Assistive technology is an umbrella term. It’s used to describe any item that helps you do something more easily and safely. As defined by the NDIS, it’s a physical support that may help you do something you otherwise cannot do because of your disability. Assistive technology allows you to reach your potential at home. It may also help you in the community and workplace. The NDIS aims to provide people with disability the necessary support to live a better life. And, assistive technologies are an integral part of achieving this goal.
What are the different types of assistive technology?
Assistive technology may be equipment, software programs, products, or systems. Traditionally, assistive technology included items such as hearing aids, spectacles, wheelchairs, and walking sticks. Over the last few years, many new technologies have emerged. We can now access items that assist with social engagement, communication, employment, learning, and memory and planning, as well as mobility and personal care. A few examples include:
- speech generating devices to assist with communication
- visual alerting systems to help keep you safe
- appliances activated by pressure or voice to assist with daily living
- headsticks to help you use a computer
- large print screens to help at home, school, or in the workplace
- automatic door openers to make it safer and easier to move around
- vehicle modifications to assist with transportation
How can I get funding for assistive technology?
The NDIS provides funding for assistive technology. However, it needs to meet the ‘reasonable and necessary’ criteria. To work out whether the NDIS will consider funding your item, ask yourself these questions. Does the assistive technology relate to your disability? For example, would it reduce the need for human assistance? Does the assistive technology help you pursue your goals? Your goal may be to have more independence in the home. Flickmixer taps and voice activated appliances may help you achieve this. The NDIS will also consider if the assistive technology is value for money. Are there less expensive options? How long will it last? Will it need maintenance or repairs? The NDIS will not fund items that don’t relate to your disability. For example, to help with mobility, the NDIS may fund a wheelchair with standard features. However, if you want metallic paint on your wheelchair, you would have to pay for that yourself.
How can Simply Helping help?
Simply Helping provides a wide range of home care. Our services include home maintenance. We can help with basic installations of doorbell systems, handrails, or handheld showerheads. We also carry out minor home modifications. To find your nearest Simply Helping provider, click here.