Australia currently has 400,000 NDIS participants with individual NDIS plans. 150,000 participants of these 400,000 are receiving first-time support. NDIA focuses on improving NDIS so that the participants will have the support they need for daily living, independence, and becoming part of an inclusive Australia.
A major way to achieve this is through assistive technology, a life-changing initiative for several disabled people. Assistive technology (AT) gives them independence, relieves them from family dependence and helps them reach their goals. What’s more about assistive technology? If you are looking at AT for yourself or a loved one, here is everything you need to know.
What Is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology is any system, device, software program, item, or piece of equipment used to help disabled people complete a task or activity they would otherwise struggle to finish.
The NDIS funds this technology to allow disabled people to perform tasks that could help them reach their potential. It could be at work or home or public places, or anywhere.
However, please note that NDIS Assistive Technology does not include the following:
● Something that does not include a device, such as training or medicine.
● A built environment used by all, like pathways, lifts or ramps
● Items for rehabilitation or treatment
● Mainstream technology that does not overcome a functional limitation. When modified, it can become AT.
The Different Levels Of Assistive Technology
The NDIS classifies Assistive Technology into four main levels. These range from the simplest technologies to the most complex. In most cases, you will need the help of the best plan managers of NDIS to help you figure out the best AT solution for your needs.
These levels are as follows:
Level 1 – The Basic Assistive Technology
This level donates low-risk and low-cost devices that come from local suppliers. The price inclusion for these devices is always under $1,500, and there is so far no quote or assessment to get them. They are easy to set up and use. They include apps, smart watches, tablets and iPads, smart-home accessories and headphones.
Level 2 – Standard Assistive Technology
This level covers devices with low-to-mid cost and low-to-mid risk. You have to get these devices from a certified NDIS assistive technology supplier. For these, you may need a little help setting them up, some minor settings. They are easy to use and right from the shelves. The standard level of AT helps disabled people with toileting, bathing, vision, transfers, prosthetics, sitting and orthotics.
They include the following:
● Bed and chair raises
● Transfer beds
● Kitchen stools
● Low-cost consumables
● Portable ramps
● Adjustable shower chairs
Level 3 – Specialised Assistive Technology
This level includes assistive technology devices with medium risk. Like those in level 2, you can only get these devices from a specialised assistive technology supplier. These devices need assessment as they need modifications or alterations depending on the individual’s needs.
Apart from that, with the help of the best plan managers at NDIS, you will have to submit an official quotation to NDIS. You have to wait for them to respond or approve. Your quotation should include all the charges for delivery, maintenance, set-up, and repairs associated with the device.
Some of these devices include:
● Electronic braille displays
● Ceiling hosts
● Hearing aids
● Pressure mattresses
● Environmental control units
● Non-portable ramps
● Assistance animals
Level 4 – Complex Assistive Technology
Complex assistive technology is the last level, consisting of NDIS AT products tailor-made for individual use. These have a special design to aid individuals with special and unique needs. Integrating these devices with other AT devices is a common norm for better maintenance and control. You must submit an assessment to the AT assessor to get one. You will also have to submit an official quotation containing all the necessary details and wait for the approval.
Some complex AT items include:
● Deb rails
● Voice prosthesis
● Specialised software
● A cochlear implant speech processor
● Power wheelchairs with integrated controls
● High-level pressure cushions
● Structural changes to buildings
How Does NDIS AT Funding Work?
The NDIS AT funding comes in three major parts:
● The low-cost AT – This section does require any assessment or a quote, and it is below $1500.
● The mid-cost AT – This requires an assessment, but with no quote, it costs between $ 1500 and $ 15000.
● The high-cost AT – This level requires an assessment and a quote, costing above $15000.
There is more surrounding the NDIS AT. The information shared above is the most crucial part you need to know. Whether you are a disabled person or a family member of one, you can help them through thrift plan managers get the best AT suited for their specific needs.