Assistive Technology: A Closer Look
Many items can be very useful for those who experience disability. Assistive technology is a group of items that fall into this category.
Knowing what is and isn’t included within NDIS funding is not always clear though.
We’ve created this guide to help you understand what’s classified as assistive technology, what’s normally covered and how we can help you order and pay for items.
What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability.
This technology reduces the need for formal health and support services, long-term care and the work of caregivers.
While there’s no exact list some examples include:
- iPads and Tablets: iPads and tablets have become a popular way of receiving remote access to services.
- Apps: There are many smartphone apps out there to help people with disabilities. From text-to-speech apps for people with visual impairment to apps that can assist people to communicate who are non-verbal.
- Headphones: Noise-cancelling headphones can be useful for people with autism, by blocking out distracting background noise and even helping avoid sensory overload.
- Smartwatches: Smartwatches come loaded with many features that can make life easier for people with disabilities, including GPS, fall detection and heart rate monitoring.
- Smart-home accessories: To assist with daily living around the house, many smart-home devices and technologies can help.
For a more comprehensive list, see the NDIS Assistive Technology and Consumables Guide.
What does the NDIS cover?
Assistive technology support may be included in your NDIS plan where it is reasonable and necessary .
To have assistive technologies added to your plan, your NDIS planner or the NDIS needs to first understand how it will help you to pursue your goals. Depending on the equipment, an additional assessment or a recommendation letter from your service provider may be needed.
The NDIS needs to know that the assistive technology:
- is the item right for your needs
- is safe for you to use and meets Australia’s safety standards
- will help you do all the things you need it to
- will work in all the places that you need to use it
As a general rule, if this equipment costs less than $1500 and can be bought off-the-shelf, then the NDIS considers it to be low-cost assistive technology. This falls under the Core support category Consumables, so you can buy it using your Core funding.
If the item costs more than $1500, it’s regarded as NDIS assistive technology, which is a capital support.
We’re here to help
Have a question? We’re on hand to offer assistance. Contact us on 1300 60 33 89 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help.