People living in Australia must have heard of NDIS. It stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which provides funded support to the people with disabilities in Australia. NDIS provides the participants with funding to fulfill their goals to live an independent life. The participants can use this fund for various purposes.The participants might have funding already available in their NDIS plan, and they might ask for funding for their communication aids in their plan.
Communication aids are those devices or instruments that help people with disabilities communicate more effectively and efficiently. These communication aids are essential for assisting the NDIS participants in getting their message across.
Terms like augmentative or alternative communication aids such as AAC are used to refer to communication aids.
If you need funding for communication aids in your NDIS plan, it’s essential to think about your assistive technology needs and discuss those needs with your NDIS planner.
Here, we will give you some insight into how you can use your NDIS funding for communication support needs.
How to get access to NDIS funding for communication Aids ?
You don’t need to have approval from the NDIS to use this funding. If you are self-managed or plan-managed, you don’t even have to sign a service agreement.
Use this funding for AAC that is a low cost, up to $1500 per item. NDIS allows you to use this funding flexibly. You can use some part of your budget for the communication aids instead of using all your community funding on it.
Check with your NDIS planner and decide if you have enough funds in your core support budget to support all your core needs.
What are the types of communication aids?
There are various types of communication devices available. These devices or instruments vary from being a simple chart, book, or board with photos.
Paper-based or non-electronic communication aids include-
- Community request cards
- Social stories
- Communication books and boards
You can also use the funding for more sophisticated and advanced assistive technology for complex functioning, such as integrating and assisting them in living an independent day-to-day life.
Capital support budget- Assistive technology subcategory
This is a type of funding category which is for highly customized items like advanced communication devices. High tech AAC is an example of items to purchase.
Your NDIS planner can include AAC with a price range between $1500-$5000. You can use this funding for the items or devices recommended by a qualified health therapist or a practicing pathologist or psychologist.
You don’t need to show this recommendation to NDIS and don’t need to provide a quote unless you are asked about it. Items exceeding the price of $5000 will need a quote and report from your therapist.
What are the rules for accessing the funding for AAC?
Communication devices or AAC are essential tools or equipment that help people with disabilities in becoming independent and confident. The funding for these supports is funded by NDIS as long as it fits the necessary criteria.
The most simple communication aids that are used to assist the day-to-day activities in falling within level 1 and level 2 of assistive technology.
For simple AAC that falls under level 1 and level 2 assistive technologies, you don’t need an assessment. However, you can seek help from an assessor to find what you need and get guidance on setting it up and use it properly.
These assessors can be therapists, physiotherapists, or psychologists.
You must think about your assistive technology needs while planning your NDIS meeting and discuss these needs with your support coordinator or local area coordinator so that you can share these with your NDIS planner.
Which communication aids do you need?
The capital support budget has four different levels that the participants can choose from according to their needs. They can use this funding to purchase the simple to highly specialized communication items or any other technology to help them live independently.
Here are the four levels of NDIS categories assistive technology-
Level 1 and 2-
this level, the cost is up to $1500 per item. It has simple equipment that doesn’t require any assessment or approval by NDIS.
Under this level, the cost ranges between $1500 to $5000. This level provides funding for more specialized equipment, which requires assessment and quotation from NDIS. Funding under this level has to be approved by NDIS.
Under this level of NDIS category, the cost is as high as $5000 or above. The communication aid-funded under this level also requires assessment and quotation from NDIS. This level needs approval from NDIS as well.
Know more about the communication support
These were the four levels of providing NDIS funding for communication aids. Hire a registered NDIS provider to access the communication support and funding for assistive technology, including the AAC.
You can purchase the communication items from the stores either online or from an outlet. You will need to show a tax invoice or a bill as per the NDIS record-keeping criteria and proof of purchase to show to the NDIS in case of a warranty claim.