A secret taskforce set up to cut costs and reduce access to the NDIS is the tip of the iceberg in a suite of plans to dramatically reshape the scheme.
The agency that runs the national disability insurance scheme has quietly established a new taskforce aimed at cutting growth in funding packages and participant numbers. Guardian Australia has obtained an internal document that shows the National Disability Insurance Agency has created a new unit to make “short term, immediate changes” to the scheme, citing a forecast “cost overrun in 2021-22”.
The NDIA is inviting existing participants to take part in the pilot through text messages, cold calls and emails, with offers of $150 in exchange for participation. The text messages have included the phrase “exclusive invitation”, and have been sent directly to NDIS participants.
Something is horribly amiss when thousands of Australians with serious disability have not received their first COVID shots eight weeks into the vaccine rollout. And those with disability deserve an explanation for why they have been ignored in the first phase of the rollout and assurances they have not lost the respect Scott Morrison used to claim he was giving them.
“There is absolutely no way I would allow it [the legislation] to get through without an inquiry taking place,” Senator Griff told The Canberra Times. “This is particularly important given from reports it seeks to limit, or possibly deny, funding to vulnerable cohorts, limits the influence of state and territory governments and expands the power of the minister.
New National Disability Insurance Scheme Minister Linda Reynolds says she has “no intention of excluding Australians from the scheme” on the basis of their diagnosis, appearing to dump radical reforms drafted under the previous minister Stuart Robert.
She felt the reason it took so long for her to gain employment after being open about her diagnosis was because of the negative preconceptions hiring managers had about it.
“The biggest barrier by far is mindset,” Ms McKay said. “Employers have to have the mindset that autism is a completely normal, natural human thing that is welcome in the workplace. It’s not a problem to be solved. It’s not some risk. It’s not an issue. It’s just a different set of needs that just need different considerations.”
The new NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds has announced her intention to pause the roll out of Independent Assessments (IAs). Reynolds says that IAs will not be rolled out until second pilot is finished and evaluated, and she has had an opportunity to consult with stakeholders across the country. This news should be treated with very, very cautious optimism.
It’s a big day – your first Disability Reform Ministers Meeting with your State and Territory counterparts. Many matters will require shared leadership, decision-making and coordinated implementation by the Commonwealth, States and Territories – as equal partners – there is much for the Commonwealth to do to restore the trust of Australians with a disability, families, carers and support workers.
The federal government’s given up putting a date on when all Australians will get their COVID-19 vaccination, as one of the nation’s largest disability service providers says not one of their residents has received a jab;
Why controversial and ‘widely rejected’ changes to the NDIS have Australia’s disability community worried
A spokesman for Senator Reynolds said this week she would soon be having comprehensive briefings with her state and territory counterparts, the disability sector and NDIS participants.
“I think it is a rotten idea,” Lambert, 46, says. “The NDIA should bugger off and leave people with disability with enough money to be able to live an ordinary life like everyone else in Australia.”
Disability advocate Craig Wallace said Senator Reynolds’ appointment should be used as a “reset” to the reforms, which he argued were “well-intentioned in their framing” but were now clearly “problematic for all kinds of reasons. It is just absurd that people with a disability should be asked about their intimate lives and sex lives in order to be able to get funding for wheels on a wheelchair,” he said.
The letter – whose signatories include people across the social sector, academia and the legal space – notes that the overrepresentation and disadvantage experienced by people with cognitive disability in the criminal justice system has long been recognised.
More than 20 organisations have jointly called on the new NDIS Minister to abandon the introduction of the contentious independent assessments.