National Disability Insurance Scheme
We were lucky enough to be one of the first (and now most experienced) service providers working with clients within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Our home within the Barwon Region was the only trial site in Victoria. We encourage NDIS participants to undertake some research prior to meeting with the NDIS to know what supports are available and can be discussed in their planning meetings.
WHR Allied Health employs occupational therapists, physiotherapists and therapy assistants (level 2 for home/community-based supports and level 1 within our group programs) who will assist in supporting you to achieve your NDIS plan goals.
Therapeutic supports are provided to assist clients aged from 7 years to increase their independence and capacity to complete tasks that are important to them. Our therapists use a strengths-based approach and support clients across various domains, including in areas such as language and communication skills, personal care, mobility and movement, interpersonal interactions and community living. WHR Allied Health can assist with your occupational therapy and physiotherapy therapeutic supports.
We also employ many therapy assistants to assist in the implementation of home and community-based interventions as recommended by our occupational therapists and physiotherapists.
WHR Allied Health therapists undertake many types of supports with a range of clients, including providing therapeutic supports to young people with autism spectrum disorder.
We have developed a social script that can be shared with your family to understand what occupational therapists can do and how this process might occur. It is available here.
Please note that our therapy assistants can only provide supports to clients under the direction of our own occupational therapists and physiotherapists. This is related to our indemnity/liability insurance.
Home Modification Design
WHR Allied Health occupational therapists can readily make recommendations on basic and complex home modifications. These recommendations are made with an understanding of the client’s functional needs, a sound understanding of the relevant Australian Standards and a working knowledge of the Reasonable and Necessary guidelines (section 34) of the NDIS Act. Due to the number of home modifications that we have assisted with, we also understand what can be achieved in existing home environments. Whilst home modifications may address many functional limitations initially, we will trial basic equipment, suggest modifying behaviours or look to complete simple environmental changes. We have experience working with privately owned, rented and Department of Human Services Housing and understand the limitations/complexities of each.
Assistive Technology (Equipment)
Your therapist will have a comprehensive understanding of the range of equipment that may be available to trial and will facilitate the application process for NDIS funding, where appropriate. The application documentation processes can be viewed here: NDIS providing assistive technology. The NDIS requires detailed supporting documentation so that they can make an informed decision concerning the items being recommended by your therapist. The decision-making process includes ensuring that your therapist has considered alternate options and proving that they have been considered in detail.
We are organisational members of the Australian Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology Association. This ensures that we’re kept abreast of the most advanced assistive technology. It is important for us to find the best equipment to match the needs and financial preferences of our clients. We make no commitment to equipment providers so that we can make efforts to provide our client with the best prices. As well as maintaining excellent relationships with local suppliers, who can readily trial and sell standard disability/medical supplies, we will regularly seek new and exciting gadgets with an evidence base of being assistive and helpful. We support tech and design start-ups via places like Indiegogo & Kickstarter (we were early investors in Antsy Labs Fidget Cubes, Quick Shoe Laces and our Octopus Watches!) so that we can ensure continued access to creative options for our clients and add to our own expanding pool of equipment available for trial for our clients!
In addition to enabling participants to be independent or participate more fully in daily activities, assistive technology may:
- Reduce the need for assistance, or
- Make assistance safe and sustainable, or
- Prevent or slow the development of further impairment
Assistive technology ranges in complexity, cost, and risk from simple, mass-produced consumer products (like non-slip mats) available at discount stores to custom-engineered and designed pieces of equipment such as powered wheelchairs. The amount of assistance a participant needs to make an assistive technology selection varies according to the complexity of the equipment and the participant’s level of knowledge, need and experience. Some clients may have funding within their plan to purchase assistive technology or equipment without the need for a therapist prescription (level 1 funding). Whilst therapist prescription is recommended for level 2 and is required for levels 3 and 4, we are more than willing to assist with your level 1 equipment needs.
We will typically seek to modify an environment via the introduction of temporary or removable low-cost equipment before pursuing structural modifications. We have experience working with privately owned, rented and Department of Human Services Housing and understand the limitations and complexities that can exist.
Costs of Services
All NDIS services are charged at the rates outlined in the 2022-2023 NDIS Price Guide (updated each financial year).
WHR Allied Health work with clients who have their funds managed by the NDIS and clients who self-manage or have a Financial Plan Manager. Our internal billing process sees invoices generated weekly. Invoices provided to clients who are self-managing or who have Financial Plan Managers include the specific dates of service and a summary of services provided on that date. Invoices are also offered in the preferred format upon direction/liaison with the client or their financial intermediary.
All supports that are being provided to/for the individual will be invoiced against their plan. Supports that are provided to clients that will be invoiced against their plan can include:
- Assessment (Standardised/non-standardised) and associated completion of reports.
- Initial assessment reports, progress reports, standardised assessment reports such as the Sensory Profile.
- Development of resources for the individual.
- Contact with families, support coordinators, other treaters, schools, suppliers. This includes all forms of communication – phone, email, text, letters and case conferences.
- Provision of interventions.
- Development/modification of therapy assistant programs for individuals.
- Reviewing client reports (provided by other treaters).
Contact with our administration team, simple referral intake, contact with financial intermediaries and non-client specific/customised resources do not attract charges.
The majority of supports provided by WHR Allied Health therapists will be provided in a client’s home or within their local community. The Service Agreement between WHR Allied Health and the participant notes that travel costs are to be claimed. Travel is charged to cover costs of getting to and from community-based clients and recognises that we cannot provide support to other clients at this time. We endeavour to minimise these costs (noting that we’d much prefer to be seeing clients than sitting in the car) and will group OTs with clients in the same geographical area as best we can. In these instances, travel is shared evenly amongst clients. Travel is charged as per the NDIS Price Guide.
As per the Service Agreement created with each client at the commencement of services, you will not be charged for cancelled services where we are notified earlier than 3 pm the day before the session.
How Therapists will assist you
Occupational therapists are allied health/health science practitioners who have an advanced understanding of the social, environmental, biological and cultural constructs that make up people’s lives. OTs work with people across all demographics and may be specialists in one particular area (through experience) or may be generalist OTs providing intervention to a mix of clients. The goal of occupational therapy is to work with clients to increase, resume or develop independence in whatever tasks they are interested in achieving. Client centredness is at the core of the occupational therapy philosophy. As a result, assessments can be quite involved, with the OT ensuring that they understand exactly what the client’s wishes are. WHR Allied Health has developed an individualised domestic training program for young people – The Independent Young Person, which we deliver to clients across the region. We assess the current level of experience with various domestic tasks and then develop and provide training around increasing levels of independence. The Independent Young Person program perfectly fits the services that your OT can be providing within your NDIS plan. All of our OT support services are provided in the client’s home or community environment. Our occupational therapists are highly experienced in the prescription of assistive technology.
Physiotherapists have long been acknowledged as important providers of services for people with a disability. Physiotherapists will have completed a degree or Masters in Physiotherapy. An appropriate level of physiotherapy can promote social inclusion through optimising a person’s function and encouraging participation in the economic and social life of the community. We have several generalist Physiotherapists who provide services to our clients over the age of 15. Services are provided in the client’s home or in the community. We do not offer clinic-based supports, currently. As well as providing home-based exercise programs, our physiotherapists can assist with the prescription of Assistive Technology. They can be utilised to help you to increase your levels of community participation and be more independent. We have several generalist physiotherapists who provide services to our clients over the age of 15. Services can be provided in the client’s home (travel charges may apply) or by arrangement at our associate clinics. As well as providing home-based exercise programs, our physiotherapists can assist with the prescription of Assistive Technology.
Please note that some of the information above has been extracted from details provided by the NDIS (www.ndis.gov.au) and that which is contained in the applicable Act (National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013- C2013C00388).