Q and A -29 January 2018

How does the process for purchasing Assistive Technology work?

How you purchase your assistive technology depends on your needs, how your plan is managed, whether or not you need an assistive technology (AT) assessment, and the level of complexity your assistive technology is classified as.

There are 4 levels of AT complexity.

The NDIS AT Complexity Level Classification document on the website outlines some examples for each complexity level and provides guidance on when an AT assessment may be required. Visit the Buying Equipment/Assistive Technology page on the NDIS website.

What kind of things can be purchased with the Assistive Technologies budget?

Assistive Technology (AT) is a term that covers a wide range of things from large print labels to shower seats, wheelchairs and car modifications.

The NDIS uses the definition of AT provided by the World Health Organisation: Assistive Technology is "any device or system that allows individuals to perform tasks they would otherwise be unable to do or increases the ease and safety with which tasks can be performed."

For example, a car is not considered Assistive Technology, but modifications to the car to enable a person with disability to drive it might be considered Assistive Technology.

Visit the Equipment/Assistive Technology pages on the NDIS website.

Where can I buy Assistive Technology items?

For low cost, low risk items, the NDIA expects participants will often go to a local store or the internet to find suitable AT that meets their needs.

For more complex AT items participants may be referred to their own State/Territory government AT provider scheme to obtain a quote to help establish the reasonable and necessary funding level for the AT item.

Participants may also source quotes from other suppliers they know. The quotes are then supplied to the NDIA who make an assessment and set the budget available for that AT item. Once the budget is set by the NDIA, the participant can then purchase the item.

Do I need to get a quote prior to purchasing AT?

In general, supports over $1,000 in value will require a quote prior to supply, while lower cost items can be directly authorised (fixed price) through the myplace portal. The low cost, low risk AT (typically less than $50) doesn’t require a quote if you are buying them with your Daily Adaptive Equipment funds (in your Core budget). Visit the Equipment/assistive technologies page on the NDIS website.

What do we do with equipment funded by NDIS when we no longer need it?

If you have purchased equipment outright, there are services available in the community that will take used equipment and refurbish, reissue or recycle as appropriate. If the equipment is under a lease agreement, then it is up to you to arrange a return with the provider. These types of services vary between each state and territory so if you are unsure how to go about it, have a chat with a NDIS Local Area Coordinator (LAC) who will be able to connect you.