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Understanding Assistive Technology

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

Through advancements in non-digital and digital technologies, more opportunities are being created for people with disability to help achieve goals in day-to-day life, education, employment and within the community. But how does the NDIS determine Assistive Technology needs? And what level of funding can you receive?

What you need to know about Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology (AT) can be devices or systems that provide support to a person with disability. This kind of support is to help participants to perform tasks at home, in the workplace, or the community that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to do.

Although it can be easy to associate ‘Assistive Technology’ with the latest and most expensive devices on the market, that isn’t necessarily the case. AT ranges from no tech and low tech items like non-slip bathmats, to high tech items like custom power wheelchairs.

What are the different levels of AT?

There are four levels of AT categorised by the NDIS, each ranging in complexity.

Level 1 (simple): are low-cost, low-risk products and services that are easy to buy with little or no setup required. Usually you won’t need an assessment before you can access NDIS funds.

Examples: non-slip bathmat, large print labels, doorbells etc.

Level 2 (standard): are typically “off the shelf” items you can test out before you make a final decision to buy. Depending on your availability and personal circumstances, you may need an assessment before you can access NDIS funds.

Examples: bath seat, handrails, ramps etc.

Level 3 (specialised): is similar to level two, however it may require modifications or tailoring to suit your specific needs. You’ll likely need professional support to help with any set-up or training involved.

Examples: desktop electronic modification, pressure mattresses etc.

Level 4 (complex): are usually custom made to suit your individual needs. A specialist or ongoing support may be needed to identify, buy and use the technology.

Examples: cochlear implant, speech processors, myoelectric prosthetic, complex home modifications etc.

AT and the NDIS

To have AT funded in your NDIS plan, the NDIA will determine whether it’s ‘reasonable and necessary’ in assisting with your needs and the pursuit of your goals.

It’s important to know, that the NDIS won’t fund items that are more appropriately funded by another government body or agency. There are some things that are exempt from NDIS funding. They are:

  • Items for treatment or rehabilitation;

  • Built/physical environment that is used by all (ramps, pathways, lifts etc.);

  • Mainstream technology that doesn’t help a person to overcome a functional limitation (although, modifications to technology could be classed as Assistive Technology i.e. modifications to a car); and

  • A service that doesn’t include a device (medicine or training).

How can my Plan Manager help me buy AT?

If AT has been included in your NDIS plan, having a Plan Manager allows you access to AT from both NDIS registered and unregistered service providers, help establish service agreements with your chosen service providers and manage all the finances and payments, so you don’t have to.

First2Care Plan Management can be included in your NDIS plan at no out-of-pocket expense to you. All you have to do is let your planner know that you would like your NDIS plan to be Plan Managed by us – easy!

Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or


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