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13 February 2023

What is assistive technology under the NDIS?

Every person living with a disability has different needs and needs different supports. Here at Leap in! we want you to make the most of the supports available in your NDIS Plan.

Assistive technology has come a long way in recent years. There are so many different types of technology that can make a real difference to your life and independence.

But what types of assistive technology are available and what can you buy with your NDIS funds? Read on to find out.

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is any device or system that allows you to do something that you wouldn’t be able to do without it (or something that can increase the ease or safety of things that you do).

For more details on how assistive technology works under the NDIS, see NDIS assistive technology approvals: Everything you need to know!

Examples of assistive technology.

Examples of well-known assistive technology include:

  • Non-slip bath mats
  • Bath seats
  • Handrails
  • Ramps
  • Desktop electronic magnification
  • Vibrating alarms and smoke alarms
  • Remote controls
  • Home modifications such as bathroom adaptations
  • Vehicle modifications
  • Pressure mattresses
  • Power wheelchairs.

Assistive technology under the NDIS does not generally include:

  • Items for treatment or rehabilitation
  • Smartphones, tablets or iPads with mobile-only connections
  • Internet connection and data
  • Additional hardware or accessories other than standard protective case
  • A built environment that is used by others such as ramps at school or work
  • Anything that is considered to be “mainstream technology” that does not overcome a functional limitation. For example, a car is not assistive technology but modifications to a car could be.
  • Everyday items that everyone has to buy such as a tablet or computer to run computer-based assistive technology.

Regardless of the cost of the item, evidence is required to show that you need the device because of your disability.

Is assistive technology “reasonable and necessary” for you?

Like any item or service purchased with your NDIS Plan, you must be able to prove that any assistive technology or AT under the NDIS is reasonable and necessary for your needs.

You should be able to answer the following questions:

  •   How is the technology related to my disability? For example, does it help you do something that you could not do without it?
  •   Is the AT right for my unique needs? Is it safe for you? Does it help you to achieve your goals? Does it assist with daily support needs?
  •   Is the item value for money compared with other options that may achieve the same outcome? For example, are there less expensive options? Will the item need repairs or maintenance?

The NDIS will not fund items that are the responsibility of another service or government agency to fund. For example, walking aids while you recover from surgery (these are the responsibility of the health department in your state).

Will funding for assistive technology be included in your NDIS Plan?

The need for assistive technology is assessed by the NDIS on a case-by-case basis

Regardless of the cost of the item, evidence is required to show that you need the device because of your disability. For items over $15,000 and higher risk items such as adjustable beds, you will generally need advice from an assistive technology advisor and one or two quotes.

It will be included if it is decided to be a ‘reasonable and necessary’ support that meets your needs and will help you to achieve your goals.

That is just one more reason why it’s so important to be prepared for your Plan meeting!

We can help you.

Let us help you with your preparation for your first NDIS Plan meeting or Plan Review to ensure you have everything covered and make sure you have the very best chance of getting the help you need.

Call us on 1300 05 78 78 to have your questions answered about assistive technology, to book your free NDIS pre-planning session or sign up to Leap in! plan management today.

Originally published 10 December 2018, updated 6 February 2023.

Further reading.

NDIS assistive technology approvals: All you need to know!

FAQS: The NDIS and assistive technology.

Kids and the NDIS: Assistive technology in the learning environment.

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