Sensory Items and the NDIS: Your Quick Guide

Sensory Items and the NDIS: Your Quick Guide

Wondering if the NDIS covers #sensory equipment and disability related #toys? Playtime with finger puppets and balance boards can be fun for everyone, but it is especially important for people with sensory processing disorders. Thanks to proven benefits, you can use your NDIS budget to purchase sensory equipment. We’re here to help you understand what sensory equipment is, how to access your NDIS funding, and how to purchase these items.

What is Sensory Equipment?

Sensory equipment, often recommended by allied health professionals, covers a wide range of items such as puzzles, specially designed games or toys, and items which enhance or relax the senses. They support skill development, emotional regulation and can be used as learning or therapeutic aids. Items such as massage balls and beanbags help people with ASD to stay calm and cope with sensory overload. Tools like fidget toys can be beneficial to people with ADHD to boost concentration and focus. The benefits don’t stop there. Sensory items also promote essential life skills. Activities such as kinetic sand or play-doh promote fine motor skills, while tools like stepping stones build crucial gross motor skills such as jumping and running.

Using your NDIS funds

In most cases, if you have Consumables or Assistive Technology funding in your budget, you can buy low-cost sensory equipment.

It should meet the following criteria:

  • Considered “reasonable and necessary” and represent value for money
  • Related to your disability and NDIS goals
  • Cost less than $1500.
  • Not classified as “high risk” (see below)

High-risk items like swings, body socks, weighted blankets, and trampolines require NDIA approval. You’ll need recommendations from allied health providers as these items can cause harm if used incorrectly, or if they are not appropriate for the individual.

Sensory equipment over $1,500 also needs NDIA approval, and a letter of recommendation may be required if the item could be classed as an everyday expense (regardless of cost).

How to Purchase Sensory Items

You can buy sensory equipment online, at retails stores or from your therapists. The process for purchasing the item depends on how you manage your NDIS Plan:

  • If you’re self-managing, you can buy the item from a provider of your choice and claim the costs from the NDIS.
  • If your funds are plan managed, you can purchase the item from your preferred provider, and your plan manager will handle the payment process.
  • For an agency-managed plan, you can only purchase equipment from registered NDIS providers, and the NDIA will pay the provider directly.

Getting the hang of these guidelines will help you access the sensory tools you need to develop your skills, and help you reach your goals. To inquire about any items you would like to purchase or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!