Choosing an AT provider

NDIS participants can choose how they want to manage the funded supports in their plan.

Unless your plan indicates otherwise, you can choose the providers you want to deliver AT supports included in your plan. 

You are generally able to use your NDIS funds to:

  • buy the AT outright; or
  • access the AT through rental, loan or other arrangements - this includes arrangements to access refurbished and reissued AT.

The NDIA has also developed several resources to help you find and access providers. It is important to choose the right provider for you. Make sure you understand your plan and supports before you start choosing providers.

Understanding AT complexity levels

Like many technologies, AT ranges from the really simple to the very complex and sometimes you may need help to figure out what is the right AT solution for you.

We use four levels to describe the complexity of your AT needs. The table below explains the different complexity levels of AT to help you identify, find and access the AT you need.

Complexity Level
Description and Examples
Is an assessment required before I can access NDIS funds?
Where can I buy this AT?
Level 1 – Simple, low-risk AT
  • Simple, low risk products and services that are easy to buy and need no or very little assistance to set up and use.
    Examples:
  • Non-slip bathmat
  • Large print labels
  • Doorbells.

Not required:
These are the everyday AT items that you can easily access and test out that don't cost much or require support.

You can choose to buy these from everyday suppliers. Examples:

  • Your local store (hardware, pharmacy etc.); or
  • Suppliers you find on the internet.
Level 2 – Standard AT

AT you can buy easily "off the shelf", test and trial before making a final choice. However, you might need help to set up.

Examples:

  • Bath seat
  • Hand rails
  • Ramp.

May be required: Depending on availability and your individual circumstance, you may require an assessment.

You can typically find this type of AT from an AT supplier.

Level 3 – Specialised AT solutions

Similar to Level 2 AT, but requires modification or is tailored to suit your needs.
Examples:

  • Desktop electronic magnification
  • Pressure mattresses.

Required: You will require experienced professional support to help identify and set up (and, in some cases train) before you can most effectively use it.

You should work with your AT assessor to identify suitable supplier/s from which you are able to source the most appropriate AT solution for your needs.

Level 4 – Complex AT solutions

Custom made AT which is specially made or configured for you.

  • myoelectric prosthetic
  • cochlear
  • implant speech processors.

Required: You will require specialist and/or ongoing support (including specialised training) to identify, buy and use.

You should work with your AT assessor to identify suitable supplier/s from which you are able to source the most appropriate AT solution for your needs. In some cases the NDIA may indicate which providers are suitable.

Other risks associated with your disability or the environment where you need to use your AT, may make selecting and setting up the right AT more complex.

Your planner will discuss when you would need to provide an AT assessment and quote to the NDIA for review before an AT support can be included in your plan. Some AT may also be specifically described in your plan, which may include the type of providers you can use, to help manage the risks.

If you have AT in your plan, you will also have at least $500 included in your Capacity Building Improved Daily Living - Budget to seek advice from an independent advisor about your AT requirements. Ask your planner for more information. 

Mid-cost AT

From October 2019, a new option for the funding and supply of nominated AT supports between $1,500 to $5,000 was introduced.

This funding option is limited to nine new general AT items and will only be funded if itemised as a reasonable and necessary item within a participant’s NDIS plan.

Some assistive technology supports are relatively standard. With appropriate advice by an AT assessor, participants can now purchase items where they have one of the following nine support items in their plan, without the need for agency review:

  • Assistive Products And Accessories Relating To Prosthetics And Orthotics (05_060000111_0135_1_2)
  • Assistive Products And Accessories For Personal Care, Hygiene, Beds (05_090000111_0103_1_2)
  • Assistive Products Relating To Vehicles And Transport Safety (05_121200111_0109_1_2)
  • Assistive Products And Accessories Relating To Personal Mobility Or Transfer (05_129000111_0105_1_2)
  • Assistive Products And Accessories Relating To Participating In Household Tasks (05_150000111_0123_1_2)
  • Assistive Products And Accessories Relating To Home Modification And Access (05_180000111_0111_1_2)
  • Assistive Products And Accessories Supporting Comms And Information Needs (05_220000111_0124_1_2)
  • Assistive Products Relating To Vision (05_220300111_0113_1_2)
  • Assistive Products Relating To Recreation And Sport (05_300000111_0112_1_2).

For the latest update on improvements to include mid-cost AT in plans for swifter supply of nominated AT supports see our latest news article.

Replacing, repairing and maintaining your AT

The NDIA may assist you to replace worn out or no longer fitting assistive technology, generally without the need for a detailed assessment. For more information visit our Replacing AT page

Your NDIS plan should also include funding to help you maintain and, if necessary, repair your AT. For more information visit our AT repairs and maintenance page.

Additional features and other funding sources

You can opt to use your own money, or funding from other sources (for example, Job Access), to buy additional features, or access additional services which may not fall under reasonable and necessary supports in your NDIS plan.

For example, a participant funded for a fabric-upholstered lift chair may prefer leather upholstery. In this scenario, the participant pays any additional cost to have the chair upholstered in leather.

If you require the same or similar equipment/AT for multiple purposes (for example, at home and at work), you should discuss your needs with your NDIS planner, Local Area Coordinator or Support Coordinator in the first instance.

Further information and resources

Visit our Providing assistive technology (AT) page for more information about:

  • Completing an assistive technology (AT) assessment (when this is required)
  • Identifying AT complexity levels
  • Pricing and payments for AT providers

More information is also available about home modifications, assistance animals and vehicle modifications.

Contact the NDIS

Do you have a question, request or urgent issue relating to assistive technology? You can now email the NDIS directly at enquiries@ndis.gov.au

This page current as of
16 June 2020