- Our Team
Assistive Technology (AT) includes technology or equipment that helps a patient achieve their goals while allowing them to live as independently as possible. The term AT is specific to the NDIS.
Vista Healthcare provides AT assessments, trials, and reports for new equipment and reviews of existing equipment to ensure that it is appropriate. We help NDIS participants submit AT request reports to the NDIS for approval in order to access additional support.
We are an NDIS-registered organisation, and our Occupational Therapists are mobile throughout Sydney and the surrounding communities.
Our Service Areas
Assistive Technology Prescribed by Our OTs
Beds, Electric Beds & Mattresses
Patient Lifter / Hoist / Transfer Devices
Our Clients Choose the Equipment that is Right for Them
Our therapists are experienced in and available to prescribe low-cost and high-cost equipment.
We have no preference in terms of brand or manufacturer. Instead, it is our preference that the client has a great experience receiving the most appropriate equipment for their needs, and empower them with choice and control.
The Process to Receive Assistive Technology
What is included in an AT assessment?
Our Occupational Therapist would first conduct an initial assessment with the patient. This generally takes the form of an interview that lasts between 1 and 2.5 hours.
We would document relevant information such as:
- Previous technology or equipment, and if it has been successful
- The participant’s current level of function and meaningful goals
- Understanding what Physio/OT would be beneficial to complement the prescription of new AT
- Relevant manual handling training for carers
How do we obtain the equipment?
Next, the OT will liaise with a supplier to start an equipment trial (or multiple trials) with participant to evaluate if the equipment works well for the patient and their physical environment. A quotation (including maintenance cost) will then be obtained from the supplier and the AT form will be completed.
The AT request form used is a standardised template provided by the NDIA. Completed AT form is sent to pariticipant or guardian to be approved with signature and is then submitted to the NDIA for approval. Vista Healthcare will communicate with the NDIA and relevant support coordinators to manage the AT request.
After approval, the equipment is able to be purchased from an appropriate equipment supplier . If required, a follow up OT appointment will be conducted post-delivery.
Home Modifications To Support The Use of New AT
As part of prescribing any equipment, we will always start with a full home assessment. For example, in the case of a new wheelchair, the following home modifications may be considered:
- Ramps and optimal incline/decline angles
- Changes to doorway access
- Maneuverability in a garage to ensure car transfers
- Thresholds/wedges to enter bathrooms and other areas
Our wonderful OTs will note this in our AT form. An exact cost or estimate to order and install the necessary home mods will be included so that the NDIA will consider this, which is in the patient’s best interest.
The overarching purpose of these home modifications is to maximise the participant’s independence, safety and function at home. Vista Healthcare will act as a project manager to completion of the mods and beyond.
Ready to Work with Vista Healthcare?
Vista Healthcare is NDIS registered and our values are Compassion and Care.
- We are a mobile Allied health provider
- Our Physios and OTs are university-trained
- Our clinicians are inhouse staff
- We provide a high level of expert, caring communication
To enquire about AT, please use our contact page.
What makes Assistive Technology ‘reasonable and necessary?
Our team takes on the responsibility of finding reasonably priced equipment that is clinically appropriate. We will complete a comparison of 2-3 similar equipment items.
For example, for a person whose meaningful goal is to travel to watch local sporting events by using a mobility scooter, we would consider:
- Appropriate trunk supports/seat belts for safety across hills and footpaths
- User operation of brakes, turning and transfers
- Any barriers such as visual impairments or neurological conditions
- Assessing between electric wheelchairs (typically preferred for predominantly indoor use) and mobility scooters (typically for outdoor terrain).
We then complete the AT request form, which takes us approximately 8-10 hours after our initial appointment.
For high-cost items, there would be more involved in terms of equipment comparisons, trial periods and reporting. Typically, something expensive with more functions than is required for the client to achieve their goals would not be approved.
The NDIS will generally support something that helps the patient achieve their goals and live as independently as possible.
How is the cost of an AT assessment funded?
For NDIS clients, the assessment itself comes from a capacity-building fund. The fund pays for the hours logged by the OT, the visit itself, the trials, etc.
However, the equipment could come from the capital funding depending on how funds are allocated by the NDIS.
Vista Healthcare works with both self and plan-managed participants, and we’re happy to coordinate with any individual or support organisation should they need further information.
Can Vista Healthcare be engaged for an AT assessment only?
If a client just needs an assessment for AT, whether it’s a request for new equipment or the review of existing AT, we’re able to help.
In other cases, however, our role can be more ongoing. This may include minor home modifications, manual handling training and functional rehabilitation from our OTs/Physios.
How often should Assistive Technology be reviewed?
As a rule of thumb, all equipment is reviewed in line with NDIS reviews. Which are typically at 12, 24 or 36-month intervals.
If there is a change to a person’s status, such as a recent fall or change of residence, this would be another time to perform a review.
In addition to this, the participant will also have a level of support and/or warranty from the equipment provider for any relevant maintenance, troubleshooting or repairs.
Vista Healthcare is always able to be contacted for any questions or ad-hoc reviews.
How does Vista Healthcare safeguard an NDIS participants financial preferences?
In recommending equipment, we aim to ensure that costs are kept reasonable for our patients considering their financial preferences and the amount of funding in their current, or prospective NDIS plan.
Typically, an NDIS support coordinator will research AT providers to “search around” for the best pricing. Vista Healthcare is also able to perform this task, which is often the case for self-managed participants.
It is important to note, that the time to receive an item is an important consideration too.