Understanding functional assessment
Before we dig into what functional assessment is, let us take a short recap on the eligibility requirements set by the NDIS. Aside from the basic criteria, the participant should be able to provide evidence of disability like intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical or attributable to a psychosocial condition or disability, impairment is likely to be permanent / lifetime, impairment/s affect their capacity for social or economic participation and impairments that substantially reduced functional capacity.
Your functional capacity
Functional capacity talks about certain aspects of the individual with a disability and its impact in terms of the following :
Undertaking personal related activities like grooming, taking a bath, getting dressed and undressed
· Self- management
Includes decision-making skills, problem-solving skills
In two aspects -being able to express one's needs through verbal or non-verbal cues appropriate to age or child’s milestone and also having the ability to understand and comprehend instructions, communication tools or simply being able to relate with other people
· Social interaction
Ability to socialize, interact with other people, ability to process emotions that are expected with the individual’s age.
Individual’s ability to move around the house or to the community
· Motor skills
Individual’s ability to walk, grip,stand
Includes being able to comprehend lessons, learn new skills, and apply it
So what does "substantially reduced functional capacity" mean?
1. An individual needing assistive technology or home modifications to perform tasks. ATs like walking sticks, handrails.
2. An individual needing assistive technology to engage in activities like a powered wheelchair. It is also important to note that the NDIA will evaluate the person’s episodic or functional capacity of the individual to partake or engage in activities.
3. An individual needing assistance from another person like a support worker. It is important to note that the NDIA will take into consideration the person's need for assistance in relation to normal expectations in terms of age.
The NDIA’s decision regarding the participant’s application will be communicated in writing. In the event that your application is being rejected, your previous access request may be reviewed by the NDIA.
This year’s upcoming changes are said to be beneficial to participants as independent assessments will be implemented. This means that an individual no longer has to make the effort and time to gather proof of disability and take functional assessments as the NDIA will take full responsibility for doing that on behalf of the participant.
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