ATSA History

ATSA History

ATSA was founded in 2000 by a number of assistive technology (AT) businesses to improve standards and give our industry a unified voice. Originally known as IRSA (Independent Rehab Suppliers Assn), the membership voted in 2010 to change the name to Assistive Technology Suppliers Australia to more accurately reflect the broader range of products and services they provided.

In 2007, a broad stakeholder consultation was held into the NSW PADP scheme and the subsequent paper included a number of recommendations that were of great concern to AT suppliers who were effectively excluded from the process. This led to Chris Sparks starting as IRSA’s first part-time executive officer with the challenge of building a national organisation to give AT suppliers a voice.

ATSA has grown steadily and now boasts more than 150 business as members across all Australian states and territories. Our membership includes many small businesses along with multinationals and some not for profit AT providers. Our trademark event is the ATSA Independent Living Expo that runs in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra and attracts thousands of attendees each year.

In 2016 David Sinclair took over the reins as ATSA’s Executive Officer as the associations first full-time employee.

ATSA is a member of National Disability Services, has a representative on the Australian Standards AT subcommittee and has served on many government and non-government AT advisory panels.

ATSA milestones


first IRSA Daily Living Expo was staged by industry volunteers in Sydney at Rosehill Racecourse.


IRSA called to appear before the NSW Upper House Inquiry into PADP and directly influenced several of the Inquiry’s final recommendations.


IRSA gets a representative on the Australian Standards AT sub-committee.


ATSA launches the industry ‘Code of Practice’.


ATSA called to give evidence at the Productivity Commission hearings into the NDIS following an extensive submission to the Commission’s inquiry.


ATSA secures funding from the NDIS Practical Design Fund to partner with ARATA to produce an options paper on credentialing of AT supplier and prescribers.


ATSA pursues formal mediation with AT funding scheme to address industry concerns.


ATSA responds extensively to the Queensland Competition Authority’s investigation into AT pricing in Australia.


ATSA invited to be part of the AT Sector Reference Group for the NDIS.


ATSA releases a series of briefing papers on AT.


David Sinclair appointed as ATSA’s Executive Officer on a full-time basis.


ATSA surveys AT suppliers on the NDIS. Information gathered provided the NDIA with real data to review their systems and processes.


the first ATSA Expo is held in Perth.

Robyn SmartATSA History