News and blogs

The unique factor that could explain why autism rates in Australia are growing faster than the global average

Autism rates in Australian children are among the highest in the world, leading a senior researcher to suggest the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) could be driving steeper than average growth in diagnoses. A paper by Australian National University scholar Maathu Ranjan, who is on study leave from her role as a senior actuary at … Continued

Social Futures disability advocates encourage school students to embrace all abilities

A pair of disability advocates with very different lived experiences are helping young people be more accepting, one school at a time. Scott Jones and Maree Jenner, who work with NDIS partnering organisation Social Futures, have been running disability inclusion programs at regional primary schools for more than two years.

Students share their experience of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower initiative

We spoke to Khanh Tran, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws student and a Disabilities and Carers Officer at the Student Representative Council, and Gemma Lucy Smart, PhD candidate and Disability Equity Officer at the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association, about what the Hidden Disability Sunflower means to them and how you can show … Continued

Tasmanian mum’s anguish as NDIA issues deadline to prove daughter ‘disabled enough’ for funding

Last month single mother-of-two Stephanie Maass received a phone call out of the blue that left her shocked and worried for her young daughter’s future. The person on the other end of that call was a worker for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) who said they wanted Ms Maass to prove her six-year-old daughter was “disabled … Continued

NDIS reviewers hint at assessment overhaul to cut spending growth

The reviewers of the $42 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme are expected to urge Bill Shorten to implement more rigorous and tailored assessments of participants’ needs to cut spending growth and to improve the “complicated, bureaucratic and unfair” program. But Bruce Bonyhady and Lisa Paul stress that any shake-up to how participants’ overall budgets are … Continued

Should Pre-65 Disabled Individuals Qualify for NDIS Post-65?

The question of whether there should be an age limit to joining the National Disability Scheme (NDIS) has been debated since its inception a decade ago. It is being asked again as we wait for the NDIS Review to release its final report. The report is expected to explore eligibility, sustainability and how costs should … Continued

Exclusive: NDIA used the law to ‘exhaust’ participants

A backlog of thousands of National Disability Insurance Scheme tribunal appeals was almost entirely artificial, not based on proper legislative interpretation and driven instead by “external pressures” to rein in costs of the scheme, according to independent reviewers chosen to work through the stricken cases.

Australia’s first National Autism Strategy

It’s hard to overstate what a historic time it is for the disability community in Australia right now. The final report from the Royal Commission has just been published and the NDIS review will make its recommendations at the end of the month. Amongst all of this, members of the autistic community have been gathering … Continued