COTA Victoria coordinates a national collaboration of peak bodies and consumer advocates called the Assistive Technology For All Alliance. We have joined forces to advocate for improved access to assistive technology for the many older people with disability who are excluded from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
What is assistive technology?
The term “assistive technology” refers to any aid, piece of equipment or home modification that helps someone overcome the impact of disability or aging. Wheelchairs, prosthetic devices, hearing aids, mobility scooters, specialised computer software and home modifications such as grab rails and ramps are all examples of assistive technology.
Almost 50% of people over the age of 65 have a disability that affects their ability to perform everyday tasks. Many of these people will need assistive technology to help them remain independent, mobile and active as they age.
What problem are we trying to address?
While the NDIS is able to fully fund the assistive technology that is needed by people with disability, many older people are currently excluded from this scheme. This is because you need to be under 65 at the time of making an access request in order to meet the eligibility requirements for the NDIS.
Unfortunately, older people with disability who are excluded from the NDIS still can’t access the assistive technology they need under other service systems. They are often forced to part or fully fund their assistive technology themselves, wait upwards of 12 months to access limited funding or simply go without.
What are we advocating for?
We believe that every older Australian should be able to access the assistive technology they need, when they need it. Through our Assistive Technology for All campaign, we are advocating for the establishment of a national assistive technology program to meet the needs of people with disability who are excluded from the NDIS.
Where can you find out more?