Assistive technology explained
Assistive Technology (AT) provides the support a person with a disability might use to reach their potential at home, in the community and the workplace.
AT may be equipment or systems which help you with moving around your home or community, communicating with other people, processing information, and other daily tasks.
Supports may be included in your NDIS plan where it is a reasonable and necessary support that will meet your needs and help you pursue your goals.
It is important to know that the NDIS will not fund items that are more appropriately funded by another body or agency (for example the health sector). For further detail please refer to the Operational Guidelines (Planning).
Identifying your AT needs
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.
The process you will follow to access AT in your NDIS plan will depend on:
- your specific AT needs
- how complex your AT needs are
- how you manage your AT budget.
The NDIS uses four levels to describe the complexity of your AT needs, and the AT complexity table provides some guidance and examples.
Several people and organisations can help you find the right AT solution.
An AT assessor is able to assess your needs and situation, and identify the most appropriate AT. They may be an allied health practitioner, continence nurse, rehabilitation engineer, AT mentor or other suitably qualified practitioner.
Depending on the risks associated with your disability or the environment where you need to use it, an item of AT may increase in complexity. The appropriate AT assessor will depend on the type of AT and the complexity of your needs. For more complex AT or home modification (HM) requests you may be required to submit a report from an AT assessor and quote(s) for the new AT or HM you feel should be included in your plan.
Below are a series of factsheets to help you understand the NDIA’s AT complexity levels in more detail and how the NDIA will assess these needs.
- Basic (Level 1) and Standard (Level 2) Assistive Technology (PDF 599KB)
- Basic (Level 1) and Standard (Level 2) Assistive Technology (DOCX 72KB)
- Easy English: Basic (Level 1) and Standard (Level 2) Assistive Technology (PDF 3.2MB)
- Specialised (Level 3) and Complex (Level 4) Assistive Technology (PDF 394KB)
- Specialised (Level 3) and Complex (Level 4) Assistive Technology (DOCX 62KB)
- Easy English: Specialised (Level 3) and Complex (Level 4) Assistive Technology (PDF 3.2MB)
Depending on the AT required you, a family member or carer can search for AT assessors using the myplace participant portal or other provider registers. In some cases, searching for AT assessors on the internet can help identify Australian advisory services.
Additional information and resources
Our Choosing assistive technology page has more information about:
- Choosing an AT provider
- Replacing AT
- Repairing and maintaining AT
- Additional features and other funding sources
Contact your local NDIS office
Do you have a question, request or urgent issue relating to assistive technology? You can now email your local NDIA office directly. Find your local office.