Low-cost Assistive Technology (AT) under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) refers to affordable and budget-friendly solutions designed to support individuals with disabilities in their everyday tasks. These cost-effective options provide essential aids, devices, or equipments to enhance their independence, accessibility, and well-being.
Now, before you embark on your search for the perfect assistive technology at a low cost, it’s advisable to consult with occupational therapists, assistive technology specialists, or NDIS support coordinators. These professionals are there to lend a helping hand, guiding you towards the most suitable and budget-friendly solutions.
Here are some detailed pieces of information you need to know about this transformative field of support and empowerment for individuals with disabilities.
Assistive technology explained: Everything you need to know
Assistive technology (AT) is a diverse field that supports individuals with disabilities to overcome challenges in their everyday lives. It encompasses a wide range of tools, devices, and equipment tailored to meet specific needs. It includes any device or piece of equipment as simple as a portable magnifying glass to more advanced software applications like a screen reader. You can also learn more about- How you can get assistive technology in your plan.
The primary purpose of assistive technology is to bridge the gap between individuals with disabilities and their desired activities or tasks. It promotes inclusion, equal opportunities, and participation in education, employment, recreation, and daily living.
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Types and Examples of NDIS Assistive Technology:
Assistive technology types can take many forms, including-
- Communication Aids: Devices or software that assist individuals with speech impairments to express themselves, such as text-to-speech synthesisers and alternative communication (AAC) devices.
- Mobility Aids: Equipment like wheelchairs, transfer aids, walkers, shower chairs or prosthetic limbs that enhance mobility and independence for individuals with physical disabilities.
- Hearing Aids and Amplification Devices: Tools that amplify sound for individuals with hearing impairments.
- Vision Aids: Devices like screen readers or magnifiers that help individuals with visual access and navigate digital content or printed materials.
- Cognitive Aids: Software applications or tools that support individuals with cognitive disabilities in memory, organisation, time management, or learning tasks.
- Environmental Controls: Systems that enable individuals with limited mobility to control their surroundings, such as innovative home technology or voice-activated devices.
- Prosthetics and Orthotics: Artificial limbs, braces, or assistive devices that replace or support lost or impaired body parts.
Here we provide you with some examples of support items/ Assistive technology examples so it is much clearer for you to understand.
- Adaptive Utensils: Utensils with modified handles for individuals with dexterity or grip limitations.
- Grab Bars: Long-handled bars installed in bathrooms or other areas to provide support and stability for individuals with balance or mobility issues.
- Magnifiers: Handheld or desktop magnifying devices that help individuals with visual impairments read small print or view objects more clearly.
- Pill Organisers: Medication management devices and tools with compartments to help individuals manage their medications independently and avoid confusion.
- Hearing Amplifiers: Affordable personal sound amplification devices that enhance hearing for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss.
- Non-Slip Mats: Textured mats, nonslip bathmats or strips placed on surfaces to prevent slips and falls, providing added safety for individuals with balance or mobility difficulties.
Categories of Assistive Technology:
NDIS plan uses the term “assistive technology” to describe the aids or equipment designed to assist individuals. It is divided into three categories, as given below-
- Low-cost Assistive Technology: Under $1500 per item
- Mid-cost assistive technology: Between $1500 and 15000 per item
- High-cost assistive technology: Over 15000 per item
NDIS Low cost assistive technology Price Guide
The NDIS recognises the importance of affordable and low-cost technology options to ensure equitable access for all NDIS participants. Low-cost technology at NDIS aims to empower people with a disability to live more independently, address functional needs and enhance abilities, and focus on capacity building.
Participants have the flexibility to allocate up to $1500 of their existing budgets towards low-cost AT items. Support items like eating utensils, adjustable toilet seat raiser, bathmat, noise-cancelling headphones, and walking sticks or canes are readily available under $50-$150. When it comes to electronic devices required to maintain existing services, participants are advised not to exceed a maximum expenditure of $750. A guide to Assistive Technology funding will give you a deeper insight into how much funding you may need to buy low-cost AT.
When it comes to investing in assistive technology, it’s important to prioritise value for money. By making informed purchasing decisions, individuals can ensure they obtain high-quality products that effectively meet their functional needs. Consulting with an occupational therapist is a valuable step in this process.
Remember, it’s important to choose tools that address specific needs and consult with professionals to ensure the right fit and functionality for each individual. Auspire Care provides you with a complete understanding of the availability and benefits of assistive technology options under the NDIS, helping you acquire the necessary knowledge to use low-cost AT devices and maximise the benefits effectively.
Know about AT Products at risk
When it comes to assistive technology (AT) products, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the potential risks involved. NDIS gov, Australia uses 2 product risk categories to assess the complexity of AT needs.
Here is a distinction between them-
|Low-risk Assistive technology products||Higher-risk Assistive technology products|
|-Unlikely to cause harm during everyday activities.||-Known to have resulted in harm or adverse effects.|
|-Can be easily used without extensive training or professional assistance.||-Require specialised training or professional guidance for safe and effective use.|
|-Typically require minimal monitoring or maintenance.||-May require ongoing monitoring or maintenance to ensure optimal performance and safety.|
|-Examples: Basic mobility aids, hearing aids, adaptive utensils and cutlery.||-Examples: Implantable devices, advanced prosthetics, robotic-assisted devices.|
Core Consumable Budget: Ensuring Essential Support
The Core Consumable Budget refers to a specific funding category under the NDIS that is allocated to support individuals in obtaining essential consumable items they require on an ongoing basis. It is an essential component of the NDIS that aims to provide individuals with disorders access to the necessary consumable items to support their daily living and well-being. This budget category covers a wide range of essentials that are vital for maintaining independence, health, and participation in daily activities.
Under this budget, individuals can receive funding for various types of essential items. They are:
-Personal Care Items: Products such as disposable gloves, wipes, incontinence pads, skincare items, and hygiene supplies that are essential for maintaining personal cleanliness and overall well-being.
-Wound Care Supplies: The budget covers wound dressings, bandages, and other wound care products that are necessary for chronic wounds or injuries and proper wound management.
-Nutrition and Feeding Aids: Dietary supplements, feeding tubes, enteral formulas, and feeding bags for individuals who require assistance with nutrition and feeding.
-Assistive Devices: Certain vital assistive devices, including non-electric wheelchairs or cushions, are eligible for coverage under the core supplies budget. These devices are designed to enhance mobility and facilitate daily activities
-Continence Products: Items like disposable briefs, pads, or catheters help manage continence issues, ensuring comfort, dignity, and improved quality of life. Read more about it in the next heading below.
Its core budget is designed to provide flexibility and choice for individuals to select the specific items that best meet their needs. The funding is separate from other NDIS support budgets, allowing individuals to allocate funds specifically for the purchase of the items without impacting other areas of support.
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Assistive Technology Solutions for Continence Management
Continence management refers to the strategies, techniques, and interventions used to address and manage issues related to bladder and bowel control. The goal of continence management is to help individuals maintain or regain control over their bladder and bowel functions, promoting independence, comfort, and overall well-being. This can include various approaches such as lifestyle modifications, behavioural techniques, pelvic floor exercises, medication management, and the use of assistive technology solutions.
When considering assistive technology, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals, including occupational therapists and specialists. These professionals can assess individual needs, provide guidance on appropriate AT options, and ensure proper fitting, usage, and maintenance.
By incorporating assistive technology, individuals gain increased confidence, independence, and improved overall well-being. The right AT solutions can alleviate stress and discomfort, allowing individuals to engage in daily activities with greater ease and dignity.
Let Us Assist You!
Difficulty in accessing sufficient funds or navigating the NDIS funding process to cover the cost of assistive technology? We got you! Don’t worry if you lack guidance or support from professionals to identify and select appropriate assistive technology that is a low-cost option.
Our team of qualified practitioners and assistive technology advisors at Auspire Care will help you wholeheartedly with reliable information about low-cost assistive technology options, including reviews, recommendations, and user experiences.
Contact Us for any sort of required assistance, guidance or inquiries related to your needs and goals in the arena of assistive technology. Whether you seek advice on funding options or require assistance in selecting the right assistive technology for your unique requirements, we are committed to assisting you every step of the way.