Why ATFA

So, why do we need assistive technology for all?

Assistive technology allows people with a disability and older Australians to stay engaged with our communities, remain independent, stay working if we want to, remain in our homes, and look after ourselves.

Without timely and affordable access to assistive technology, some people with a disability may be forced into residential aged care prematurely or increase their social isolation because they are cut off from their communities.

Assistive technology allows people with a disability and older Australians to stay engaged with our communities, remain independent, stay working if we want to, remain in our homes, and look after ourselves. Without timely and affordable access to assistive technology, some people with a disability may be forced into residential aged care prematurely or increase their social isolation because they are cut off from their communities.

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The economic impact

A national assistive technology program makes economic sense. It will allow those of us who need assistive technology and who do not qualify for the NDIS to participate in our communities, stay working if we want to and remain independent. Without access to assistive technology, some people may have to enter aged care before they are ready, imposing a significant cost on the Australian community. 

Our human rights obligations

Under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Australia has agreed to uphold, people with disability must have access to ‘quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies … including by making them available at affordable cost’. The convention also says that people with disability have the right to live independently and be included in the community. This includes older people over the age of 65 who have a disability but are sent to the aged care system for support.

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The current situation doesn’t work

Obtaining funding for assistive technology outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme is complex, often leading to widespread confusion among consumers. It can involve different levels of government and different departments depending on your individual circumstances. There is no single place to go to get the help you need, and we think there should be.