The NDIS will fund several different forms of therapy through your plan. These are established forms of therapy that have a weight of evidence behind them to support their efficacy. Included in these established therapies include (but is not exclusive to) Speech Pathology, Psychology, Art/Music Therapy, and Dietitians.
Other supports that fall outside of this wheelhouse of established therapies are often called Alternative Therapies. While it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list of what is considered alternative therapies, common ones include:
Yoga and Pilates
Typically, the NDIS do not fund these alternative therapies. However, there is rarely a definitive ‘no’ when it comes to NDIS funding, and alternative therapies are no different. Just as every participant’s disability is different, so too are the supports and therapies that may work best for them. This means that, in certain circumstances, almost any kind of alternative therapy could be eligible for NDIS funding.
The easiest way to be sure that desired alternative therapies are approved is to have these identified and listed in your NDIS Plan document. You will need to discuss these therapies with your Planner or other NDIS contact to have these supports approved.
A letter of support from your Occupational Therapist may be suitable for ensuring that this support is funded and may also be used as evidence to have the desired support formally added to your plan at the next plan reassessment meeting. This will allow us to feel confident that you have considered all the necessary criteria and that this is suitable for funding.
The NDIS, and by extension, plan managers, recognise several key obligations under the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These include:
Providing Reasonable & Necessary supports for participants,
Enabling people with disability to exercise choice and control in the pursuit of their goals and the planning and delivery of their supports, and
Supporting the independence and social and economic participation of people with a disability.
Because of this commitment, we recognise your choice and control in understanding what supports work best for you, and what your lived experience with your disability has allowed you to recognise as being most beneficial. We may, however, highly recommend acquiring the evidence required by the NDIA to ensure that the proposed supports are suitable.
It is important to also note that, while you may get a wide range of benefits from these alternative therapies, the NDIA will only consider funding these supports if there is a clear link to your disability.
With these important distinctions in mind, it will allow you to be in a better position to judge whether a potential support is appropriate for your NDIS funding.