The telecommunications consumer group Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed the news, saying that “having access to the right phone or assistive technology is vital for people with disability to be able to access important telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The announcement on initiatives to support NDIS participants and disability providers during the coronavirus pandemic was made by the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, on Monday.
ACCAN Director of Inclusion Wayne Hawkins said “allowing NDIS participants to use their existing plan funding to purchase Assistive Technology is a very welcomed step by the Government”.
Hawkins said that it was important for consumers to understand what mainstream and Assistive Technology is available and “may best suit their individual needs”.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to communications products for people with disability. Someone with a vision-impairment is going to have very different needs to someone who is Deaf,” he said.
ACCAN’s Accessible Telecoms service provides free information about both mainstream and assistive communications products and services suitable for seniors and consumers with disability - and consumers can also find training to help them use their new devices.
“As a service that has been funded through the National Disability Insurance Agency, it’s heartening that Accessible Telecoms is able to play a key role in providing information that is vital to keep people with disability connected during this challenging time,” Hawkins said.