Ask an OT: Assistive Technology

Ask an OT: Assistive Technology



We sat down with long-standing Xavier Occupational Therapist Marie to understand how our OTs help and the steps that happen when we support children and young people to get the right assistive technology (AT).

Marie has been supporting children and young people as part of the Xavier team for 13 years.

 “I find it very satisfying and rewarding when a child receives a new piece of equipment that will make their lives - and that of their families - easier. Whether it is a wheelchair, shower chair, relaxation chair or another item, the day of fitting and delivery is an exciting day for everyone.”

What assistive technology do OTs help with?

It’s important to note that at Xavier both Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists can support your child or young person to get the right AT in place. Each will look after different types of AT as follows:

Xavier OTs – wheelchairs and disability strollers, hoists, relaxation/postural chairs, bathing/showering aids, high/low adjustable beds, pressure mattresses and pressure care cushions, high/low activity chairs for children and more.

Xavier Physios - standing frames and walking frames.

What is the process?

  1. Initial home visit: The Xavier therapist who will be supporting you with AT will come to your home to meet your child and your family and to gather background information. They will work with you set goals and find out what functional outcomes are expected through provision of the AT.
  2. Research: Your OT will go away and research suitable AT options and arrange trials with equipment reps.
  3. Trials: At least two potential AT items will be trialled in the home environment (assuming this is where the AT will be needed). Your OT needs to check the AT is functional in the environment in which it will be used. Up to two home visits may be needed, including travel.
  4. Quote: Once the suitable item has been agreed on, the supplier provides a quote.
  5. Funding request: Based on the quote provided, your OT will prepare a funding request.
    • If the item is low-cost (under $1,500) then this is just a brief few sentences, usually written for the Plan Manager or family.
    • If it is for a Mid-cost (between $1,500 and $15,000) or high-cost item (above ($15,000) then an application needs to be written. If an application needs to be made, there may be addition steps as follows:
      • You will be asked to check the application and provide your feedback
      • You will be provided with a final copy of the application
      • The application is submitted to the NDIS
      • The application is considered by an NDIS representation (this can take several weeks)
      • The NDIS may request further information
      • The NDIS will either be approve or refuse the application
      • If the NDIS refuse funding, you have the option to ask again, with more detailed information provided
  1. Funding approval: When NDIS funding is approved, the supplier is advised of the approval by the NDIS and payment is made.
  2. Ordering: The AT item is ordered by the supplier.
  3. Delivery: The time frame for delivery of the item will depend on whether the supplier holds stock, or if it must be shipped from elsewhere in Australia or overseas. For example, if a wheelchair is coming from overseas, it can take up to 3-6 months for delivery.
  4. Fitting: Once the item is delivered, your OT will come out and complete a fitting to make sure that the functional outcomes will be met. They may also provide training on use of the AT, as needed.

Support from Marie

Marie works with children and families in the northern suburbs of Brisbane and has capacity to support more children in 2023. To find out more:

For Xavier families – call 1800 XAVIER or email

For new families - contact Allied Health Catherine on 0407 087 406 or