What is an OT Functional Assessment?

An Occupational Therapy (OT) Functional Assessment is all about helping you achieve your goals. The assessment works to determine your current level of functioning, what your strengths and weaknesses may be, how you manage on a day-to-day basis and to identify any challenges or gaps that may need to be addressed. It can provide recommendations of the supports and services you may need, not only with an OT but also in other areas like speech pathology or psychology.

Following the functional assessment, your Occupational Therapist (OT) can make recommendations to increase your independence through therapy goals like developing or enhancing skills, assistive technology or environmental changes, and working towards goals including social and community participation.

What do OT Functional Assessments involve?

Depending on the complexity of your situation and the number of hours included in your NDIS Plan, OT Functional Assessments may be completed across more than one session. They can be done at home, in a clinic, another environment within the community, by phone or via video chat. The OT doing the assessment will take into consideration your age, disability and any other important factors.

The OT will explore your:

  • Management of daily tasks
    (showering, dressing, toileting, personal hygiene, sleep, nutrition etc.) and if there are any challenges that may be impacting your ability to complete these tasks
  • Home management skills
    (meal preparation, shopping, cleaning, laundry, household budgets and bills etc.) and any challenges within your current living situation and supports
  • Community management abilities
    (accessing shops, banks, attending medical or health-related appointments etc.) and how you manage this with driving, public transport, or supported transport access
  • Work and study abilities
    and whether there are any challenges you experience or short- or long-term goals you would like to set
  • Recreational and social engagement skills
    (exercise, craft, art, music etc.) and how your ability to engage may be impacted, as well as whether you want to engage and your confidence in engaging socially in the community

Once your OT has discussed your current situation with you and identified any areas that may be challenging, your OT may ask to observe you completing certain tasks to help them make the right recommendations for you.

When the assessment process is completed, your OT will finalise the Functional Assessment report with a summary of your current functional abilities and recommendations for ongoing support, therapy, or Assistive Technology (AT) that may increase your independence and help you to achieve your goals. The OT Functional Assessment will be shared with the NDIA for consideration of ongoing NDIS support funding at your Plan Review Meeting.

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