Assistive technologies (AT) are physical supports that help you:
Examples of AT can include:
AT may be included in your NDIS plan if:
We can’t fund AT items that are more appropriately funded by other government services.
In our terms, assistive technology includes items that help you do things you can’t do because of your disability. Or, things that help you do something more easily or safely.
This includes items like non-slip mats, or special knives and forks. It includes items like wheelchairs and power beds too.
It can also include things like an app to help you speak to other people if you have a speech impairment.
Not all equipment or technology you use is assistive technology. Many people use some equipment as part of their lives. For example, a radio to listen to music, or a standard microwave oven to cook food. Assistive technology is only the equipment you need because it helps you do things that you normally can’t do because of your disability.
What does assistive technology include?
What does assistive technology under the NDIS not include?
This operational guideline explains how we make decisions about assistive technology. Assistive technology explained has general information on assistive technology.
All NDIS supports must meet the reasonable and necessary criteria.
Ask yourself some questions to help you think about whether we’ll consider funding what you need:
Your assistive technology must relate to your disability. It should help you with different activities, or something you can’t do now. Or, assistive technology may help reduce your fatigue or the need for human assistance. Ultimately, we won’t fund a support if it’s not related to your disability.
We don’t fund general items that we all need whether or not we have a disability.
This includes things like general household furniture.
But we might fund the extra cost of adapting general items for your disability.
Both Salim and Jane cannot sit in a standard chair. This is because they won’t be able to get back up due to their disability.
We all have to buy furniture for our home. But they need to pay more to adapt the chair, or for a specialised chair.
Salim’s occupational therapist says he could use low-cost chair raiser blocks to raise the height of the chair. Salim buys a standard chair with his own money. But his NDIS plan could include funding for the chair raiser blocks if they meet all the criteria for funding.
Jane’s occupational therapist says low-cost options won’t work for her. She needs a sit-stand recliner chair to avoid falls and stand up slowly without help from someone else. Her NDIS plan could include funding for the sit-stand recliner chair if it meets all the criteria for funding.
Assistive technology enables people to live healthy, productive, independent, and dignified lives, and to participate in education, the labour market and civic life. Assistive technology reduces the need for formal health and support services, long-term care and the work of caregivers. Without assistive technology, people are often excluded, isolated, and locked into poverty, thereby increasing the impact of disease and disability on a person, their family, and society.
Today, only 1 in 10 people in need have access to assistive technology due to high costs and a lack of awareness, availability, trained personnel, policy, and financing.
People who most need assistive technology include:
Assistive technology can have a positive impact on the health and well-being of a person and their family, as well as broader socioeconomic benefits. For example: