Our work

The Assistive Technology for All Alliance has made submissions to a number of public inquiry and review processes. You can access our previous submissions below.

Joint Statement on Equal Access to Assistive Technology

December 2021

Our joint statement on assistive technology has been endorsed by more than 60 organisations spanning the health, ageing and disability sectors. It will be used to lobby Government and calls on the Australian Government to establish a harmonised and nationally consistent assistive technology program in response to recommendation 72 of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Improving Choice in Residential Aged Care

November 2021

The Department of Health recently undertook consultation to understand how changes to the residential aged care system could be made in a way that best supports senior Australians and aged care providers. We provided a response to the online consultation survey. Our response focused on the need for people living in residential care to be able to access the assistive technology they need in a timely manner.

ATFA in Conversation with Graeme Innes

June 2021

On 9 June 2021, we held an online event to discuss the ins and outs of the Assistive Technology For All Campaign and encourage others to get involved. The event was facilitated by Former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Inns AM and was attended by around 150 participants. During the session, we unpacked the experiences of four panellists with disability who have been excluded from the NDIS and heard about the barriers they face when trying to access the assistive technology they need. If you missed the event, you might like to access the recording.

AT recommendations included in final report from Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

December 2020

When the final report from the Royal Commission was released at the beginning of March, we were overjoyed to see that our concerns had been reflected in the Royal Commission’s recommendations and that the inequity experienced by older people with disability had finally been acknowledged. Four recommendations are of particular interest:

 

Recommendation 34: Assistive technology and home modifications category

From 1 July 2022, the Australian Government should implement an assistive technology and home modifications category within the aged care program that:

  1. provides goods, aids, equipment and services that promote a level of independence in daily living tasks and reduces risks to living safely at home
  2. includes the assistive technology, home modifications and hoarding and squalor service types from the Commonwealth Home Support Programme
  3. is grant funded.

Recommendation 72: Equity for people with disability receiving aged care

By 1 July 2024, every person receiving aged care who is living with disability, regardless of when acquired, should receive through the aged care program daily living supports and outcomes (including assistive technologies, aids and equipment) equivalent to those that would be available under the National Disability Insurance Scheme to a person under the age of 65 years with the same or substantially similar conditions.

Recommendation 73: Annual reporting to Parliament by the Disability Discrimination Commissioner and the Age Discrimination Commissioner

By 1 July 2024, the Disability Discrimination Commissioner and the Age Discrimination Commissioner should be required, as part of the new National Disability Strategy, to report annually to the Parliament on the number of people receiving aged care with disability who are aged 65 years or older and their ability to access daily living supports and outcomes (including assistive technologies, aids and equipment) equivalent to those available under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Recommendation 125: Abolition of contributions for certain services

(1) Individuals who are assessed as needing social supports, assistive technologies and home modifications, or care at home should not be required to contribute to the costs of that support.

While we are thrilled with these recommendations, at this stage they are just that – recommendations. The next step is to get government to implement them.

The Assistive Technology For All Alliance believes that the best way for the aged care system to achieve parity for older people with disability in this area is by establishing a national aids, equipment and assistive technology program to support people with disability who are excluded from the NDIS. The Government already knows how to do this – the final report from the 2019/2020 Review of Assistive Technology Programs in Australia provides all of the answers.

Over the coming months, we will be ramping up our advocacy efforts and asking Government to outline how it intends to implement the Royal Commission’s recommendations on assistive technology. It’s time for the assistive technology funding gap to be addressed once and for all, and for older people with disability to be treated with the dignity they deserve. We’ll have to show that there’s widespread demand for change, so we need your help. There will be a range of opportunities for you to add your voice to this important cause, so stay tuned for further details!

Response to final submissions from the Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

December 2020

The Assistive Technology for All Alliance is pleased to provide feedback on the recommendations proposed by the Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in its final submissions. Our feedback will build upon the evidence we provided to the Royal Commission in December 2019, which was endorsed by 25 organisations spanning the health, aging and disability sectors.

We have limited our comments to recommendations 16, 60 and 61 proposed by the Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission, as these recommendations are of most relevance to our vision of ensuring that all older people with disability who are excluded from the NDIS have equitable access to the support they need.

Media release: Government Urged to Address Gap for People with Disability Excluded from the NDIS

November 2020

Submission to the review of the National Disability Strategy

October 2020

We recognise that the National Disability Strategy is a blueprint for the progressive realisation of the rights set out under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As such, our submission:

  • Highlights the role that assistive technology plays in promoting, protecting, and upholding the rights of people with disability.
  • Outlines current gaps in the provision of assistive technology to people with disability who are excluded from the NDIS.
  • Advocates the need for the new National Disability Strategy to urgently address existing service gaps for people with disability who are excluded from the NDIS.
  • Demonstrates the need for a harmonised and nationally consistent assistive technology program to meet the needs of people with disability who are excluded from the NDIS.

Submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

August 2020

This submission was drafted in response to the Royal Commission’s Issues Paper on rights and attitudes, published in April 2020. It focuses on the Government’s failure to provide equitable access to assistive technology for people with disability who are excluded from the NDIS. It also highlights the fact that systemic ageism is evident in current government policies and presents as an attitudinal barrier affecting older Australians’ equitable access to assistive technology.

Submission to the review of the Victorian State Disability Plan

May 2020

The comments provided in this submission focus on key issues that impact on access to assistive technology for Victorians with disability who are excluded from the NDIS. We demonstrate how addressing these issues will help to ensure Victoria is fulfilling its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the National Disability Strategy.

Submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

December 2019

The comments provided in this submission focus on key areas that impact on access to assistive technology for older people with disability, many of whom are now forced to access the support they need under the aged care system. The issues raised throughout this submission address each of the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference (ToR), including:

  • ToR a) as it relates to the extent to which aged care services meet the needs of people accessing them
  • ToR b) as it relates to how best to deliver aged care services
  • ToR c) as it relates to the future challenges and opportunities for delivering accessible, affordable and high-quality aged care services to people living at home and in remote, rural and regional Australia
  • ToR d) as it relates to what the Australian Government can do to strengthen the system of aged care services
  • ToR e) as it relates to ensuring that aged care services are person-centred
  • ToR f) as it relates to how best to deliver aged care services in a sustainable way, including through innovative models of care, increased use of technology, and investment in the aged care workforce and capital infrastructure.

2020/21 Pre-budget Submission

December 2019

The comments provided in this submission focus on key areas that impact on access to assistive technology for older people with disability. In this submission, we demonstrate the need for urgent funding to be allocated to increase access to assistive technology for people with disability who are excluded from the NDIS.