What help can I get?
The National Disability Insurance Agency understands that everyone's needs, preferences and aspirations are different. We provide information and referrals, support to access community services and activities, personal plans and supports over a lifetime.
We provide personalised:
- Information and referral
- Support to access community services and activities
- Individualised plans and supports
- Early intervention
- Where necessary, funded supports that may be one-off support or a funded support package. Examples of funded supports include Assistive Technology, Auslan and Housing
Assistive technology, as defined by the World Health Organisation, 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’.
If you have a disability that is likely to be permanent and significant you can receive funding from the NDIS. The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports to help you reach your goals and aspirations, and take part in activities to increase your social and economic participation.
What is Assistive Technology?
Some examples of Assistive Technology that an NDIS participant may be eligible to receive funding for includes (but is not limited to):
- a mobility cane,
- nonslip bathmat,
- non-electronic magnifiers,
- talking watch,
- long-handled or adapted grip equipment,
- shower stool/chair,
- bath seat,
- over-toilet frame,
- video magnifier,
- bed rails,
- respiratory devices,
- hearing aids, and
- many more.
What isn’t Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology under the NDIS does not include:
- items for treatment or rehabilitation
- built environment that is used by the public – for example, ramps, pathways and lifts
- mainstream technology that does not overcome a functional limitation but modifications to this technology could be Assistive Technology – for example, a car would not be AT, but modifications to the car could be AT
- something that does not include a device – for example, medicine or training
The NDIS provides funding for support for participants with hearing loss and use of Auslan to access interpreting and translation services in activities of daily life. The Scheme provides choice and control for participants over how they use those services. This can include the provision of Auslan interpreting for medical appointments. Auslan users cannot access both the NDIS and the National Auslan Booking and Payment System (NABS) – once a NABS client joins the NDIS, their interpreting needs will be covered as part of their plan. Participants can choose the provider they prefer, including Wesley Mission Brisbane, which delivers the Commonwealth’s NABS. People can continue to use the NABS until their NDIS plan is in place. The NABS remains funded to deliver a full range of Auslan interpreting services at medical appointments until clients move into the NDIS. The NDIA is working hard to ensure NDIS plans include appropriate allocations for interpreting and translation supports. The NDIA is developing a fact sheet and has commissioned work to translate key videos about the NDIS into AUSLAN.
Housing is an important issue for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Affordable, stable housing is needed to support people with disability in achieving their life goals and aspirations. The NDIS will provide ongoing supports for daily living but has not been designed to take responsibility for the housing needs of participants. The NDIA recognises that housing policy is a matter for governments.
Information and referral
For many people with disability, support starts with having easier access to information. This means knowing where to find out about supports and how to tap into supports already available in the community.
Anyone with or affected by disability can approach us for advice, information and referral services, including families and carers. We provide:
- easier and better access to information about the most effective support options
- referral to relevant disability, mainstream, crisis intervention and community services and supports
- help to build individual capacity through support such as diagnosis advice, peer support and skills development
- links to local support groups, clubs, associations, initiatives or programs.
An example of how we might provide information and referral support is Mario’s story.
Support to access community services and activities
Some people may need support to access available supports or join in local community activities such as social, study, sporting or other interests. Our local area coordinators can help make these connections.
An example of how we might provide support to access community services is Kim’s story.
Individualised plans and supports
If you are eligible, we work with you to develop your individualised plan. You can receive assistance through the planning process.
- Goals and aspirations – Your plan is based on your goals and aspirations, now and for the future. It also covers your functional support needs for daily living and participation, the support you need to pursue your goals, and how you want to manage your plan overtime.
- Lifetime commitment – Importantly, we provide a lifetime commitment to supports for the people who need it the most, that is people with a permanent and significant disability who need help with everyday life. In providing these supports, we recognise that support needs may change over a lifetime.
- Families and carers – We understand the critical importance of the support provided by families and carers, and also work with them as part of the planning to make sure their valuable role can be sustained. For more information, see Families and carers.
- Managing your plan – You decide how you want to manage your plan. For example, you may choose to manage it yourself, nominate someone to help you or ask us to manage all or part of your plan on your behalf. We provide information to help you make these choices.
An example of how we might provide a personal plan and supports over a lifetime is Sarah’s story.
We recognise the importance of early intervention, and support people when there is good evidence that this will improve an area of functioning, or delay or lessen a decline in functioning.
An example of how we might provide early intervention support is Hussein’s story.
Read the Factsheet: Supports the NDIS will Fund in Relation to Early Childhood about what supports the NDIS will fund in relation to early childhood and how to determine whether a support is funded by the NDIS or the early childhood system.
Depending on your goals, aspirations, needs and informal supports, your approved plan may include funded supports. You can choose support providers, how this support is delivered and how much control you want in managing your plan.
This could involve choosing support providers, including existing or new disability, community and mainstream supports, to supplement the informal support provided by family, friends and other carers.
Support may be one–off, such as to buy a new wheelchair or communication device. We can make sure support happens, when it’s needed. An example of how we might provide funded supports is Don’s story.
Find out more
- Examples of services and support – stories explain how we might provide different services and support options.
- Rollout of the NDIS – find out when and where we are launching the scheme.
- Fact sheets and publications – more detail on how the scheme works.
- Videos, stories, quotes and cameos – views from people with disability, their families and carers, our staff and other stakeholders.
- National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 – the legislation we operate under.
- Other services in your state or territory – links and contact details.
- Operational guidelines – you can read about how the National Disability Insurance Scheme will work