NDIS assistive technology can be a game changer for people with disability, allowing them to perform tasks they’d otherwise have difficulty doing. Buy what exactly is NDIS assistive technology and how can it be funded under the NDIS? 

What is NDIS assistive technology?

Assistive technology (AT) is basically any piece of equipment that lets you perform a task you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do, or makes it easier and safer for you to perform a task.

There’s almost no limit to the kinds of equipment and assistive technology that could make your life easier. And there are lots of exciting pieces of assistive technology out there with new ones coming out every day. So, think creatively about what your NDIS goals are and how technology can help you achieve them. You can also ask your OT or physiotherapy for suggestions.

Non-slip bathmats, adaptive can openers, electric wheelchairs and stair lifts are just some examples of NDIS assistive technologies that can support you to live a more independent life.

Is there a difference between NDIS assistive technology and low cost assistive technology?

Yes. While they’re both a little similar, there are some major differences for how they’re funded under the NDIS.

Low cost assistive technology is basically equipment that costs less than $1,500 and requires no modifications. These items can be purchased off-the-shelf using your Core budget.

Assistive technology is more complex and may require customisation. Because it often costs more and is considered a specialised item, the process for purchasing Assistive Technology is a bit more complicated.

How do I get NDIS funding for assistive technology?

Assistive technology is categorised as a Capital support. To get budget included in your NDIS plan for a piece of assistive technology, you’ll need to submit a quote to the NDIS. Once the quote is approved, you’ll receive funding for that specific item along with additional funding for ongoing costs, such as maintenance.

How do I buy NDIS assistive technology?

There are several steps involved in purchasing assistive technology. While it can appear overwhelming at first, you’ll have a lot of support along the way.

1. Get Support

Before starting your journey, you’ll need to engage an Occupational Therapist (OT) This is an NDIS requirement, as your OT will perform an assessment and let the NDIS know whether you require the piece of assistive technology. Your therapist will also help you through the rest of the quotation process and can assist with any questions you may have.

2. Get a quote

With the support of your therapist, contact the equipment provider (or providers) and get a quote.

Once you have your quotes, you can submit them to the NDIS along with any supporting documentation from your OT. As each state has a different process for submitting quotes, it’s best to ask your OT for assistance with this step.

3. Get an invoice

Once the NDIS has approved your quote, contact the provider and ask for an invoice for the equipment. You’ll then have to submit this invoice to the NDIS for processing and payment. If you have a plan manager, simply submit your invoice to them and they’ll ensure it’s processed correctly.

4. Get your equipment

After your provider’s invoice has been paid, they’ll be able to get you your equipment. Because a lot of assistive technology is made to your specifications, this step often involves them ordering your equipment from the manufacturer. This can take some time, so be prepared for delays and ask your provider for a timeframe. 

What about ongoing costs?  

Once you receive your Assistive Technology, it’s very likely there will be some additional costs over the course of its life. Things like regular maintenance and repairs can be funded by the NDIS. You can also receive funding to hire a temporary piece of equipment while you wait for yours to arrive from the retailer, or if your OT would like you to ‘test it out’ before you purchase.