Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology, girl in walker

Assistive technology is any device, system or design, that allows a person to do something more easily or safely, or to do something that they may not have been able to do otherwise due to their developmental delay or disability. Examples include a communication device, a wheelchair, a walking frame, and a handheld shower hose.

The physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech Pathologists at EarlyEd are experienced in helping families with assistive technology.

An individualized cost estimate for prescription of assistive technology can be provided.

Some things to know about assistive technology:

  • The process for prescribing assistive technology can be lengthy and take several months from assessment to delivery. It is important to plan early for assistive technology.
  • Assistive technology can be included in your NDIS Plan during a plan review if it is deemed reasonable and necessary. Funding may be included in your child’s NDIS Plan so it is ready for when the prescription is completed (for low or mid cost items). A full assessment report and quote may be needed before the funding is included (for high cost items). Please speak with your therapist if assistive technology is required but is not listed in your current plan.

The prescription process involves many stages:

  • Review reports (hospital clinic reports, positive behaviour support plans).
  • Home visit to assess needs/environment and take measurements.
  • Additional assessments as required for complex assistive technology.
  • Therapist researches the most suitable options.
  • Therapist organises trials with suppliers. Several options may be trialed in one trial appointment. In complex situations, several trial appointments may be needed to find the right solution.
  • Your therapist will liaise with suppliers, other relevant professionals and your family throughout the trial process.
Report writing
  • Your therapist will complete a report or support letter to submit to the funding body (e.g. NDIS). This documentation is very detailed, as it is important that all the required information and justification is provided so a funding decision can be made.
  • Once the assistive technology is funded, your NDIS contact will advise how the item can be ordered.
  • A remeasure appointment may be required in some situations before ordering the equipment.
  • Your therapist and the supplier will then deliver the assistive technology. They will provide training and support in the safe use of the assistive technology .  The therapist will ensure any necessary adjustments are made so that the item meets your child’s needs and can provide you with a written equipment information sheet.
  • A delivery sign-off sheet is completed to confirm the AT has been supplied and adjusted as planned.
  • Your therapist will review your assistive technology after delivery, to ensure it has met your child’s needs as planned, as required by NDIS.
  • Ongoing review and adjustments are usually required and this needs to be budgeted for in each NDIS plan, along with funding for repair and maintenance.

The NDIS does not fund:

  • Items that all parents would typically pay for (e.g. toys; nappies for children under 5 years old) or for support that your child can get from family, friends, and other community and government services.
  • Items that are required for use in schools, preschools or childcare (apart from wheeled mobility and communication devices that a child would use in all environments). Talk with your therapists about funding sources for items in these environments.

For further information on this, the NDIS publish their funding guidelines with case examples under the heading “Would We Fund It?”

Assistive Technology and EarlyEd

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