Applying for assistive technology

Once you have confirmed your student is eligible, follow our simple 3-step process to apply for assistive technology

Step 1: Set up a team

Set up an assistive technology team with 1 person who will take responsibility for coordinating the team. This person will make sure the team completes all tasks related to assessing a student’s learning needs and applying for assistive technology.

The team's also responsible for any ongoing administration, management and use of the technology.

The student and members of the student’s family or whānau must be part of this team. In some cases, you may have a team already set up as part of the education planning process.

Step 2: Complete an assessment

Download and complete the following form.

Assistive technology form — Assessment and application [DOCX, 170 KB]

To help the team we use the internationally recognised SETT (student, environment, tasks, tools) framework to assess and ensure informed decisions are made when considering what assistive technologies the student requires. Contact your local assistive technology coordinator for more information or assistance with this.

Local Ministry offices

Download the following assessment framework information sheet.

Assistive technology information sheet — Assessment framework [DOCX, 331 KB]

Begin the assessment

Gather the information and fill out the form as you go:

Step A — complete sections 1-6

  1. With the team, the student and their family/whānau collate the information that reflects the shared team understanding about the student and the learning environment.
  2. Clarify the purpose of the assistive technology application (the sstudent's specific learning goals).
  3. Obtain baseline data to show what the student can and can't do now without the assistive technology (related to the specific learning goals).
  4. Collect a representative piece of work showing what the student is achieving now (pre-trial sample).

Step B — complete sections 7-8

  1. The team collectively decide on the technology items to trial including discussing options with your school, specialists and local Assistive Technology Coordinator if required (don’t limit yourself to what you already know).
  2. Trial the assistive technology and record student's learning outcomes — most trials take 1-2 weeks. In complex cases this can take longer as you may need to trial a variety of equipment options.
  3. Collect a representative sample of work showing what the student is achieving at or near the end of the trial (post trial sample).
  4. Attach analysed pre- and post-trial work samples relevant to the assistive technology application.
  5. At the end of the trial the team will know if you need to apply for assistive technology funding or not. Either you won’t go any further with your application because the trial results show that it's not the right equipment for the student, or you'll go to Step C and finish completing the Ministry of Education assessment application form.

Step C – complete section 9-15

Get a cost-effective quote from a preferred supplier for the items required and attach to the application. Write the details into section 9, completing all boxes as they're set out.

If the quote for the items seems expensive, the Ministry of Education Assistive Technology Coordinator may source one from an All-of-Government (AOG) supplier.

Extra information to help with assessments or applications

Government agency protocol information

Visit the Ministry of Health's website for the Education and Health Therapy and Assistive Technology/Equipment Protocols. This clarifies the respective funding roles and responsibilities for assistive technology.

Equipment and Modification Services — Ministry of Health (external link)

Download the ACC's protocol between the Ministry of Education and ACC. This clarifies the respective funding roles and responsibilities for assistive technology.

Protocol between the Ministry of Education and ACC — ACC website (external link)

Applying for joint funding

Download the joint funding information sheet to decide whether to apply for joint funding (between the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health).

Assistive technology information sheet — Joint funding

Assistive technology application form — Joint funding

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) information sheet

Download the Auditory Processing Disorder information sheet for information on how to support students with APD.

Assistive technology information sheet — Auditory Processing Disorder [DOCX, 64 KB]

Assistive technology application form — Auditory Processing Disorder [DOCX, 158 KB]

The New Zealand Guidelines on Auditory Processing Disorder provide guidance to professionals supporting children and young people with Auditory Processing Disorder. The guidelines are available on the New Zealand Audiological Society website.

Auditory Processing Disorder (external link)

Step 3: Submit the application

The last step in the process is to submit your completed assessment and application form to the local assistive technology coordinator.

Local Ministry offices

Applications can be made at any time, but are only considered at the monthly moderation meetings.

Around 2 weeks after your application has been considered at the moderation meeting we’ll write to your school, letting you know the outcome of your application.

Getting the assistive technology 

We'll either arrange for you to get the assistive technology directly from us or will fund you to buy it.

If the level of funding differs from the application quote then you'll need to apply for additional funding using a variation form.

Assistive technology form — Variation [DOCX, 58 KB]

Ask for a review if you're not happy with the outcome

You can ask to have an assistive technology application outcome reviewed when:

  1. there's a concern procedures haven't been followed
  2. there's a dispute about the moderation decision.

Start the process by first talking to your local assistive technology coordinator.

If you want to go further, you can make a written request for a review to the National Coordinator for Assistive Technology. You'll receive a written response within 10 days.

You can either post your request or email it.

Post to:

National Assistive Technology Coordinator
Ministry of Education
PO Box 1666
Thorndon
Wellington

Email: learning.supportmailbox@education.govt.nz

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