Key Outcomes from Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

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Media Release

It is clear from the Recommendations and Executive Summary from the Royal Commission into Aged Care that Assistive Technology has a high profile within the proposed reforms.

One of the key Recommendations from the Commission is that from “1 July 2022, the Australian Government should implement an assistive technology and home modifications category within the aged care program.”

In December 2020, ATSA put forward a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety to address the issue of restrictive practices that would, otherwise, have removed choice and control for a participant requiring access to AT.   In our submission we recommended participants “be able to apply “choice and control” and can elect to purchase their AT and Home modifications from approved providers other than their home care provider, then claim against their approved package under the terms and values as set out in the new Act.

We are delighted to advise that our voice has been heard and that in the Executive Summary from the Commission, their recommendation is as follows:

“We recommend that the System Governor should develop and implement a new planning regime that replaces the current planning arrangements with planning undertaken both nationally and at the local level. The System Governor should ensure:

  • an adequately diverse mix and adequate number of providers to enable older people seeking services to exercise an informed choice, where possible, between available providers… “

We will continue to review the Recommendations from the Royal Commission and monitor the Government’s response on behalf of our Members.

Melanie RobertsonKey Outcomes from Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
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Request for tender now open: expanded funding for Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology for older Australians

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The Australian Government is committing funding of up to $10 million in 2020-21 and $10 million in 2021-22 to provide high quality, value for money and equitable access to Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology (GEAT) for older Australians.

The department is supporting this commitment through an open request for tender (RFT) that establishes a panel of one or more providers/agents. Panel members will have national capability and capacity to source, supply, install, and maintain GEAT to older Australians through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).

This tender will enable the department to trial an alternative funding approach to current GEAT grant arrangements. It will source providers or agents to administer and provide GEAT across Australia, ensuring equitable access to meet the changing needs of CHSP clients.

Current GEAT providers who wish to tender should note that, if successful, their existing GEAT grant funding will be retained. The funds for this tender are separate to the CHSP grant agreement.

Tenders must be lodged by 2:00pm (AEDT) Tuesday, 16 March 2021.

For more information about this RFT, visit the Austender website.

Department of Health

Melanie RobertsonRequest for tender now open: expanded funding for Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology for older Australians
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NEW Victorian resources to support motorised mobility device safety

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This time last year we alerted members to a project being undertaken in Victoria to help raise awareness about safety issues associated with the use of motorised mobility devices and develop resources to support consumers, carers and health professionals.

The development work is now complete, and we are pleased to announce the availability of an extensive suite of practical information resources that will be valuable in guiding mobility device users and their families.

Accessible via the VicRoads website, the resources include an updated ‘Guide to choosing and using mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs’ which steps readers through:

  • Deciding whether a motorised mobility is right for them
  • Choosing a device to best suit their needs
  • Using the device effectively and safely
  • Accessing public transport
  • Knowing where to go to get more information and assistance

These topics are also covered individually in a series of fact sheets, including fact sheets dedicated to explaining the importance of formal user assessment, education, training and regular monitoring, and the role of occupational therapists and GPs.

Particular value lies in the Checklists that feature in the main resource and fact sheets. These can help potential and existing users to step through the decision-making process and reflect on their needs and goals for mobility. The checklists are equally valuable for carers and family members.

ATSA is proud to have contributed to this work and recommends the resources to all our members to support their customer conversations, informed consumer decisions and our common goals of optimising mobility and safety.

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, McKenna K, Tovel A and Pointer S (2019). Mobility scooter-related injuries and deaths. Injury research and statistics series no. 121. Canberra, AIHW Available from:
Melanie RobertsonNEW Victorian resources to support motorised mobility device safety
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RESERVE YOUR STAND – ATSA Independent Living Expo Canberra

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We invite ATSA Members and equivalent donors to display at the second ATSA Independent Living Expo Canberra, Wednesday 27 - Thursday 28 October 2021.

ATSA Independent Living Expo has many special features, these include;
• A free conference program for allied health practitioners. The multi-track seminar program with prominent speakers attracts hundreds of therapists, consumers, carers and AHPs;
• Session times are structured to provide plenty of opportunity for delegates to visit the exhibition;
• Easy access for exhibitors, plenty of parking;
• Free forklift service & overnight security;

Stand space will be released to ATSA members at 11am 16 February 2021 - if you haven't received the floorplans and costs please email for details.

We look forward to seeing you at one, or more of the ATSA Independent Living Expo's this year.

Melanie RobertsonRESERVE YOUR STAND – ATSA Independent Living Expo Canberra
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How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected access to AT services?

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WHO Assistive Technology team, in collaboration with Monash University and the Center for Inclusive Policy is undertaking research to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected access to AT services.  The findings will provide valuable insights that will inform future WHO work to support AT services. We are pleased that some research has already been published on this topic and hope to build on that research by hearing from AT service providers and AT service users who may be beyond our global and digitally connected networks.

This is where we need you!   

The World Health Organization is researching the COVID-19 global pandemic and access to assistive technology. They would like to hear from people like you. You are invited to participate by filling in the  Snapshot form .  If you have questions about this research, please feel free to contact Natasha Layton


Melanie RobertsonHow has the COVID-19 pandemic affected access to AT services?
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Do you use a Motorised Mobility Device?

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If the answer is YES would you consider participating in a government sponsored research project about motorised mobility devices (MMDs)?
Learn more at

People who use a motorised mobility device are invited to complete a short survey. The survey aim is to collect insights to how they see a future of inclusion drawing on their experiences of being out and about.

The survey is available on this link Qualitative Survey and Invitation to Participate. Any information that you supply will be deidentified and your privacy will be protected. if you are interested in participating in a follow up conversation please provide your contact details. A $50 shopping voucher will be provided to those who choose to participate in the follow-up conversation. If you have trouble accessing the survey or would like further information please email Dr Theresa Harada at the University of Wollongong or phone 0423 383 113 and leave a message.

Melanie RobertsonDo you use a Motorised Mobility Device?
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NDIS Reforms – Feedback Required

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Many of you will have received an email (copied below) as a NDIS provider earlier today (03/02/2021). NDIS is wanting to know how they can improve.

As your industry body we will be preparing a response to the papers listed  - you are welcome to submit your feedback personally. However, if there are issues you wish us to raise please contact us.

We will need to have heard from you and spoken with you by Friday 12 February to allow us the time to write our submission.

NDIS reforms – have your say

We want to hear from you about how we plan to improve the NDIS, so that the changes work for everyone.

These reforms aim to make the NDIS simpler, faster, fairer and more flexible through changes to access, planning and plan flexibility, and how we support young children and their families.

Three consultation papers were published in November 2020 and more information is now on the NDIS website:

To give your feedback:

  • Download the consultation papers from the Have your say page of the NDIS website.
  • We welcome any feedback on the policies outlined in the consultation papers. Some questions are also available at the end of each consultation paper.
  • Upload a submission – submissions can be made in writing or as an audio or video file.

Submissions close AEDT 10 am Tuesday 23 February 2021.

Online information sessions
We are hosting online events:

Melanie RobertsonNDIS Reforms – Feedback Required
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New eNewsletter for NDIS participants – SafeGuard

New eNewsletter for NDIS participants – SafeGuard

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The NDIS Commission has begun publishing a newsletter for NDIS participants. Please share this new resource with NDIS participants you know and support. The first edition contains information on how people can directly subscribe to the quarterly newsletter:

Melanie RobertsonNew eNewsletter for NDIS participants – SafeGuard
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NDIA Releases New AT and Consumables Code Guide

NDIA Releases New AT and Consumables Code Guide

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The revised NDIA Assistive Technology, Home Modifications and Consumables Code Guide is now available.

Please note that there are changes to rentals and ramp codes along with some other amendments.

ATSA recommend taking the time to review the guide, to ensure you are familiar with all the changes.

If you do not use the new codes, this may negatively impact on your NDIA claims.

Learn more about the new codes here.

Robyn SmartNDIA Releases New AT and Consumables Code Guide
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