The NDIS or National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a government initiative that provides financial assistance to eligible Australians with disabilities. It helps them understand their short and long-term goals and provides financial assistance to accomplish them. There are several assistive devices that can help NDIS participants achieve their goals. These can be as small as a handrail for the bathroom or a portable electronic hand-held magnifier for low vision needs. All these devices come under the term ‘Assistive Technology.’
In this article, we will discuss assistive technology and how NDIS registered providers in Melbourne can help the participants understand and use these.
What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology or AT is the umbrella term for any device or system that can be used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional abilities of NDIS participants. AT can be as simple as an adaptive eating utensil or as complex as a computer-based communication system.
Under the NDIS, funding for AT will be available to all eligible participants. You can find this funding in your NDIS plan under the “core budget’.
How Does NDIS Cover Assistive Technology?
The NDIS can fund assistive technology if it finds the requirement reasonable and necessary. Here are the few things that NDIS analyses to determine if the participants need assistive technology-
- Does the assistive technology help the participants in performing different activities?
- Does AT make performing tasks less tiring for the participants?
- Is the chosen AT most suitable for the participant?
- Does the AT meet Australia’s safety standards?
- Are there less expensive options than the selected AT?
- How often will the AT require maintenance and what’s its lifespan?
- Can the participant rent the AT instead of purchasing them?
- Do other individuals or organizations currently fund their AT?
What Types of Assistive Technology Can NDIS Cover?
The NDIS categorises assistive technology into 3 sections. Each has a specific price limit and helps the NDIS participants accomplish their goals. Your NDIS provider can help you choose the best AT that’s reasonably priced and of optimum quality.
Types of Assistive Technology
Low-cost Assistive Technology
Low-cost assistive technology costs $1500 or less per item. These are locally available products and require minimal effort to set up.
The participants can find low-cost assistive technology funding in the Core budget’s consumable section. The NDIS registered provider in Melbourne can help make the best use of this funding and buy or rent the required low-cost assistive technology.
A few examples are-
- Non-slip bath mat
- Large print labels
- Walking sticks
- Long-handled shoe horn
- Tactile dots
- Basic shower chairs.
Mid-cost Assistive Technology
Mid-cost assistive technology is a broad arena since it includes products from the price of $1500 to $15000. NDIS does not require any quote to issue funding for the mid-cost assistive technology. However, they will need evidence to prove that the participants will benefit from the technology.
Most often, an individual assessment from an AT advisor is enough for the NDIS to understand the need, cost and risk of the particular technology. The NDIS registered provider in Melbourne can help the participants to choose the AT advisors and assess their need for mid-cost assistive technology. They can also help purchase or rent the best quality product at reasonable rates.
The participants can find mid-cost assistive funding in the Capital budget category. A few examples are-
- A standing hoist
- Ankle-foot orthotics
- A customised shower chair
- Alternative communication devices
- Some power wheelchairs
- Pressure care mattresses
High-cost Assistive Technology
All high-cost assistive technology costs more than $15000. NDIS will require an assessment by a professional AT advisor and a quote for the proposed assistive technology to provide adequate funding.
The high-cost assistive technology is complex and will require a professional assessment to understand whether or not it’s the right solution for the participant. Similarly, it can also be a custom-made product for the participants and requires special tools to set up.
The Capital section of the NDIS plan shows the funding for high-cost assistive technology. The examples include-
- A wheelchair custom-made for you
- Some complex communication devices
How to Choose an Assistive Technology Provider?
The NDIS participants have the authority to choose an assistive technology provider as per their wish. Their chosen NDIS registered provider in Melbourne can help them find the best product at reasonable prices, but the final say lies with the participant.The participants should ensure that the AT supplier is trustworthy and can exchange or repair the product if required.
How to Pay For Assistive Technology?
The NDIS participant can decide the payment channel. They can either opt for a plan manager or an NDIS provider to manage the fund. They can also self-manage and choose to pay for it themselves. While deciding to pay for assistive technology, the NDIS participants can either purchase the AT outrightly or acquire it through a rental, loan or other forms of payment.
In A Nutshell
As you can see, there’s much to consider regarding assistive technology under the NDIS. But your NDIS registered provider in Melbourne can help simplify the NDIS procedure and further assist in understanding your options or accessing funding for assistive technology.
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