Guide to Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive Technology or AT is a piece of equipment, software or device that helps people with disabilities live a more independent life. Examples of AT can be anything from an app on your smart device that reads text out loud to a prosthetic leg. With technology advancing so much over the years, the AT options are endless and truly making life easier than ever.

 

What is Low-Cost Assistive Technology?

This category is for purchases under $1500. Generally, these items are available off the shelf and are not customised. However, like all purchases through an NDIS plan, these items must be related to your disability (not considered an everyday item) and relate to the goals set out in your NDIS plan.

These items will fall under the plan category: Core Consumables

Examples of some items that may not be funded are weighted blankets, standard TV, mobile phones (that are not adapted due to your disability), and general household furniture.

Here is a guide to some of the Low-Cost Assistive Technology that may be funded within an NDIS plan. It’s important to remember that each item is funded based on the individual needs of the participant so always check with the NDIS if the item is covered for you.

General & Personal Items

  • Continence products
  • Key turner aid
  • Smart lights
  • Door handle grip
  • Visual fire alarm
  • Walking Stick
  • Talking clock

Kitchen Items

  • Electric can opener
  • Adapted cutlery
  • Talking microwave
  • Easy tap turner
  • Safety gloves (cut resistant)

Lounging Items

  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • Smart device holder
  • Specialised seat cushions

 

What is Mid Cost Assistive Technology?

This category is for purchases between $1500 to $5000. These items may be harder to choose and setup on your own. You will need to get an Occupational Therapist (OT) to assess your need and create a report and submit to the NDIS for approval.

These items will fall under the plan category: Capital Budget (the item may be listed in your plan as a stated item, which means the funding has been set aside and can only be used for purchasing that specific item)

Here is a guide to some of the Mid Cost Assistive Technology that may be funded within an NDIS plan. It’s important to remember that each item is funded based on the individual needs of the participant, so always check with the NDIS if the item is covered for you.

General & Personal Items

  • Custom made shoes

Lounging Items

  • Pressure mattress
  • Custom shower chair

 

What is High-Cost Assistive Technology?

This category is for purchases over $5000. These items are usually a stated item listed in the plan and discussed with the planner during the planning process.

These items will fall under the plan category: Capital Budget (As these items are usually stated in the plan, the funding is set aside specifically for this purchase and cannot be used for anything else)

Here is a guide to some of the High-Cost Assistive Technology that may be funded within an NDIS plan. It’s important to remember that each item is funded based on the individual needs of the participant, you must receive NDIS approval before purchasing any of the below.

General & Personal Items

  • Custom wheelchair
  • Prosthetics

Kitchen Items

  • Renovations e.g., custom kitchen to suit participants needs

Lounging Items

  • Ceiling hoist
  • Powered bed
  • Custom furniture

 

4 steps to purchasing Assistive Technology

Step 1: Work out what you need

You may wish to trial certain items to see their impact on your daily life or reach out to an Occupational Therapist (OT) who will complete an assessment and make recommendations. For higher cost items, this step will take place BEFORE a planning meeting so you can discuss the outcomes with your planner and ensure funding is made available in your new plan.

Step 2: Get a quote

Next, find the item or engage with a provider who can create a quote based on the OT’s recommendations.

Once you have the quote you may need to submit that along with any reports completed by the OT to the NDIS for approval. If the item is listed in your plan, the funding has already been allocated for this purchase and you may not need NDIS approval.

Step 3: Your purchase is approved by the NDIS, now organise payment

At this stage, your item has been approved by the NDIS.

Send through a copy of the quote to BudgetNet and we will ensure you have enough funding in your plan to cover the cost.

Once you have checked your funding, ask the provider to proceed with creating an invoice for payment.

The provider can send this directly to BudgetNet or you can send it through yourself, whatever works best for you. Payment will be processed.

Step 4: Get your items

The best part! The invoice has been paid and you are ready to receive your items and start enjoying the benefits of assistive technology.

This step can take a while as some items are custom made/ installed. Chat to your provider before this step to see how long they believe it will take so there are no surprises.

 

Visit our NDIS Directory and search for providers in your area that offer Assistive Technology. Our team are experts in NDIS Assistive Technology funding, if you have any questions we’re here to help- 1300 402 568 or email ndis@budgetnet.com.au

 

Helpful Links:

https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/assistive-technology-explained

https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/assistive-technology-explained/assistive-technology-repairs-maintenance-and-replacement

https://ourguidelines.ndis.gov.au/supports-you-can-access-menu/equipment-and-technology/assistive-technology