Some people requiring assistive technology will be eligible to access the NDIS. Once a participant, a planning meeting will take place to identify what reasonable and necessary supports the person requires. These supports are then included in the participant’s plan.

Last updated: 11 January 2022

Assistive technology

Assistive technology, as defined by the World Health Organisation, is ‘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’. The NDIS uses this definition.


The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australia-wide scheme that assists people with permanent and significant disability, including cognitive impairment. The scheme helps participants to achieve their goals, take part in daily life, choose their own supports and services.

The scheme provides funding directly to eligible participants enabling them to purchase the services they need.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) was established to implement the scheme and is responsible for assessing eligibility and working with participants to develop support plans to meet their needs.

NSW Health works closely with the NDIA to ensure our patients, their families and carers can make the most of the opportunities and services available through the NDIS.

NSW Health and the NDIS

NSW Health continues to provide emergency and routine inpatient and outpatient clinical services, including surgery, palliative care to all NSW residents, including those with a disability.

The NDIS provides funding for specialist disability supports. It does not replace mainstream health services. Some elements of a person’s support needs can, however, be met through sources other than NDIS funded supports such as mainstream support services, family and friends. The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports that focus on a person’s functional ability.

An individual may be eligible to become a participant of the NDIS where cognitive impairment affects their ability to participate at home, school, work and/or in social situations.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to become a participant of the NDIS an individual must satisfy the age requirements (be under 65 years at time of request) and residence requirements (be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident of Australia or a New Zealand citizen who is a Protected Special Category Visa holder).

An individual must also satisfy one of the disability or early intervention requirements set out in the NDIS Act 2013. More detail on each requirement is set out in the NDIS (Becoming a Participant) Amendment Rules 2017.

Supports provided by the NDIS

The NDIS is responsible for:

  • providing aids and equipment, including orthoses and permanent prosthetics that provide increased or independent functioning in the home and community
  • personal support and home modifications which enable a person with disability to live in the community
  • supervising care by clinically trained staff, where care is integral to support a person with disability to live in the community, for example catheter changes and skin integrity checks
  • routine, non-clinical care to enable daily living, for example routine bowel care and oral suctioning

NSW Health's ongoing role

NSW Health will continue to be responsible for assessment and diagnosis of disability and rehabilitative health services where the purpose is to restore or increase functioning through time limited care. NSW Health also provides specialist allied health, rehabilitation and other therapy jointly with the NDIS to enhance functioning and integration in the community.

NSW Health continues to be responsible for providing clinical care in relation to both mental and physical health, and providing care in clinical residential settings.

EnableNSW, part of NSW Health, will continue to provide assistive technology for people who are not eligible for the NDIS, as well as items – such as home respiratory equipment or interim prosthetic limbs – which are not covered by the NDIS.

Referrals to NDIS and other support services

Patients will be referred to the NDIA where a person with disability is assessed as being able to benefit from, or live in the community with assistive technology supports.

Further information

Current as at: Tuesday 11 January 2022