(Los Angeles, CA | September 5, 2018) Consolidated Logistics for Assistive Technology Supply & Provision, otherwise known as CLASP, was established to provide a solution to the extensive supply-side challenges faced by wheelchair service providers in less-resourced settings, including limited product variety, extensive lead time, and logistical burdens.
The goal of the program is to increase access to a variety of high-quality, affordable, wheelchairs and other assistive products, enabling buyers and donors to make large or small orders faster and more efficiently, delivering mobility devices that best suit users’ individual needs. With approximately 75 million people worldwide in need of a wheelchair for basic mobility, and only 5-15% with access to one, the unmet need for appropriate assistive products is huge.
Consolidation hub established in Shanghai
UCP Wheels for Humanity (UCPW), which implements CLASP, started phase one of the USAID-funded project in 2015. During this phase, UCPW developed and operationalized a product consolidation hub in Shanghai, China, which enabled the warehousing and distribution of wheelchairs from several suppliers at once, including Motivation, Whirlwind, UCPW, and GRIT among others. Sixty containers of wheelchairs and other mobility devices were shipped to almost thirty countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, India, Ukraine, Romania, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mexico, Bolivia, Bhutan, Mozambique, South Africa, Jordan, and Haiti. In total, 7,830 wheelchairs, including 1,423 intermediate wheelchairs, and 6,617 cushions were shipped.
Appropriate wheelchair service provision a priority
In addition, UCPW established a competitive application process for identifying and selecting CLASP Service Partners, wheelchair service providers that have met minimum service standards and demonstrated their commitment to appropriate provision. Fourteen service partners were selected during the first phase of CLASP, including Motivation Romania, FUNTER in El Salvador, Shonaquip in South Africa, Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania, and the Association for People with Disabilities in India among others. They received CLASP products donated by UCPW and other product donors and were featured on clasphub.org.
Improved transparency and standardization in product selection process
Now in phase II, UCPW has drawn on lessons learned from the first phase to inform next steps in meeting the CLASP goal. The CLASP website has been redesigned to create a simplified quote request and ordering process and to host a library of resources on appropriate provision. To better and more efficiently respond to product needs while also ensuring transparency in the selection process, UCPW is working to diversify the CLASP product offering in collaboration with a Product Advisory Council (PAC). UCPW formed the PAC to ensure stakeholder engagement and to standardize the process for adding products to the CLASP catalog. UCPW is also expanding the number of Service Partners that it plans to work with and leveraging this partnership model to highlight examples of appropriate provision as part of broader efforts to promote provision globally.