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What can I buy with NDIS low risk assistive technology funding?

Information from the NDIS on AT

This information at this link from the NDIS explains the levels of classification of assistive technology.  Whether funding is given for a particular higher cost item will depend on the participant’s goals and the assessor’s decision.

In many cases, participants are given an amount of up to $1021 (correct as of January 2018) to purchase items that are considered low risk.  It is up to the participant’s discretion how they spend that money, of course always bearing in mind that that items purchased with NDIS funding must:

 

  • comply with the general criteria for supports outlined in rule 5.1 of the Supports for Participants Rules;
  • not fall within a category of supports that will not be funded or provided under rule 5.3 of the Supports for Participants Rules;
  • assist the participant to pursue the goals, objectives and aspirations included in the participant’s statement of goals and aspirations;
  • assist the participant to undertake activities, so as to facilitate the participant’s social or economic participation;
  • represent value for money in that the costs of the support are reasonable, relative to both the benefits achieved and the cost of alternative support;
  • effective and beneficial for the participant, having regard to current good practice;
  • takes account of what it is reasonable to expect families, carers, informal networks and the community to provide; and
  • be most appropriately funded or provided through the NDIS, and not more appropriately funded or provided through other service systems.

As outlined in the AT Complexity Classification document, the NDIA recognises some AT as low cost, low risk (Category 1) and participants who have AT identified in their plan will generally have funding in that plan for them to directly purchase a modest amount of this AT that is integral to meeting their plan goals.

The Daily Adaptive Equipment (03_131_0103_1_1) line item under a participant’s CORE budget (Consumables support category) would be where they would claim these expenses. (NDIS document)

What we can offer

That said, here are items which we as an NDIS Registered Provider can supply under the NDIS if funding has been approved and the above criteria are met:

Contact us by emailing accessibility@macandpcdoctors.com.au with further questions or if you would like to arrange a service booking.

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Are You Paying More To Shop Online?

You’ve just purchased a product online using your desktop computer. A friend buys the identical product, from the same retailer but uses their iPhone and is charged 20% less. How do you react? This is just an example of a practice that a recent US university study has show is more common than not. Leading companies are experimenting with how much they charge different shoppers online. It follows on from a Wall Street Journal investigation in 2012 that resulted in a similar finding. It is known as “price discrimination” and it’s almost impossible to determine whether an online retailer has adopted the practice. This is because different sites use different criteria to determine what price a shopper might see. The criteria used can also vary over time.

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The university study looked at 16 websites and found that 9 websites had adopted some form of online price discrimination. When it came to online travel sites the study found that those who searched using a mobile device were more likely to see a lower price than those using a desktop computer. Sometimes the discount was as large as 50%. The Wall Street Journal study found that geography was also a variable commonly used by online retailers. When they looked at US office supplies retailer Staples they found that the closer the online shopper was to a competitor’s brick and mortar store the bigger the discount shown. Conversely those who lived further away from Staples competitors were shown a higher price. One of the Internets great advantages is as an equalizer, reducing the disadvantages posed by geography. This practice appears to negate this benefit. The practice is legal however and some argue it is akin to the different prices charged by the same petrol station in different suburbs.

So we know that some online retailers have adopted the practice of price discrimination, but how do they do it? They implement the practice by tracking the sites we visit as we browse the Internet. They do this through the use of cookies. Cookies are pieces of code attached to our web browsers. Retailers argue that the use of cookies allow them to offer a more fulfilling shopping experience online by tailoring products, specials and offers to match our preferences. Privacy experts argue though that retailers are building up detailed profiles of us as individuals, to the point where they could even pinpoint our identities.

What can we do about it? Turning off cookies may not be the solution as it may limit the functions of the browser. In most cases online stores will not allow you to complete a purchase if cookies have been disabled. The researchers of the US study advise that the best ways to increase the likelihood of lower prices online are:

  1. Use a browser over an app
  2. Shop online using an “incognito” window
  3. Use a mobile device

The evidence is there, some online websites vary their price according to a range of factors. Next time your shopping online remember these tips. Also, we’d love to hear your thoughts when it comes to shopping online and the practice of price discrimination.

 

Sources: http://online.wsj.com/asia, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/, https://www.privacyrights.org/