ComTEC Support Services for Therapists
If you have a client and you would like to explore options for:
- speech generating devices,
- accessibility technology,
- communication apps
- or software that may be suitable
if you feel overwhelmed when considering the range of assistive technology options available, we can support you in a number of ways to meet your client’s goals and needs.
We can provide a range of support options including:
If you would like to discuss assistive technology options that you are considering for your client and you would like to explore these in more depth with a ComTEC therapist, you can request one or more sessions via phone, Zoom or, if travel is within the NDIS 30 minute limit, you can request in person sessions.
If you would like to learn more about the setup and programming of a particular speech generating device, communication app or software, you can request one or more sessions via Zoom.
Support and Implementation
If your client has a speech generating device, communication app, software or alternative mouse / switch for a computer and you would like some support in successfully implementing and embedding their use in your client’s daily life, you can request one or more sessions via Zoom or, if travel is within the NDIS 30 minute limit, you can request in person sessions.
If you would like some support in programming or troubleshooting the setup and functions of a speech generating device, communication app or software, you can request one or more sessions via Zoom.
If your client has difficulty physically accessing computers, the TV, or technology for communication and you would like to explore alternative assistive technology options you can request one or more sessions via Zoom or, if travel is within the NDIS 30 minute limit, you can request in person sessions.
If your client uses a wheelchair and / or would like to access their speech generating device or computer from bed, our ComTEC Occupational Therapists can provide support including difficulty exploring options and trialling equipment, you can request one or more sessions via Zoom or, if travel is within the NDIS 30 minute limit, you can request in person sessions.
If you would like ComTEC to provide a presentation and or demonstration of a range of assistive technology options to an individual or group of therapists at an organisation, school or private practice, which does not relate to a specific client, we can arrange a session or series of session via Zoom or in person, tailored to your specific requirements. Please contact us for a quotation.
The Referral Process
Once a ComTEC Referral form is completed, including consent from your client, our referral process includes
- New Referral: new referrals are submitted by the Speech Pathologist or Occupational Therapist, The ComTEC Referral form is completed in relation to clients who are NDIS participants (or privately funded clients) or for professional development.
- Screening: All referrals are screened. If any details need clarifying, our senior clinician will contact your Speech Pathologist or Occupational Therapist to discuss further.
- If the service relates to an NDIS participant, a detailed estimate including a breakdown of service components, and a service agreement including the number of hours of service, is sent to your client and / or family for approval.
- If the service relates to a client who is not an NDIS participant e.g. privately funded, a detailed estimate including a breakdown of service components is sent to your client and / or family or funding body for approval
- If the service is a professional development service, a quotation is sent to the requester for approval
- Delivery of Services: you will be contacted to arrange a suitable appointment time/s once the funding has been approved.
- Follow up: if at any time you would like additional sessions or a different type of ComTEC service, please complete another ComTEC referral form or contact the ComTEC team on the details below.
I am not sure this is an appropriate referral / I'm new to this
All referrals are screened by our ComTEC Senior Clinicians If and details need clarifying, our Senior Clinician will contact your Speech Pathologist or Occupational Therapist to discuss further.
There are some parts of the referral I cannot complete
That's ok. As we offer a range of different services covering a number of assistive technology areas, there may be questions that are not relevant to your referral.
How long is the wait for an appointment?
Wait times can vary depending on the availability of your referring therapist and a day or time that suits you.
We prioritise people with progressive conditions.
What is the best app?
There is no one best app! We select a range of apps/software/equipment to demonstrate in the ComTEC Consultation session, based on the individual's goals and prior discussion with the referring Speech Pathologist or Occupational Therapist.
How many hours should I include in my NDIS plan for the ComTEC service?
We recommend allowing approximately 10 hours for single ComTEC therapist session and 16.5 hours for joint ComTEC Occupational Therapist / Speech Pathologist sessions.
A ComTEC Occupational Therapist will attend the session if options for alterative access are required e.g. switches, scanning, mounting.
If additional training sessions and / or travel is required, the number of hours required will be higher.
Please note that if your goals for the session include more than one technology area, for example, communication and access, it is likely that more than one advisory session will be needed.
What do the hours in the ComTEC estimate and service agreement involve?
The ComTEC Consultation service includes the following components:
- Initial screening, case history review, information gathering and goal setting: This is a one hour information gathering session between the ComTEC therapist and the referring therapist to discuss the individual person’s needs and the desired outcomes for the ComTEC service.
- Preparation: This includes researching specific assistive technology options, equipment programming, set up and preparation of equipment.
- Advisory / Consultation session: This runs for 1.5 to 2 hours and includes presentation and discussion of different assistive technology options including demonstration of devices, discussion of technology and strategies.
- Information/Action Summary: Information sourcing and compilation of technology options discussed and demonstrated during the consultation session including emailed information and links to important sources / suppliers.
Follow Up – additional time for further discussion with the referring therapist following the ComTEC Consultation service
Advisory sessions generally last between 1.5 and 2 hours, meaning that if it is a joint ComTEC Occupational Therapist / Speech Pathlogist session, this will equate to up to 4 hours. Session summaries take between 3 hours (for single therapist sessions) to 4 hours (for joint therapist sessions), depending on the amount of research / sourcing of information required. Some of the ComTEC service provided involves work done without the person present. For example, communication with the primary therapist, researching different technologies which may be appropriate, programming devices etc.Only services delivered will be charged.
What is a session summary?
The session summary details essential information provided during the session including; session goals, list of technology demonstrated with pictures and links, and actions from the session.
I am a therapist and want to know more about supporting participants using assistive technology.
ComTEC offer professional development sessions for therapists, teachers, and carers, to learn more about their chosen area of assistive technology.
Professional Development sessions are charged at $220 per hour (inclusive of GST) via Zoom or in person.
There are extra costs involved for larger groups and if travel is required.
Is there anything I can do to speed up the wait time?
Ensure the referral is filled in accurately and includes as much detail as possible including the participant's NDIS Plan number, the plan start and end date and if the NDIS plan is Plan Manager, who the Plan Manager is.
The more flexible the participant / family / referring therapists are with appointment times, the easier arranging an appointment time will be. If you have work commitments, please state which days will not work on the ComTEC referral form.
We can only proceed with an appointment booking once the estimate and service agreement has been signed by the participant / family member.
Why does the referring therapist have to attend the ComTEC session?
The referring therapist will be supporting the person throughout their Assistive Technology trials and they will also be responsible for writing the request for funding report. Therefore, it is important they are involved in the consultation process.
Referring therapists can attend via Zoom, eliminating travel time.
Why can't I get through to the ComTEC enquiry line?
Previously, ComTEC was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as an information service. Part of the ComTEC information service was to provide a telephone and email enquiry service.
As all DHHS funding has been transitioned to the NDIS, we are no longer funded to provide the ComTEC enquiry service.
You can still access ComTEC information and advice by booking a consulation, training or support or professional development session.
What is the ‘Initial Screening / Information Gathering’ part of the service for?
This is conducted via phone/video call and can include the referring therapist and / or participant / family.
This is important for clarifying goals and gathering further information on the participant's communication needs.
Submit a referral
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.