You may have come across the term low-cost or basic Assistive Technology or AT as part of your NDIS plan. Did you know that you can even claim sexual devices under your assistive technology budget? You can even claim under your core budget for consumables. Before we dive into how to make a claim for a sexual device under your NDIS plan, let’s briefly cover exactly what assistive technology is.
What is Assistive Technology?
The NDIS defines assistive technology based on the World Health Organisation definition, which states, “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”.
Simply put, assistive technologies can be categorised as physical supports that help you:
- Do something more easily or safely
- Do something you otherwise cannot do because of your disability.
The NDIS will fund assistive technology that allows people with a disability to reach their fullest potential at home, in the community and the workplace, and therefore reaching the goals within their NDIS plan.
Can I claim sexual devices as assistive technology in my NDIS plan?
NDIS participants can choose how they want to manage the funded supports in their plan. Therefore, you can claim sexual devices as assistive technology in your NDIS plan as long as:
- It meets the reasonable and necessary criteria
- It meets your needs
- It helps you to pursue your goals
Unless your plan indicates otherwise, you can also choose the providers you want to deliver assistive technology supports included in your plan. Obdo sexual devices are built to be accessible for all bodies and are suitable to be claimed as assistive technology.
What are the requirements for claiming low-cost or basic assistive technology?
- Low-cost is considered less than $1500
- It must be safe to use and doesn’t require any help setting it up
- You don't need an assessment or any quotes
- It can be bought from your local store or online
- You must have funding for low-cost assistive technology in your NDIS Plan under your Core Budget and myPortal
What if assistive technologies are not available in my NDIS plan?
Thankfully, participants can use their funding flexibly to purchase low-cost or basic assistive technology using funding in their Core - Consumables budget. Most participants have funding allocated in their Core budget for consumables. Following a change made in 2020, participants can use their Core budget more flexibly, including purchasing low cost AT under the consumables category.
If you’re plan-managed or self-managed, you can purchase these items from any provider. NDIA-managed participants can purchase these from any NDIS provider registered to deliver assistive technology supports.
How do I claim a sexual device as low-cost assistive technology?
Before we dive into how to claim, it’s very important to remember that if you’re self-managed, you can go out and buy the device yourself, but it stills needs to relate to the goals in your NDIS plan. If you can’t link it back, and you’re audited, you will need to pay back the cost of your assistive technology that you purchased to the NDIS.
As long as you can link the purchase of a sexual device to your NDIS goals, there are two ways to claim under assistive technology:
- You can buy the device yourself, and with the receipt, you can then claim for reimbursement with your plan manager.
- Alternatively, you can get a quote for the cost of the device you’re interested in and then make a request to NDIS. In this way, you’re asking for the money from your plan manager to be able to go out and buy it.
What documentation should I keep?
Remember to keep your receipt, and although it’s not always necessary, it can be handy to keep any information that relates to how the purchasing of sexual assistive technology meets your NDIS goals. For example, this could be a recommendation from an occupational therapist, physiotherapist, or another allied health professional that a sexual device will help you improve your functioning in your everyday life. to deliver assistive technology supports.
What if I don’t have an NDIS goals that allow for purchasing sexual assistive technology?
At your next review, be sure to identify a goal around your sexual health or well-being, so that there is a goal to support you buying a device in the future. If possible, have your therapy team put it in writing for you to take along to support your request. To help guide you, we've broken it down into two types of goals below (learn more about NDIS goals).
NDIS broad goal examples to help you secure funding for purchasing sexual assistive technology?
Here are some examples of broad goals that you might be able to use to claim sexual assistive technology as part of your NDIS plan:
- Maintain your general, emotional, and/or mental health and wellbeing
- Understand, explore and engage in the sexual activities of your choosing
- Explore your sexuality
NDIS specific goal examples that can help you secure funding for purchasing sexual assistive technology?
Here are some examples of specific goals that you might be able to use to claim sexual assistive technology as part of your NDIS plan:
- I would like to experience less periods of high tone / spasticity, by increasing my ability to engage in sexuality activities of my choosing
- I would like to experience less periods of extreme stress/distress/anger by increasing my ability to engage in sexuality activities of my choosing
- I would like to increase my emotion regulation skills, through engaging in masturbation/sexual intercourse with my partner
- I would like to increase my independence in using a sex toy with assistance from my partner
- I would like to better understand my body and engage in self-exploration / masturbation
- I would like to engage in mutual masturbation/sex alongside my chosen partner
- I would like to learn how to have different kinds sex, in order to develop skills for sexual relationships/to help meet my physical needs
Should I discuss my needs with my support network?
We are committed to changing the sexual wellness industry by tackling the taboo of self-pleasure in the disability community. It is why we recommend NDIS participants should consider discussing their needs with their families, carers, and existing providers. This ensures that they find the best way to receive the support they need to live the most fulfilling life possible. These conversations are also really important in helping to de-stigmatise the exploration of sexual well-being amongst people with disabilities.