Electronic Communication Devices Scheme

The Electronic Communication Devices Scheme (ECDS) is a state-wide service that subsidises speech generating communication devices and software for people who have no speech or speech that is difficult to understand.

The scheme also subsidises specialised equipment to make it physically easier for people with disability to use speech-generating devices.

We provide you with:

  • speech generating devices (SGD) i.e. communication devices that provide you with a voice
  • speech generating software and apps
  • voice amplifiers which increase speech volume, and
  • external speakers for communication devices.

Following advice from an occupational therapist, the scheme can also provide:

  • mounting systems to hold the device in position, and
  • special switches to allow people to use the device  (e.g. for those with a physical impairment that makes it difficult for them to press keys on the device).

Support

We also provide support to ensure you can use your equipment effectively. This includes:

  • up to two hours of training on the equipment for your local therapist
  • options for troubleshooting and equipment repair, and
  • a twelve month follow up with you to make sure everything is going well.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

As of 1 July 2013, Yooralla's ECDS became an in kind provider for speech generating devices, communication software and apps, mounting systems and specialised switches for NDIS participants in nominated Local Government Areas within the Barwon region.

How to apply

How to apply for equipment if you are a NDIS participant

Speech pathologists and occupational therapists can apply for communication equipment for children and adults through the Electronic Communication Devices Scheme.

Forms required include the following:

  • Speech Pathology Report form
  • Occupational Therapy report
  • A current quote from an approved supplier

Please note:  Mainstream equipment items such as computers and phones are not funded however tablet devices such as iPads and iPods and protective cases will be considered if prescribed with an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app to be used as a speech generating device.

Equipment trials

To ensure your equipment is suitable, we recommend it be trialled for at least two weeks in places the person will be using it to make sure that it is the best fit for the individual. 

Equipment can be hired through specialist suppliers or Yooralla's Equipment Library.

Specialist suppliers include:

How to apply for equipment if you are not a NDIS participant

Speech pathologists and occupational therapists can apply for communication equipment for children and adults through the Electronic Communication Devices Scheme.

Forms required include the following:

  • Speech Pathology Report form
  • Occupational Therapy report
  • A current quote from an approved supplier
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) Victorian Aids and Equipment Application form (VAEP form)
  • A doctor’s signature to confirm the person has a disability (this is only needed once by ECDS)

Mainstream equipment items such as computers and mobile devices e.g. iPads are not funded.

The statewide ECDS funds equipment up to the value of $7000 for children and adults.

Only one communication device is funded per client per 12 month period.

Equipment trials

To ensure your equipment is suitable, we recommend it be trialled for at least two weeks in places the person will be using it to make sure that it is the best fit for the individual. 

Equipment can be hired through specialist suppliers or Yooralla's Equipment Library.

Specialist suppliers include:

Resources

All participants

 

Download: Speech Pathology Report Form (150kb) 150kb ECDS-Speech-Pathology-Report-Form.docx

 

Download: Occupational Therapy Report Guidelines (Word, 115kb) 115kb ECDS-Occupational-Therapy-Report-Guidelines.docx

 

Download: ECDS Form Guidelines (Word, 60kb) 62kb ECDS-Form-Guidelines.docx

 

Download: Trialing Equipment Guidelines (Word, 57kb) 58kb ECDS-Trialling-Equipment-Guidelines.docx

Non-NDIS participants

 

Download: VAEP Application Form (Word, 155kb) 159kb DHS-VAEP-Application-form.doc

Contact

To find out more about our Electronic Communication Devices Scheme, please contact us.

Phone: 1300 885 886 (VIC only)
Or:
03 9362 6111 (National)
TTY:
03 9687 0301
Email:
ecds@yooralla.com.au
Address:
Shop C1, Central West Shopping Centre, 67 Ashley Street, Braybrook VIC 3019.

To speak to us in a language other than English please call us via the Telephone Interpreter Service on 13 14 50.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, please contact us through the National Relay Service.

For information on Independent Living Centres outside Victoria, please visit the Independent Living Centres Australia website.

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