ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND THERAPEUTIC SUPPORT
Assistive technology (AT) and therapeutic support devices can greatly enhance independence by enabling execution of daily living tasks otherwise limited by injury or disability. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), AT includes ‘any device or system that allows individuals to perform tasks they would otherwise be unable to do or increases the ease and safety with which tasks can be performed’. This broad category is organised by the NDIS into four levels of complexity and may encompass off-the-shelf aids such a non-slip mat or a bath seat or hand rail (levels 1 and 2), modified or customised items such as desktop electronic modification (level 3) and more expensive, sophisticated, customised aids such as a myoelectric prosthetic (level 4). Mobility aids such as wheelchairs, which may or may not be customised, are also within AT.
The scope of functional assistance is equally broad, enabling execution of tasks as diverse as showering and attending work. Whatever your independence goals and areas and levels of need, Soaring Health’s occupational therapists can work with members of your broader healthcare team, such as support coordinators or physiotherapists, to assess, recommend and fit devices that optimise your functional capacity, independence and life satisfaction.
A key partner in your journey to greater independence, an NDIS-registered Soaring Health occupational therapist will support and assist you throughout the process, from assessment to funding applications and celebrating the satisfaction of you mastering new abilities. After comprehensive assessment of your capacities and difficulties, which will often be conducted in your home environment and may include assessment of environments such as the workplace, your OT will write and submit a report requesting the necessary level of funding. They may also facilitate installation or modification requirements and will ensure that you are adequately trained and practised in use of your new device to enable safe, confident, independent function.
Who is eligible?
Eligibility for AT funding is determined based on assessment by an approved occupational therapist, who will assess your strengths and limitations and recommend items that will meet your goals for greater function and independence. A Soaring Health occupational therapist can help to determine the most appropriate aids and facilitate relevant applications, instalment and modification or customisation, and training in safe, effective use. For NDIS participants, services provided by our NDIS-registered occupational therapists attract no out-of-pocket charges.
Areas of function that may be helped by assistive technology and therapeutic devices
- Social skills
- Home safety
- Community participation/outings
Types of assistive technology and therapeutic devices
Items that may be recommended by an NDIS-registered Soaring Health occupational therapist can include:
- Wheelchairs, walkers and other mobility devices
- Hoists and slings
- Ramps and rails
- Specialised bedding including recliner beds
- Specialised seating and accessories
- Postural supports
- Personal hygiene equipment
- Communication devices
- Modified bicycles and sporting equipment