The World Health Organisation has a universal definition of assistive technology .

In our terms, assistive technology includes items that help you do things you can’t do because of your disability. Or, things that help you do something more easily or safely.

This includes items like non-slip mats, or special knives and forks. It includes items like wheelchairs and powered adjustable beds too. It can also include things like an app to help you speak to other people if you have a speech impairment.

Not all equipment or technology you use is assistive technology. Many people use some equipment as part of their lives. For example, a radio to listen to music, or a standard microwave oven to cook food. Assistive technology is only the equipment you need because it helps you do things that you normally can’t do because of your disability.

What does assistive technology include?

  • items that reduce the need for assistance
  • items which make assistance safe or easy
  • items that help maintain functioning
  • items that allow you to complete tasks independently
  • items that are personalised for you

What does assistive technology under the NDIS not include?

  • technology everyone in a home uses that isn’t related to your disability, like a standard kettle to boil water
  • items for treatment or rehabilitation
  • changes to public spaces, like a footpath
  • changes to public vehicles, such as buses or taxis
  • assessment or therapy tools used by therapists

This guideline explains how we make decisions about assistive technology. Assistive technology explained has general information on assistive technology.

This page current as of
18 April 2021
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