Archaic WA rule blocks special bicycle orders for NDIS claims

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“The department and the government, when these things are brought to their attention they need to be more nimble and just fix it, it was an easy one to fix,” he said.

“The consequence of this is that there are many people on the NDIS who were trying to access tricycles over the past 18 months and haven’t been able to, over the past 18 months they haven’t been able to be mobile.

“We’ve got to make this kind of mobility as easy as possible for people, it’s good stuff and it’s an easy win.”

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WAtoday is aware of at least two cases where the NDIS administrator, the NDIA, refused funding for a person with a disability attempting to purchase a specially made bike because of the laws.

In one instance a teenage boy and his family appealed their rejection and managed to get the bike but the eastern states retailer, who wished to remain anonymous, said it was a long process and the boy was left frustrated by the process.

An NDIA spokeswoman said it was aware of the specific width regulations and assessors were required to be aware of it when considering requests for bikes and trikes.

“The NDIA works closely with participants to seek alternate options, where required, to ensure they have the disability-related supports they need,” she said.

Technology for Ageing and Disability WA chief executive Steve Pretzel said custom bikes and trikes were increasingly important for people with disabilities as well as older Australians.

“We have a lot of customers who get a great benefit from adapted bikes and trikes and there’s a whole emerging market for older people who need a little bit more stability,” he said.

Pretzel said it didn’t make sense to leave the regulations as they were.

“It’s easy to say, ‘well, look, it’s dormant, no one’s enforcing it, it’s not a problem’, but why leave things sitting there?” he said,

“It’s out of date, no longer required and is creating a potential impediment to the quality of people’s lives.”

The WA Police Force is currently conferring with the Department of Transport to see if exemptions are required, as the force uses bikes which measure up to 790mm across.



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