NDIS participants can consult an audiologist at no cost to them if: 1) they have severe, permanent hearing impairment, 2) they are at least 26 years of age, and 3) they are not already receiving help from the Hearing Services Program (HSP), Australia’s main agency for assisting people with hearing impairments.
For participants who meet these conditions, the NDIS will cover funding for audiologist services. Some audiology centres will provide free hearing assessments to NDIS participants. Following a diagnosis of hearing loss, they will provide subsidised technology (e.g. hearing aids and accessories) and services. To become eligible for subsidies, evidence of your hearing loss—typically in the form of a report by your audiologist or audiometrist—has to be demonstrated.
An audiologist will also work with NDIS participants to determine which types of assistive technology are needed. Examples include:
- Alert systems (e.g. doorbells, smoke alarms, baby cry alerts)
- Adapted telephones
- Music devices
- Personal amplifiers
- Bluetooth accessories
- Remote controls
- TV devices
- Microphone systems
By using such technology, hearing impaired individuals will be able to improve their communication, giving them more confidence to secure employment, participate in their community, engage in social interaction, and reach their personal goals.
In order for hearing technology or services to be covered by your NDIS plan, they have to be prescribed by your audiologist, who should be able to provide you with a price quote. Make sure that your audiologist knows that his or her treatments are being funded by the NDIS.
For any complex or specialised assistive devices, your audiologist will work with you to complete the appropriate application forms, which are then submitted to the NDIS for review.
If you need a hearing assessment in order to apply for NDIS coverage (meaning you are not already a participant), be prepared to pay for it out of pocket, as such assessments are generally not funded by the NDIS.