“Today’s revelations … of senior executives in disability services dining out on the disabled is yet again another symptom of the core problem … there is sickness at the heart of the NDIS.”
Four of Australia’s major disability groups argue the NDIS needs a “sexuality policy” to cover a broad range of needs such as adaptive sex toys, services from sex workers and sex therapists – as well as education about sexuality and relationships.
In June, the NDIS announced prices for this financial year. This included the introduction of a 7.5% loading as a Temporary Transformation Payment (TTP) to assist providers transform their businesses to operate in a competitive market.
The position statement released by Disabled Peoples’ Organisations (DPO) demands a comprehensive national policy on sexuality and the NDIS, saying “governments have an obligation to ensure people with disability can enjoy rich and fulfilling lives equal to others in society”.
Disability advocates are calling on the Morrison government to develop a sexuality policy for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, warning that participants are being denied full autonomy over their own bodies.
Labor’s Libby Coker has joined disability groups in criticising a federal government review of the NDIS, which is not due to report back until the middle of next year. The government says the review is aimed at cutting red tape and streamlining the application process. Disability groups, however, say the review will only add to delays and there are steps that can be taken immediately.
Acting CEO of the NDIA, Vicki Rundle, said the latest COAG NDIS Quarterly Report for 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019 shows the strong progress the NDIS has made.
“At the heart of problems in the NDIA is an artificial staffing cap which means there are not enough people to deliver for participants. We need more people working on these plans: It’s as simple as that. Participants rightly ask to have their plans reviewed but due to the staffing cap there aren’t enough reviewers. By the time this gets sorted- if it gets sorted- the 12 months on a plan has expired and we are back to the beginning. Enough is enough.
Jenny Macklin held many social policy portfolios over her long political career. As Minister for Disability Reform in the Gillard government she ushered in the NDIS. Jenny talks about the process of winning support for big social policy changes.
In recent weeks, there have been some huge Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) announcements. First, we learnt who won Economic and Community Participation Program grants. Then we got a heads up about three grant rounds that will be opening in the next few months. Exciting times!
“We are listening, and will be consulting with people with disability and their families, the disability services sector, ministers and officials from Commonwealth and state governments and the NDIA as part of this review.”
The Morrison government’s review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme must focus on improving the quality of plans, and not just on cutting wait times and red tape, disability advocates say.
It was meant to relieve the burden on families caring for children with a disability. But horror stories continue to emerge revealing how the National Disbility Insurance Scheme is failing to improve their lives. A new national survey shows more than two thirds of disabled children have problems or are unable to access the services and support they require.
“When I ran out of funds I was ringing the NDIA nearly every day and getting the same answer, ‘It’s in progress, we’ll be in touch’. “I was going around and around in circles, so on July 2 I made a formal complaint. “I said, ‘I got approval on the 29th of April and I have not heard from you – I am legally blind, I have run out of funds, and I have no support – what else can I do?
Studies have shown that transport in the NDIS is the number one cause of all NDIS related spiritual breakdowns.* Given the sheer number of Participants who depend upon transport funding, it would be completely reasonable to assume that the issue would be well and truly resolved by now. But then if you made such an assumption, you probably wouldn’t be too familiar with the NDIS.