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Time for change in disability support

Is the disability support sector due for a shake-up? Social entrepreneur and product designer Melanie Tran wants to disrupt traditional models of support. And she’s helping bring together young people from around the country to help make that happen.

Two jailed for million dollar NDIS fraud

Two people from Western Sydney have been jailed for a combined 9 years and 6 months as the result of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Fraud Taskforce investigation into $1.5m of fraudulent claims against the NDIS plans of Australians living with a disability.

Disability care watchdog has issued just one fine despite 8000 complaints

The scandal-plagued disability sector will get $22 billion from the federal government this financial year, but an independent review found the system left vulnerable people open to harm and neglect.  Mr Shorten said NDIS Minister Stuart Robert had presided over a “toothless and sleepy” watchdog that in reality is “more like a very expensive purse poodle”.

NDIS watchdog failing to protect disabled people

Australian Greens Disability Rights and Services spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has labelled reports that the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has fined just one provider, despite receiving more than 8000 complaints, as deeply concerning but not surprising.

AAT rejects NDIS independent assessments

In a recent decision the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has commented on the NDIA’s use of an independent assessor, stating “this type of therapist is not appropriately qualified” and that the assessor’s understanding was mistaken.

AAT casts doubts on independent assessments

The government’s recently announced plans to roll out independent functional assessments went down about as well as a sneeze in a Melbourne supermarket does right now. In response, many community groups have launched campaigns urging the Agency to re-think this endeavour. But last week there was a new voice entering the debate that nobody saw coming: the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). 

Social isolation linked to COVID-19 pandemic goes beyond loneliness for some, into feeling lost and ‘dispensable’, Q+A hears

As the panel discussed social fragmentation, Ms Kayess agreed it could lead to loneliness and said those living with a disability were highly exposed to it. “That specific [physical] segregation is structurally embedded for people with disability, the way they’re segregated in education, the way they’re segregated in terms of residential care and services,” she said.

The IPC and the International Disability Alliance to sign Co-operation Agreement

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) are to sign a historic Co-operation Agreement to advance the rights of persons with disabilities and jointly commit to use Para sport as a vehicle to drive the human rights agenda forward.

NDIS participants, sector voice concerns over introduction of independent assessors

Bendigo resident and NDIS participant Liz Wright believes the reform will increase the scrutiny participants and applicants already face in the process. Ms Wright, who also had a long history working in advocacy, said it was “wearing and exhausting” for people with a disability to have to repeatedly disclose intimate details to receive the appropriate support. “We don’t need layers of scrutiny around participants, we need scrutiny around organisations for overinflated invoices for work they don’t do, for support they don’t give,” she said.

It’s all in the timing

Have you ever wondered how planners decide how much Support Coordination funding goes into a plan? At times the process seems about as random as throwing a dart at a board and seeing where it lands. Now an internal NDIA Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) titled “Include Support Coordination in a Plan,” has been obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI), and sheds some light.