistance burden associated to an AT device 3) the discounting criteria to be used for cost actualisation and 4) the estimate of the "non-intervention" costs, in severe cases where this is not a realistic option.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssistive Technology Research Series
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameAssistive Technology Research Series
ISSN (Print)1383813X
ISSN (Electronic)18798071


  • Assistive technology
  • Cost analysis
  • Socio-economic assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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