Who is part of the Assistive Technology for Older People (ATOP) alliance?
ATOP is an alliance of the following Victorian and peak disability advocacy organisations and consumer advocates:
- Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria
- Polio Australia
- Motor Neurone Disease Association of Victoria (MND)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Australia
- Blind Citizens Australia (BCA)
- People with Disabilities Australia (PWDA)
- Post Polio Victoria
- Bayside Polio Group
- Limbs 4 Life
- Vision Australia
- Australian Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology Association (ARATA).
ATOP has come together to explore the service gaps that continue to exist for older people with a disability who do not meet the age eligibility requirements for the NDIS. This means anyone who is over 65 years of age when the NDIS rolls out in their area needs to turn to other service systems to access support.
What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology is a powerful tool that facilitates the independence, participation and inclusion of Victorians with disability. Failing to provide people with disability with the assistive technology they require is not only detrimental to the quality of life of those involved, but will also increase costs to health and social services over time. This is because without the appropriate support, many people with disability are unable to remain physically active, cannot participate fully in community activities and are forced to unnecessarily rely on other people for support.
COTA Victoria is committed to working as an Alliance member to address the issues of:
- Age Discrimination in how we fund and support services for older people with disability
- A state based program of AT funding that is under-funded, difficult to access with long waiting lists.
- The inadequacy of Home Care Packages to meet AT needs and funding caps
- Developing targeted, disability – specific information to help older people understand where and how to access AT
- Sufficient funding to meet the low cost and high cost AT requirements of older Victorians with disability into the future
- Equitable and timely AT
In the longer term we are calling on the Victorian government to champion the cause for the introduction of a national aids and equipment program for older people with disability
No individual should have less support because they have reached 65
You can read our Alliance Communique calling for action on Assitive Technology for Older people here: