Can the NDIS fund iPads and other assistive technologies?

Mother in wheelchair using smart device

Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a program that aims to offer much needed support and services to individuals living with disabilities. The NDIS can fund a number of services and products that are deemed reasonable and necessary for your disability. In some cases, this includes the provision of funding for assistive technology, such as iPads, tablets, and other smart devices. Keep reading to discover whether you may be eligible for NDIS funded devices.

How can NDIS funded technology help you?

Assistive technology is any device or tool that helps individuals with disabilities perform tasks they might otherwise find challenging or impossible to do. Tools and technologies such as tablets, computers, and other smart devices can significantly enhance the lives of participants, providing you with greater independence, communication abilities, and access to education and employment opportunities that you may otherwise struggle to access.

What assistive technology can the NDIS fund?

While the NDIS recognises the benefits of assistive technology and smart devices, there are a number of requirements that need to be met in order to be eligible for NDIS funding. In some cases, not only will you be eligible for the device itself, but also specialised software, accessories, and features that may otherwise be an additional expense. The NDIS offers funding for assistive technology to eligible participants to ensure they have access to the right tools and services to suit their unique needs and goals.

Questions to consider before purchasing an NDIS funded iPad, tablet or other smart device

The NDIS may fund your smart device if it is considered to be reasonable and necessary for your disability. Consider the following questions before purchasing a new iPad or smart device.

  • Is the device necessary for you to access disability-related services?
  • Has one of your treating specialists  recommended the use of a smart device?
  • Do you already own the same or similar functioning device?
  • Are you looking to purchase a standard model with only the features required to assist with your disability?
  • Does the tablet enable you to maintain or engage in Telehealth services for which you would otherwise be unable to attend?

To find out more about the specific eligibility requirements, view the full NDIS guidelines.

Is it possible to have an iPad or tablet funded by the NDIS?

Yes, the NDIS can fund iPads, tablets and other smart devices as assistive technology if it is deemed reasonable and necessary for your disability. The funding decision is made based on individual assessments and your individual goals and needs by your treating specialists. For most people, this funding can come from your Category 15 (Improved Daily Living) funding or your CORE funding across Categories 1,2,3, and 4.

For example, a tablet or iPad might be funded if it enhances communication for someone with speech difficulties, provides educational support for a participant with learning disabilities, or facilitates independent living skills for those with mobility challenges. 

It is important to work with your specialist team, support coordinators, and plan manager to consider whether assistive technology is right for your plan. If so, we recommend liaising with your allied health team to have them prepare a well-documented letter of support explaining how the device will positively impact your life in relation to your disability, how it meets any NDIA reasonable and necessary criteria or funding requirements, and how it helps you to achieve your plan goals.

NDIS funding for laptops, computers and other devices

While iPads and tablets are popular choices for assistive technology, they might not be suitable for everyone. 

Some participants may require larger devices to accommodate their specific needs. The NDIS may fund larger or specialised devices equipped with software and hardware for individuals with certain disabilities, such as vision impairments, hearing loss, cognitive disabilities, or motor skill limitations. These devices may require a separate assistive technology (AT) assessment to be submitted to the NDIA prior to their funding and purchase.

Can the NDIS pay for your Internet or phone bill?

Unfortunately the NDIS won’t fund any day to day expenses, such as phone or Internet bills, regardless of whether your smart devices are funded or not. The NDIA’s stance on this extends to the need of the Internet for Telehealth even if you don’t have an existing internet connection.

While you may use your phone or Internet to access disability-related services, these bills are seen as everyday expenses by the agency and are therefore not covered by the NDIS.

NDIS iPad, tablet and smart devices funding overview

In summary, the NDIS may be able to cover the costs of your assistive technology if it is deemed reasonable and necessary for your disability. For lower cost items such as a basic tablet, iPad or smart device, you may be able to utilise your existing funding for this purchase in consultation with your allied health team.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible, contact the NDIS or your support team to discuss your individual goals and needs. The team at Orange Plan Management is also always happy to help answer any funding related questions you might have if you are unsure what steps you might need to take. Give us a call on 1300 611 990 or email