Who can apply for assistive technology

Assistive technology allows students with additional learning needs to take part in the environment they learn in. Find out who can apply and what to do before applying for assistive technology.

Who can apply for assistive technology

To be able to apply for assistive technology a student will:

  • be enrolled in compulsory education 
  • have a specific learning need and has difficulty following the curriculum using standard classroom technology
  • be supported by a relevant learning support service like:
    • Ongoing Resourcing Scheme
    • Speech-Language (Communication) Service
    • Behaviour and Support Service (BSS)
    • Physical Disability Support Service
    • Services for Blind and Low Vision
    • Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
    • School High Health Needs Fund
    • In class support (ICS).

Or be receiving additional learning support in school.

The student must meet all of the following requirements:

  • has a current individual learning support plan, for example an IEP, and
  • be at least 1 level below expected NZ curriculum level, and
  • be receiving ongoing monitoring/ support by school leader of additional learning, for example, SENCo, Learning Support Coordinator, and
  • is receiving additional adult support. Minimum of 2 hours 1:1 (individual) or 4 hours (small group) per week. That is, from teacher, RTLB, RTLit or teacher aides. This support has been in place for at least 3 months.

In addition, a school student must be attending a registered school (compulsory education) or be formally exempt from school but residing in New Zealand.

For some specialist equipment a formal diagnosis is required as part of the application. The specialist assistive technology being applied for must be relevant to the eligibility selected.

Assistive technology support is available for individual students only (not groups of students). The assistive technology fund supports student's presence, participation/engagement and learning.

The following eligibility information sheet can help you decide which students are eligible for assistive technology.

Assistive technology information sheet — Eligibility [DOCX, 54 KB]

Before applying for assistive technology

Assistive technology isn't the only way to meet a student's additional learning needs. Sometimes adapting the curriculum or changing the learning environment can also work really well.

You may find that some of the following small changes help your student.

  • Assess your students’ learning needs and identify any barriers to learning.
  • Check to see if adapting the curriculum for a student is sufficient to meet their learning needs. This could include increasing the use of small group work, reducing the number of tasks a student must achieve, or simplifying content.
  • Check to see if changing the learning environment helps, for example, adjust the lighting or room acoustics or move the student’s seating position in relation to the classroom teacher.
  • Try small, inexpensive equipment such as pencil grips or timers to see if these help.
  • Check to see if you can meet the specific learning needs of your students by using standard school technology available for student use. This includes where students bring and use their own technology to access the school learning and networks.

If you've explored these options and your student still needs assistive technology, complete an assessment and apply for assistive technology

Applying for assistive technology

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback