National Assistive Technology Alliance

 

The National Assistive Technology Alliance (NATA) is an initiative of the AT sector in Australia.

NATA’s vision is to ensure a positive future for all AT stakeholders by working collaboratively to influence policy and industry standards and practice for the AT sector.

NATA was initiated in April 2017 by several Independent Living Centres and ARATA (Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association), collaborating and connecting with the AT sector in response to rapid policy change. NATA Is now a community of practice of nearly 20 peak national stakeholders. This broad-based Alliance welcomes nationally-focussed organisations concerned with assistive technology use, innovation, manufacture, supply, provision, service delivery, research, education or oversight.

Assistive Technology (AT) is a growing industry in Australia and recent figures tell us that one in ten Australians are using aids and equipment. Once a highly specialised field, AT has become more broadly used in the wider community. This has led to an expansion not only in the people that use the equipment but those who are recommending and prescribing such equipment. Government spending is now occurring beyond the traditional areas of disability, aged care and community sectors into education, early childhood, workplace/job access, housing and beyond.

NATA Participants fall into five broad stakeholder groups

  • AT Consumers
  • AT Practitioners
  • AT Services
  • AT Suppliers
  • AT researchers/ educators


NATA is an unincorporated entity with an organising committee comprising a nominee from each of these stakeholder groups (AFDO, AHPA, Lifetec, ARATA, ATSA) and an Independent Chair, nominated for a 12 month period.

Quarterly teleconferences and an annual face to face have generated substantial shared knowledge and information that is connecting stakeholders on matters of mutual concern and pooled sector knowledge to contribute to research and policy initiatives. As a centralised point for knowledge sharing and a portal for communication across the diverse sector, the Alliance’s activities are prioritised by participants.

NATA Participants currently include:-

  • Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association ARATA
  • Ability First Australia
  • Australian Association of Gerontology
  • Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA)
  • AGOSCI (was Australian Group on Severe Communication Impairment)
  • Allied Health Professionals Australia (AHPA)
  • Assistive Technology Suppliers Australia ATSA
  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO)
  • Australian Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA)
  • Blind Citizens Australia
  • Council on the Ageing (COTA)
  • Consumer Action
  • Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA)
  • Home Modifications Australia (MODA)
  • Independent Living Centre SA (recently closed - key contacts remain)
  • Independent Living Centre VIC (recently closed - key contacts remain)
  • Independent Living Centre WA (Indigo)
  • LifeTec Australia (formerly ILC Qld)
  • National Committee on Rehabilitation Engineering (NCRE)
  • National Disability Services
  • Occupational Therapy Australia
  • Orthoptics Australia
  • Rights & Inclusion Australia
  • Speech Pathology Australia (SPA)
  • TAD Australia (Technical Aid to the Disabled)
  • University educators in AT

NATA and the NDIS

NATA have represented the assistive technology sector on the NDIA Industry Reference Group (IRG) since 2018. Meeting three times annually, the NDIS IRG complements other NDIA engagement and consultation mechanisms including the Independent Advisory Council, the CEO Forum, the National Mental Health Reference Group, the Carer Reform Working Group and the Participant Reference Group. The IRG full day meetings provide opportunities for dialogue with the NDIA on all matters pertaining to AT and related specialist disability supports.

NATA and AT for older people

Assistive technology is an essential support for older people in the community or in residential aged care settings. Substantial equity issues exist for Australia's older population in terms of funding access. NATA are proud to support the work of Assistive Technology for All (ATFA).  AFTA is an alliance of organisations from across the ageing and disability sectors. It is a response to growing concern about the lack of access to assistive technology for all people who are not eligible for the NDIS.

NATA contact point

Contact NATA by emailing secretariat@nata.org.au

Contact the NATA Independent Chair:  Dr Natasha Layton of ARATA by emailing natasha@natashalayton.com.au