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Assistive Technology Explained

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Assistive Technology Explained

Assistive technology is equipment or devices that help you do things you can’t do because of your disability. Assistive technology may also help you do something more easily or safely. All NDIS supports must meet the reasonable and necessary criteria.

We can’t fund AT items that are more appropriately funded by other government services. For more detailed information on how we define and fund AT, or how to add AT into your plan.

Understanding AT product risk

AT ranges from simple products to the complex systems. It is always a good idea to get advice from an AT advisor to determine the right AT solution for your needs. If the AT you are considering is higher risk AT (see below), then the NDIS requires you to get AT advice before getting that AT.

We use 2 product risk categories (‘low’ and ‘higher’) to assess the complexity of your AT needs.

  • Low risk AT products are:unlikely to cause harm in day-to-day life
    available for trial and / or can be purchased in retail stores
    easy to set up and safely use without professional advice.

  • Higher risk AT products may be one or all of the following:complex, such as a power wheelchair
    known to have caused harm
    used for a restrictive practice
    require professional advice, setup or training for safe use.

Low, mid and high cost AT

We recommend you get advice from an AT assessor to make sure you get AT that's right for you.

It’s best to buy some items. For other items, it might be better to rent or borrow them. This is true if your needs are likely to change.

The NDIA has different processes for low, mid and high cost AT. 

  • Low cost assistive technology: under $1,500 per item

  • Mid cost assistive technology: between $1,500 and $15,000 per item

  • High cost assistive technology: over $15,000 per item.

Mid cost AT

You don't need to provide us quotes for AT items under $15,000, but we still need some evidence (including a cost estimate) to make sure you get the right AT. Only AT items valued over $15,000 will need a quote.

Additional features and other funding sources

You can use your own money or funding from other sources, such as Job Access, to buy additional features or access additional services which may not fall under reasonable and necessary supports in your NDIS plan.

If you require the same or similar AT for multiple purposes and locations you should discuss your needs with your planner, local area coordinator or support coordinator.

Evidence of AT required and AT assessments

We need to understand your AT needs and how the right AT will help you pursue your goals. We’ll need different information from you depending on the cost and risk.

Some AT will need a qualified AT advisor to talk with you about your needs and situation to help you identify the most appropriate AT solution. The AT advisor may be an allied health practitioner, continence nurse, rehabilitation engineer, AT mentor or other qualified practitioner.

For AT costing more than $15,000, we require both an assessment by a professional AT advisor (sometimes called an AT assessor) and quote for the AT proposed.

If you have AT in your plan, you will also have at least $500 included in your Capacity Building Improved Daily Living - Budget to seek advice from an independent advisor about your AT requirements.

Choosing an AT provider

NDIS participants can choose how they want to manage the funded supports in their plan.

Unless your plan indicates otherwise, you can choose the providers you want to deliver AT supports included in your plan.

You are generally able to use your NDIS funds to either:

  • buy the AT outright or

  • access the AT through rental, loan, subscription or other arrangements. This includes arrangements to access refurbished and reissued AT.

Make sure you understand your plan and supports before choosing providers.

This page current as of 30 January 2023

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