There is an opportunity to improve the way the market currently supplies assistive technology (AT) supports to participants with more rapidly changing needs, in particular growing children.
Families of younger participants have told us they want:
- flexible funding
- timeliness of supply
- clear information on AT price and availability.
These should be supported by good information to empower decision making – so their children can more easily get the AT supports they need, when they need it.
Request for information to improve AT options
To learn more about the markets’ capacity to offer improved options for young children with changing AT needs, we released a Request for information (RFI) in June 2021.
The release of the RFI followed a research phase involving consultation with parents and carers of younger children, providers, peak representatives and allied health professionals.
We received 23 responses to the RFI from AT providers, allied health professionals, non-government organisations (NGOs) and peak organisations.
Both new and existing market providers submitted a response.
The RFI included 4 broad types of market solutions, but did not limit responses to these options:
- equipment loan pool
- trial to buy
Overall, responses offered positive solutions to inform the design of a more flexible approach to provide assistive technology to children.
Read the early childhood assistive technology approach Request for information (RFI) summary report:
- Early childhood assistive technology approach RFI summary report (DOCX 421KB)
- Early childhood assistive technology approach RFI summary report (PDF 463.5KB)
From the consultations done to this point, including responses to the RFI and stakeholder engagement activities, we are considering options for the future delivery of early childhood assistive technology.
We plan to further collaborate with stakeholders including participants and their families to gather additional information.
Below are the next steps for the early childhood assistive technology approach:
- Continue to engage and consult with key stakeholders to inform the development of early childhood assistive technology models, building on previously completed work.
- Develop guidance for families and carers that supports:
- choice and control
- informed decision making about the options available to get AT supports.
- Further explore flexibility to better support rural and remote participants and their families.
Keep an eye on this page for updates.
If you have general feedback, questions or need more information, please email [email protected].