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Considering Reasonable and Necessary when it comes to iPads and the NDIS

Considering Reasonable and Necessary when it comes to iPads and the NDIS

At Assistive Tech we know it can be confusing which rules to follow and which technology is right for you. We've put together this handy up to date guide on what is likely to be considered reasonable and necessary in the majority of use cases.

On May 7, 2024 Apple made some significant changes the iPad model line up. This offers some significant benefits for NDIS Participants and means its time to update our recommendations as to what pay potentially be reasonable and necessary for NDIS participants.

The current model line up is now:

  • iPad (10th Generation)
  • iPad Mini (6th Generation)
  • iPad Air M2 11 inch
  • iPad Air M2 13 inch
  • iPad Pro M4 11 inch
  • iPad Pro M4 13 inch

We know it can be hard to decipher what is most appropriate so we've taken the time to summarise the most common reasonable use cases for these devices.

Use Case 1 - Capacity Building / Telehealth

The NDIS has specific price limits for the supply of a device for this purpose. This is outlined in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits (page 92/93).

Disability related and specific hardware and accessories may be purchased in addition to the above limits. Examples include wheelchair mounts, rugged cases where related to behaviour issues.

Item Number: 15_222400911_0124_1_3
Device (Maximum): $600.00
Order (Maximum): $750.00

Recommended Model: iPad Air 10th Generation $599.00

 

Use Case 2 - Capacity Building / Telehealth with Vision Impairment

You should follow the NDIS Operational Guidelines for Assistive Technology when purchasing this product. This includes written advice from an AT Advisor. With the introduction of the new Apple iPad Air M2 13 inch model, Assistive Tech no longer recommend iPad Pro devices if you simply need a larger screen. The most cost effective model for this purpose is now the iPad Air M2 13 inch model.

Item Number: 15_222400911_0124_1_3
Device (Maximum): Does not apply
Order (Maximum): Does not apply.

Recommended Model: iPad Air M2 13 inch $1,299.00

 

Use Case 3 - Personal Voice

You should follow the NDIS Operational Guidelines for Assistive Technology when purchasing this product. This includes written advice from an AT Advisor. Personal Voice allows participants that need to voice bank the ability to establish their personal voice. Often used in cases of neurologic issues such as Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Pesudobulbar Palsy. This feature is native to iPad on iPad Air and iPad Pro only.

Item Number: 03_222100911_0124_1_1
Device (Maximum): Does not apply
Order (Maximum): Does not apply.

Recommended Model: iPad Air M2 11 inch $999.00

 

Use Case 4 - Augmented Communication (Ages 6 and Up)

You should follow the NDIS Operational Guidelines for Assistive Technology when purchasing this product. This includes written advice from an AT Advisor. For participants that are non-verbal or are building their communication skills with the support of a speech pathologist. This usually combines an iPad with an AAC App. Example applications include: LAMP, Proloquo2Go, TD Snap, TouchChat, Grid or GoTalk

Item Number: 03_222100911_0124_1_1
Device (Maximum): Does not apply
Order (Maximum): Does not apply.

Recommended Model: iPad 10th Generation $599.00

 

Use Case 5 - Augmented Communication (Children Under 6)

You should follow the NDIS Operational Guidelines for Assistive Technology when purchasing this product. This includes written advice from an AT Advisor. For participants that are non-verbal or are building their communication skills with the support of a speech pathologist. This usually combines an iPad with an AAC App. Example applications include: LAMP, Proloquo2Go, TD Snap, TouchChat, Grid or GoTalk

Item Number: 03_222100911_0124_1_1
Device (Maximum): Does not apply
Order (Maximum): Does not apply.

Recommended Model: iPad Mini 6th Generation $829.00

 

Use Case 6 - iPad with Eye Tracking / Control

Third party providers have traditionally provided Eye Gaze equipment for the iPad Pro. Apple has announced that Eye Tracking is coming natively to iOS using the Front Camera. This feature that leverages on device machine learning will be a major step forward for participants that previously relied on accessories for this purpose.

This feature is expected later this year. If you require eye tracking / control immediately please refer to your eye tracking device supplier for details on the most appropriate device for your needs and then get in touch with Assistive Tech and we can assist with recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want additional features like additional storage or cellular (mobile internet)?

Whilst more storage can be useful at times, we've not identified a disability specific application that requires more than the base storage capacity in each iPad model. Participants can make a personal contribution to select a higher capacity funded model but this is not necessary for applications we have reviewed and listed on our Apps page.

Apps that we recommend work both offline and online and can be updated the next time a device connects to Wifi. It is rare for us to identify a disability specific use case where internet needs to be always on. Given the rarety of this situation, we don't consider this to be reasonable and necessary. Participants can make a personal contribution for the difference between the wifi only and cellular option.

Do I need an itemised invoice for my iPad and case when its for telehealth?

This question comes through to Assistive Tech a lot and takes us back to high school grammar lessons, and requires a plain English reading of the Pricing Arrangements.

If you're spending less than $750 in total then then in most cases the answer is no. The NDIS says:  "Participants should not spend more than $750 on electronic devices needed to maintain existing services". This is followed by a guidance statement about AT Specialist advice and the normal cost of tablets but this IS NOT a price limit.

Where you are spending more than $750 for example because you need a ruggedised case due to behaviour issues then we recommend you itemise this product so that it's easy to call out this item that's not subject to the $750 price limit.

Do I need itemised Invoices for Augmented Communication Bundles?

At Assistive Tech we will only ever bundle the lowest cost available model for Augmented Communication purposes that would meet the reasonable and necessary criteria for the participant.

If you receive an itemised invoice from Assisitve Tech that includes Apps. iPad and a case this may mean that a customer or health professional has created a non-standard order. Check this invoice carefully to ensure it is the lowest cost available model for the participant.

As there are no imposed price limits, we recommend you check our advice above for the recommended models that are considered reasonable and necessary in the current model line up.

What about the 9th Generation iPad?

This product that had a recommended retail price of $549.00 has been discontinued. We have limited stock of this item until it sells out. The lowest cost iPad is now the 10th Generation that retails for $599.00.

If you have other questions? Give us a call on 1300 088 222 or email support@assistivetech.com.au.

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