Appropriate Paper Based Technology (APBT) is a technology developed in Zimbabwe, which uses recycled materials such as waste paper, cardboard boxes and corrugated cardboard boxes to produce individually designed furniture, toys and assistive devices for people with disabilities. Over the years the availability, low cost and versatility of APBT has benefited many people with disabilities in different countries. The major advantages of assistive furniture items is that it can be made to the individual needs of the child with disability – good fitting and positioning tailored for each person.
Positioning is a crucial factor when working and living with children with disabilities. The use of assistive devices and adapted furniture is important to enhance better posture and body alignment, thus improving participation in daily activities and learning. APBT procedures are extremely simple. APBT has the potential to revolutionize the production of assistive devices traditionally fabricated from wood, leather, metal and other expensive media, since it uses waste materials.
Imagination and knowledge of the basic techniques convert used paper into strong and attractive devices for persons with disabilities. As APBT uses “free” materials, the technology is made accessible to people and families of all income groups.
SEP has trained three therapists and three fathers of children with disabilities to work on an APBT project. In time we hope to expand this workshop to be able to supply children in need with appropriate assistive devices and adapted furniture.