Can I buy an iPad with NDIS funding?
Like many things to do with the NDIS, the answer is not necessarily a simple yes or no. A recent update from the NDIS seemed to say outright that iPads are generally not approved because they are considered mainstream devices. People who have already been through the process of applying for NDIS have had mixed experiences – some have had iPads approved and some haven’t.
How do you get assistive technology under the NDIS?
There are two areas in an NDIS plan where there might be funding for assistive technology:
|Support Purpose||Outcomes Framework Domain||Support Category|
|Capital||Daily Living||Assistive Technology|
The Assistive Technology Support Category is designed for big ticket items like wheelchairs, hoists and speech generating devices but has been used for mainstream devices by some participants. Read more about AT under the NDIS here.
There is funding available for cheaper, “low-risk” items under the Consumables Support Category. This could include all sorts of things like nonslip bathmats, vibrating alarms, desktop magnification and, as long as there is enough funding available in a participant’s plan, an iPad or Android tablet.
A standard size 5th generation iPad ranges in price from $469 to $799, depending on the features.
Samsung tablets start from as little as $199 for a 7 inch 8GB WiFi model to $849 for a 9.7 inch 64GB WiFi and 4G model.
“Low cost and low risk items (Level 1) do not need a form to be sent into the NDIS. Participants with AT funded supports in their plan can seek advice (from an Independent Living Centre, AT assessor) and buy it themselves.” (from the NDIS document linked to above).
If your occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech pathologist or other adviser thinks that an iPad or tablet, smart phone or smart watch would be useful for you, then you can start the process of finding a provider and asking them to put in a request via the NDIS portal. Ask your allied health professional to write the recommendation in an official report and keep that report in case you are audited by the NDIS in the future.
What if I’m not sure how to use an iPad to support me achieve my goals?
There are people and organisations who can help you with how to use your new device. Some OTs are very proficient with assistive technology as are some support workers. Our staff can also help you. Email us on email@example.com or ring us on 07 3892 2227.
What should I make sure is on my NDIS plan?
For a tablet, smartphone or smartwatch, make sure you have funding for Level 1 assistive technology under Core Supports or Assistive Technology under Capital.
For support and training, apply for funding for Innovative Community Participation under Capacity Building.