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Navigating Assistive Technology for Children: A Guide to Accessing Support through the NDIS

4 December 2023

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia is a groundbreaking initiative designed to provide support and services for individuals living with disabilities. For children with specific needs, accessing assistive technology through the NDIS can be a transformative process. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the various facets of accessing assistive technology for children through the NDIS, including the benefits, eligibility criteria, and the steps involved in securing the necessary support.

Understanding the NDIS and Assistive Technology

The NDIS is a national scheme that aims to provide support and services to Australians with disabilities, focusing on enhancing their independence, community participation, and overall well-being. Assistive technology plays a crucial role in the NDIS, as it includes a wide range of devices and tools designed to support individuals in overcoming barriers related to their disability.

Types of Assistive Technologies Covered by the NDIS:

  1. Communication Aids:
  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, speech-generating devices, and communication apps.
  1. Mobility Aids:
  • Wheelchairs, walkers, mobility scooters, and other devices that enhance an individual's mobility.
  1. Assistive Computer Software and Devices:
  • Screen readers, voice recognition software, adapted keyboards, and other tools that facilitate computer access.
  1. Daily Living Aids:
  • Adaptive utensils, dressing aids, and other tools that assist in performing activities of daily living (ADL).
  1. Sensory Aids:
  • Hearing aids, visual aids, sensory-friendly tools, and other devices that support individuals with sensory impairments.
  1. Educational Aids:
  • Assistive technologies that aid in learning and educational activities, including specialized software, tablets, and interactive educational apps.

Benefits of Accessing Assistive Technology through the NDIS

  1. Enhanced Independence:
  • Assistive technology promotes independence by providing tools that enable children to participate in daily activities, communicate effectively, and navigate their environment.
  1. Tailored Support:
  • The NDIS takes a person-centered approach, ensuring that the assistive technology provided is tailored to the unique needs and goals of each child, fostering a personalized and effective support plan.
  1. Increased Inclusion:
  • By addressing barriers to communication, mobility, and daily living, assistive technology contributes to the increased inclusion of children with disabilities in educational, social, and community activities.
  1. Early Intervention and Skill Development:
  • Access to assistive technology through the NDIS supports early intervention, helping children develop essential skills and abilities at a crucial stage in their development.
  1. Improved Quality of Life:
  • Assistive technology enhances the overall quality of life for children with disabilities by empowering them to engage more actively with their surroundings, communicate with others, and participate in meaningful activities.

Eligibility Criteria for Accessing Assistive Technology

To access assistive technology through the NDIS, individuals, including children, must meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the scheme. The eligibility criteria generally include:

  1. Residency:
  • The individual must be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, or hold a Protected Special Category Visa.
  1. Disability:
  • The child must have a permanent and significant disability that substantially impacts their daily life.
  1. Age:
  • For children, the age criteria focus on those under 7 years old who have developmental delays or disabilities. For children aged 7 and older, the NDIS considers the impact of the disability on their daily functioning.
  1. Early Intervention:
  • Early intervention is a key aspect of NDIS eligibility for children. If there is evidence that early intervention would substantially improve the child's functional capacity, they may be eligible for support.

Accessing Assistive Technology through the NDIS: Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Understanding the Child's Needs:
  • Begin by identifying the specific needs and goals of the child. Understand how assistive technology can enhance their independence, communication, and overall well-being.
  1. Assessment and Diagnosis:
  • Obtain a thorough assessment and diagnosis from relevant healthcare professionals, therapists, and specialists. This documentation is crucial in demonstrating the child's eligibility for NDIS support.
  1. Creating a Plan:
  • Work with the child, their family, and relevant professionals to develop an NDIS plan. Clearly articulate the child's goals, the assistive technology required, and the anticipated outcomes.
  1. NDIS Access Request:
  • Submit an Access Request to the NDIS, providing detailed information about the child's disability, functional limitations, and the impact on their daily life. Include the assessments and diagnoses obtained.
  1. Plan Approval:
  • Upon approval of the Access Request, the NDIS will work with the child and their family to develop a plan outlining the supports and services, including assistive technology, that will be funded.
  1. Choosing Providers:
  • Once the plan is approved, the child and their family can choose providers for the assistive technology. Consideration should be given to providers' expertise, reputation, and the ability to meet the child's specific needs.
  1. Implementing the Plan:
  • Implement the NDIS plan, including the provision and integration of assistive technology. Regular reviews and adjustments may be necessary to ensure the plan continues to meet the child's evolving needs.

Considerations and Challenges

While the NDIS offers significant support for accessing assistive technology, there are considerations and challenges to keep in mind:

  1. Plan Reviews:
  • Regular plan reviews are essential to reassess the child's needs and adjust support accordingly. It's crucial to communicate changes in the child's circumstances or progress to ensure the plan remains effective.
  1. Provider Availability:
  • Availability of providers and specialists, especially those with expertise in pediatric assistive technology, can vary. Consideration should be given to provider availability and wait times.
  1. Documentation and Advocacy:
  • Clear and comprehensive documentation is crucial for accessing NDIS support. Families may need to advocate for their child by providing detailed information about the child's disability and needs.
  1. Transitioning Between Life Stages:
  • As children grow and transition between life stages, their needs and the type of assistive technology required may change. Planning for these transitions is essential to ensure continuous and appropriate support.


Accessing assistive technology for children through the NDIS is a collaborative and empowering process that can significantly enhance their quality of life. By understanding the eligibility criteria, following the step-by-step guide, and addressing considerations thoughtfully, families can navigate the NDIS to secure the support and assistive technology that best meets the unique needs and goals of their child. Through this collaborative effort, children can access the tools they need to thrive, participate fully in their communities, and build a foundation for a bright and inclusive future.