Allied Health's Role in Disability Support - Maple Services
Allied Health’s Role in Disability Support

Allied Health’s Role in Disability Support

Introduction to Allied Health

Allied Health is a team of healthcare workers who work with doctors, nurses, and specialists to help patients get better. These workers can be physiotherapists, chiropractors, speech therapists, and more. They use special tools and skills to diagnose and treat patients in places like hospitals, clinics, schools, and private practices. Allied Health is really important in making sure patients get better and feel better and is a very important part of the healthcare system.

Allied Health Funding under NDIS

As a NDIS participant, it’s natural to have questions about funding for allied health services and how it fits into your plan. The NDIS has established pricing arrangements and price limits to regulate the costs of these services. These measures ensure that participants receive fair pricing and value for each service they access, regardless of how they manage their plan.

In the case of

  • Self-managed participants: It is mandatory to make direct payments to the providers for the services received.
  • Plan-managed participants: They have the assistance of a manager who facilitates the claiming process.
  • NDIS-managed participants: They must have someone who handle the invoicing and payments through the MyPlace provider portal.

It’s important to note that the amount allocated to allied health services may vary based on each participant’s funding level. However, rest assured that the NDIS has designed a comprehensive funding system to support participants in accessing the services they need to achieve their goals.

Role of Allied Health in NDIS

Allied health professionals play a crucial role in supporting people with disabilities in their NDIS plans. They focus on improving individuals’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being, helping them lead more independent and fulfilling lives. These professionals work in various fields to provide specialised care. 

  • Physiotherapists and Exercise physiologists, who help improve strength, mobility, and coordination.
  • Occupational therapists assist with skill development and adapting to the environment, while speech therapists address communication difficulties.
  • Dietitians provide guidance on nutrition to manage chronic conditions.

Allied health professionals collaborate closely with individuals with disabilities to create customised care plans and offer ongoing support to ensure their continued health and well-being. With the help of allied health professionals, people with disabilities can live their lives to the fullest.

Success of Allied Health

The 2018 allied health disability workforce strategy and action plan aims to ensure that people with disability and developmental delay with NDIS plans in regional, rural, and remote Tasmania have access to relevant therapy supports to achieve their goals.

This will be achieved through the following outcomes:

  • By attracting and retaining allied health providers to work with people with disabilities and developmental delays, we ensure that people with disabilities and developmental delays and relevant stakeholders can access allied health services, whether they live in a regional, rural, or remote area or in the major cities;
  • By ensuring allied health service providers can operate sustainably under the NDIS; and strengthening the skills and knowledge of the allied health and disability support workforces to better meet the therapy support needs of people with disability.

The success rates of allied health services for people with disability can vary depending on several factors:  

  • Type and severity of the disability,
  • Age of the patient,
  • Nature of the intervention,
  • Overall quality of care.

However, studies have shown that allied health services can have a significant positive impact on the health outcomes and quality of life for people with disabilities.

Effectiveness of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy for children with Cerebral Palsy

A review of research on the effectiveness of physical therapy for children with cerebral palsy found that physical therapy interventions can improve the following:

  • Motor function,
  • walking ability,
  • Muscle strength

Similarly, occupational therapy interventions have been shown to improve the independence and daily living skills of adults with developmental disabilities.

Overall, while success rates may vary depending on individual circumstances, research suggests that allied health services can be highly beneficial for people with disabilities, improving their physical, cognitive, and mental health outcomes, and enhancing their overall quality of life.

Disability benefits from Allied Health

Access to Multidisciplinary Team in Allied Health

Allied health offers people with disabilities access to a multidisciplinary team that works together to address their care needs. The team adapts to each patient’s unique journey and changing needs, aiming to provide comprehensive and timely care. Communication, coordination, respect, trust, and transparency are key values for the team.

The team needs clear definitions of roles, outcomes, and delivery modes, as well as policies, procedures, systems, and protocols. The team may include general practitioners, nurses, allied health professionals, health educators, and specialists. An effective team benefits both patients and practitioners, with increased satisfaction, better time management, efficient resource use, and improved health outcomes.

Allied health has proven to be effective for people with disabilities, as many studies have shown. Here are some additional examples:

  1. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is an effective way to improve functional outcomes, reduce pain, and enhance quality of life for individuals with various disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis. It involves exercises, manual therapy, and assistive devices like braces and splints.
  1. Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy enhances daily living skills, independence, and participation in meaningful activities for people with disabilities. It can also prevent secondary health complications and reduce the need for other healthcare services. This therapy includes adaptive equipment, environmental modifications, and task-specific training.
  1. Speech therapy: Speech therapy can improve communication and swallowing abilities for people with disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, autism, and traumatic brain injury. Augmentative and alternative communication devices, speech exercises, and feeding therapy are common interventions.
  1. Psychological therapy: Psychological interventions, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, are effective in treating mental health conditions like depression and anxiety in individuals with disabilities. It can also improve coping skills and adjustment to disability.

People with different conditions can benefit from allied health interventions, as they can improve their function, quality of life, and ease their disability. However, these interventions work better when they match the person’s needs, preferences, and commitment to treatment.

Common Misconceptions about Allied Health

  • One of the common misconceptions about allied health in the disability sector stem from a lack of awareness and education about their roles and services.
  • Another one is that allied health professionals only provide services, without contributing to a patient’s overall care.
  • Allied health services are not essential and can be easily replaced or removed from a patient’s care plan.

However, this is not the case. Allied health professionals play a vital role in assessing and managing a patient’s physical, cognitive, and mental health needs, working closely with other health professionals in a multidisciplinary team approach. They provide specialised expertise and evidence-based interventions that are tailored to each patient’s unique needs. These services can have a significant impact on a patient’s overall health outcomes and quality of life, particularly in the context of disability where patients may require ongoing support and management.

PFP and their services

PFP mission is to connect people with disabilities to providers who understand their unique needs, offer flexible plans, and maximise their budget. Pro-Form Physiotherapy provides high-quality healthcare, collaborating with participants to assess their functional capacity and create custom plans. Our mobile service offers flexibility to receive care at home or in the clinic to improve their quality of life.


Physiotherapists and chiropractors help reduce pain and improve movement by assessing, diagnosing, and treating impairments with a variety of therapeutic modalities such as massage, dry needling and joint mobilisations.


Exercise physiologists help to maintain or increase your physical mobility or well-being by teaching you exercises to help you perform activities of daily living safely and confidently.


Occupational Therapists help to provide advice and recommendations to make life easier. They are skilled at providing functional capacity assessments, prescribing special assistive equipment as well as recommending home modifications.


Podiatrists help to keep your feet, ankle and lower limbs healthy through skin care, shoe modifications, orthotics and treatment.


Personal trainers help by providing supervised strength and conditioning training to equip you to engage in physical wellbeing activities thereby promoting and encouraging improved physical capacity and health.


Speech pathologists help to improve your ability to communicate including literacy, speech, fluency, swallowing, language, pitch and tone.

Maple Community Services x Pro-Form Physiotherapy

Exciting news! Pro-Form Physiotherapy is now partnering with Maple Community Services, a top NDIS provider with a caring attitude and expertise in disability support. Together, we aim to make a powerful impact on lives across NSW by providing easy access to first-class NDIS disability support.