Designing an adaptable approach to early childhood assistive technology

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To improve the supply of assistive technology (AT) to young children, the NDIA issued a request for information (RFI) on the AusTender website on 17 June 2021, seeking: 

  • feedback on NDIA ideas in this area
  • information on existing and future AT market solutions.

Recent AT consultations have made it clear there is an opportunity for market innovation in the adaptable supply of AT.

NDIS families of early childhood participants accessing AT identified their preference for a greater choice of providers and a need for:

  • sustainability – both financial and environmentally
  • timeliness of supply
  • transparency
  • safe and good quality products and services
  • a digital marketplace.

The NDIA is now seeking market input to help us further develop the early childhood assistive technology approach. 

The release of the RFI follows an AT sourcing research phase involving consultation with, families and carers of early childhood participants, providers, peak representatives and allied health professionals. 

RFI responses will be used to:

  • refine and improve the early childhood assistive technology approach
  • develop participant-driven sourcing approaches for young people with a disability and other participants with changing AT needs. 

The RFI outlines a proposed approach to facilitate greater choice in AT supply options and improve value for money for participants.   

The approach proposes a mix of 4 broad solution categories:

  • equipment loan pools
  • subscription services
  • pre-purchase trials 
  • purchase.

If you have knowledge, expertise or lived experience in providing AT supports for early childhood, we encourage you to respond to the RFI .

Together, we can help participants to have greater choice and control when pursuing their goals.

The RFI closes AEST 2 pm Thursday 15 July 2021.

View the early childhood assistive technology approach request for information (RFI) .