These days, there’s no shortage of exciting NDIS low cost assistive technology and devices that can make life easier for people with disability – what we call Assisted Technology. But what exactly classifies as low cost assistive technology and how can you buy it using your NDIS funds?
How does the NDIS fund low cost assistive technology
The NDIS can fund any device, piece of equipment or technology that’s related to your disability – this can be something that helps in a therapeutic sense or something that allows you to perform a task you’d otherwise be unable to do.
As a general rule, if this equipment costs less than $1500 and can be bought off-the-shelf, then the NDIS considers it to be low cost assistive technology. This falls under the Core support category Consumables, so you can buy it using your Core funding.
If the item costs more than $1500, it's regarded as NDIS assistive technology, which is a Capital support.
What sort of low cost assistive technology can the NDIS fund?
While there’s no exact list to show what the NDIS will fund, these popular items may help you explore your options and which devices may be useful to you:
iPads and Tablets: With many providers limiting their face-to-face sessions at the moment, iPads and tablets have become so popular that the NDIS has changed their rules around them.
Apps: There are many smartphone apps out there to help people with disability. From text-to-speech apps for people with visual impairment, to apps that can assist people to communicate who are non-verbal, there are thousands of apps in the market that could support you in achieving your NDIS goals.
Headphones: Noise cancelling headphones can be useful for people with autism, by blocking out distracting background noise and even helping avoid sensory overload.
Smartwatches: Smartwatches come loaded with many features that can make life easier for people with disability, including GPS, fall detection and heart rate monitoring. Even virtual wallets, which allow you to link your smartwatch to your bank account, can be really useful for mobility purposes.
Smart-home accessories: To assist you with daily living around the house, there are all kinds of devices and technologies, like voice activated lights or doors for people with mobility related disabilities, visual doorbells for people with hearing impairment, or smart speakers that allow you to get the weather and news through voice command.
Are there rules around what low cost assistive technology I can buy?
As with all NDIS supports, any technology you buy must meet the criteria of reasonable and necessary. This means it needs to be both related to your disability and offer value for money.
If a piece of equipment you need comes in different models at different prices, you will generally need to buy the cheapest one.
If there’s a specific reason why you require a more expensive option, you may have to provide evidence to support this. This might be a simple letter from an occupational therapist explaining the more expensive item has an extra feature you require.
How do I buy low cost assistive technology with my NDIS funds?
In most cases you will need to purchase the item with your own money, then submit your invoice for reimbursement from the NDIS or your plan manager. If you’re agency managed, you will need to purchase the item through a registered provider.
We’ve partnered with Officeworks to make the process much easier for our customers. If an item is available at Officeworks, you can now contact Plan Partners to place an order and we’ll handle the rest. No more having to spend your own money and be out of pocket until you get reimbursed; the funds will come straight from your Core NDIS budget and you’ll get the item the next business day.