Have your say on funding for assistive technology under the NDIS

As appeared in the NDS e-newsletter, 14 Jan 2015

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released a discussion paper about ways to fund assistive technology (AT).

The paper develops funding approaches that recognise the diversity of AT; from mass-produced items to complex and custom made solutions. The NDIA also aims to encourage participants to self-manage AT choices and to recognise different levels of capacity to do this. The result is a ‘Participant Capacity Building Framework’ which helps the NDIA to determine the need for professional supports.

NDS is pleased to see purchasing models proposed that will allow the NDIA to leverage its market volume and work with other Commonwealth and jurisdictional funding bodies. This could potentially reduce some costs, provide greater security for some suppliers and also ensure much more timely supply to participants – it appears to be common sense.

Other proposals in the paper include: ways to allow participants to trial AT; refurbishment, re-issue and hiring options; ways to manage acquisition and procurement (including having a third party entity manage the pricing, sourcing and procurement arrangements and contracted supply agreements); and ways to stimulate innovation.

NDS is keen to hear the views of members who provide assistive technology, or who support people who use assistive technology. We are particularly interested in:

  • suggestions for ways to ensure that assistive technology solutions are identified correctly, with minimal error, and are effective in supporting participants
  • your views on how important advisers (including peer support or professionals) are in assisting with assistive technology solutions and decision-making – and what are the main skills and attributes you think they should have?
  • what ways you think further innovation could be explored?
  • any other comments you have on the discussion paper proposals.

Submissions are due to the NDIA by 28 February 2015

Please send comments to inform the NDS submission by COB Tuesday 17 February 2015.

Contact information:
Tessa Thompson, National Policy Manager, 03 8341 4305, tessa.thompson@nds.org.au

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