Revolutionising Accessibility

Discover the game-changing tech transforming the lives of people with disabilities in Australia

Ever used Siri to look up something on the Internet? Or Alexa to play some music while you’re cooking? Or ‘Hey Google’ to add something to your shopping list? These are all forms of assistive technology.

Assistive technology has been around since the early 20th Century and has developed in leaps and bounds since then.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 2.3 million people living with a disability use some form of assistive technology in their daily activities.

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • What is assistive technology?
  • What types of assistive technology are available in Australia?
  • What funding the NDIS can provide for assistive technology?
  • The top 5 assistive technologies available in Australia

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology (AT) is any form of tech that offers innovative solutions to help people living with disabilities to do tasks they may otherwise be unable to do. If you are living with a disability, AT may help you gain greater independence, confidence and allow you to participate fully in daily life and the community.

Assistive technology ranges from simple solutions, like modified eating utensils for easier handling, to advanced systems, such as voice recognition software and mobility aids.It’s designed to make life easier in practical ways and improve your quality of life.

What types of assistive technology are available in Australia?

Just as there are many different types and levels of disability, similarly the types of assistive technology available in Australia are varied to meet many different needs.

Here are a few examples of AT:

Communication aids, like speech-generating devices, hearing aids, and text-to-speech software.
Mobility aids, like advanced wheelchairs (manual and electric), prosthetic devices, walking frames and canes.
Environmental control systems, such as systems for controlling lights, appliances, and door opener systems for wheelchair users.
Assistive software, such as screen readers for the visually impaired, magnification software and literacy support software (e.g. spell checkers).
Daily living aids, like modified utensils and cooking equipment, non-slip mats and grip aids.
Vehicle modifications, like hand controls for cars, wheelchair lifts and ramps, and adapted seating and restraint systems.

NDIS funding for assistive technology

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plays a crucial role in providing financial support for Australians with disabilities, including funding for assistive technologies that meet certain criteria.

To be eligible for NDIS funding, the technology you choose must be considered to be ‘reasonable and necessary’, and it needs to align with the goals that you set out in your NDIS plan.

The NDIA classifies assistive technology into three categories based on cost:

  • Low-cost assistive technology: items priced under $1,500
  • Mid-cost assistive technology: items priced between $1,500 and $15,000
  • High-cost assistive technology: items priced over $15,000

Low-cost assistive technology (under $1,500 per item)
These items are straightforward to set up and use, and can be sourced from stores not specifically catering to disabilities.

Your NDIS plan’s Core – Consumables budget section outlines funding for low-cost assistive technology.

Examples include continence aids, non-slip bath mats, large print labels, walking sticks, and basic shower chairs.

Mid-cost assistive technology ($1,500 to $15,000 per item)
Selecting and setting up mid-cost items can be more challenging.

Your NDIS plan’s Capital budget section will detail funding for mid-cost assistive technology, such as funding for a specific type of equipment within a certain price range.

Examples include standing hoists, custom shower chairs, ankle-foot orthotics, alternative communication devices, some powered wheelchairs, and pressure care mattresses.

High-cost assistive technology (over $15,000 per item)
High-cost items are complex and you’ll need an assessment to confirm they suit your needs.

They may require special expertise for setup, could be custom-made, and generally require a quote to accurately include the necessary funding in your NDIS plan.

The Capital budget section of your plan will show your high-cost assistive technology support and note the types of technology covered or whether a quote is needed.

Examples include custom wheelchairs, sophisticated communication devices, many prosthetics, and ventilators.

The top 5 latest assistive technologies available in Australia

There are some really helpful advances happening daily in the realm of assistive technology.

If you do a five minute Google search, you’ll find plenty of handy gadgets and innovations that can contribute to your independence and enjoyment of life. Some of these things may not be covered by NDIS funding, but they are good to know about and may be a good investment if you think they’ll help you thrive in daily life.

Here are 5 that we think are great


Everyhuman is an online platform that sells clothing, shoes and accessories that are designed with inclusivity in mind.

Their products are designed for purpose, so you can feel comfortable and confident. From seated pants for people in wheelchairs and easy zip sneakers to noise-cancelling sleeping headphones, they help make your everyday just a bit easier.

Freedom Wheels

Freedom Wheels believes that every person deserves to have the experience of riding a bike.

They have specially designed bikes and attachments that can be tailored to your disability so you can enjoy the freedom and fun of going for a bike ride in comfort and safety.

This can enhance your independence and give you increased mobility to get out and about.

GlassOuse hands-free devices

If you struggle to hold a mouse or joystick, you can now navigate simply by moving your head.

The GlassOuse headset lets you move the cursor or joystick, or switch between devices, using  subtle head movements and a mouth control.

If you have a physical disability and like to work or play at a computer, this will be a game-changer.

C-Pen Reader

If you struggle with reading due to dyslexia or another disability, this pocket-sized and portable device will help you fly through your reading list.

It reads text out loud to you with an English human-like voice and can also capture and save text to your computer.

AAC apps

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) apps help you with tools and strategies if you have little or no speech to communicate. And the good thing is they can often be included in your NDIS funding.

Bundled software with iPads may be eligible to be considered Low Cost Assistive Technology for NDIS Participants. You would need a support letter from your allied health professional and to check if you have funding in your NDIS plan for it.

Assistive technology offers a vital resource for people with disabilities in Australia. It gives you  tools and systems that support your independence, participation in social and professional endeavours, and your quality of life. You deserve to live as independently as possible and this tech helps you to add to your capabilities so you can reach your full potential and thrive.

Assistive tech is fantastic, but if you would like to get out of the house and learn valuable skills while having fun with new friends, our Day Programs are a perfect place to develop your skills.

Give us a call today or come in for a tour of our premises.
P: (02) 8328 0679

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