Subsidy funding is available under the Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme (MASS) to support eligible Queenslanders who require a communication aid.
- Artificial larynges
- Speech generating devices
- Voice amplification devices
- Communication software that allows a client to communicate with voice output using displays of symbols, words, a keyboard or a combination of these
- Approved accessories for communication aids such as batteries, charger, carry case, switchskins/moisture guards, keyguards, basic accessing devices/switches, microphones
- Specialised accessories required to access a speech generating device, such as wheelchair mounting systems, switch mounts, and specialised switches/accessing devices
MASS does not subsidise
- software programs for the sole purpose of producing AAC resources
- mobile internet devices (eg. iPads) or applications for mobile internet devices
- laptop or desktop computers
- voice prostheses
- low-tech communication aids.
All speech pathologists in Queensland are eligible prescribers for MASS communication aids.
How to prescribe
To ensure the most suitable communication aid is prescribed, you must trial the equipment adequately. This applies to all types of communication devices – artificial larynges, voice amplification devices, communication software and speech generating devices.
For Speech Generating Devices, this should involve at least two trials over a two to four week period with the applicant, family members and the applicant’s team. This allows you to make an informed decision about the most suitable device for the applicant’s language, communication and access needs. Prescribers can use the Communication Aids Trial Information and Proforma Form (PDF 208 kB) This is NOT an application form, but can be submitted to support the application. It can assist in documenting:
- the applicant’s success in communicating messages
- ease of access and set up of additional equipment
- capacity to meet changing needs now and in the future
- suitability in a range of environments eg. home environment, portability, volume
- suitability of communication partners
- applicant preferences
- ability of family and team to use, support and maintain the device and any accessories.
To access an aid to trial, prescribers need to contact commercial suppliers, below. For advice, please contact the MASS Principal Communication Aids Advisor
Once a suitable device has been selected, work with the client to complete the relevant application forms for the type of equipment requested. Specific eligibility, application and documentation requirements are provided in both the MASS General Guidelines (PDF 248 kB) (currently being reviewed due to NDIS and NIIS) and specific application guidelines for the type of aid.
MASS expects that communication aids will last a minimum of five years. The device should not need to be replaced within this time unless the client’s condition changes and they need a different device.
Application guidelines (including current subsidy amounts)
- Application Guidelines for Artificial Larynges (PDF 205 kB)
- Application Guidelines for Communication Software (PDF 242 kB)
- Application Guidelines for Speech Generating Devices (PDF 178 kB)
- Application Guidelines for Voice Amplification Devices (PDF 301 kB)
- MASS 21 - Communication Aids Application Form (PDF 360 kB) (to be completed by all applicants)
- Communication Aids Trial Information Form (PDF 208 kB)
Select one of the following to suit the type of aid requesting:
- MASS 21 - Artificial Larynx Application Form (PDF 481 kB)
- MASS 21 - Communication Software Application Form (PDF 557 kB)
- MASS 21 - Speech Generating Device Application Form (PDF 606 kB)
- MASS 21 - Voice Amplification Device Application Form (PDF 479 kB)
MASS holds a selection of second hand communication aids which are available for reissue. Refer to the following information for a list of equipment and the process for trial: MASS stock equipment (updated July 2016)
Information for clients
- Communication Aids Information Sheet (PDF 93 kB)
- Artificial Larynx Care Information Sheet (PDF 517 kB)
- Voice Amplification Device Care Information Sheet (PDF 103 kB)
- Speech Generating Device Care Information Sheet (PDF 82 kB)
Advice and clinical support
Please contact the MASS Principal Communication Aids Advisor.