Work is ongoing to better support National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants to take control of the decisions that impact them, and you can see from the great stories in our magazine that the old saying, “No man is an island”, is so true, as we all need a hand now and again.
Paralympics Australia aims to deliver valuable societal impact for the next decade after Brisbane awarded 2032 Games
Brisbane 2032 will also introduce an extensive schools and education programme to challenge students perceptions and attitudes towards those with disabilities. The profile of the Games will be used to promote the health benefits of sport as they look to reduce inactivity among Australians by 15 per cent by 2030.
In her first major speech since independent assessments were killed off earlier this month, Senator Reynolds suggested that better supporting people with disabilities who weren’t eligible for individual NDIS plans would help ease pressure on the scheme.
They drew attention to how a “lack of transparency around challenges facing the Scheme contrasted with the language often used by the NDIA on ‘co-design’ and ‘partnership’” and have called for the establishment of a ‘compact’ between the Scheme and the disability community.
Mr Shorten, Labor’s NDIS spokesman, said it was scandalous that the agency had signed contracts to deliver independent assessments before the states, disability stakeholders and, crucially, federal parliament, had agreed to them.
“The NDIA should be a model employee for people with disability but many staff continue to experience added pressures, particularly in relation to assistive technology, and the NDIA refuses to make adjustments to KPIs to acknowledge the extra time it takes to use these technologies,” Ms Vincent-Pietsch said.
The architects of the National Disability Insurance Scheme have accused federal and state governments of abandoning 4 million Australians with disabilities who are not eligible for individual funding under the scheme.
In Victoria, where the NDIS was rolled out from 2016, anyone born after 1952 was eligible for the scheme, whereas someone with the same disability born before 1952 was not.
What exploded was not a fight about ‘reform’. You see, the disability community desperately wants reform: after all, it was from the community that the NDIS was created. But reform is needed because the NDIS has been either accidentally or intentionally steered away from its intended purpose. And the community might just know a thing or two about exactly where that reform is needed.
But how did this happen? And most importantly, where to from here? To get some answers, we examine the swarm of important reports released in the lead-up to the decision and look at what they tell us about what might be next.
Senator Reynolds has foreshadowed a redraft to produce a new model to rein in costs. It will take the views of the disabled into account. Fair enough. But we hope the backflip does not prove a Pyrrhic victory for the disabled. The stark fact, Senator Reynolds wrote last week, is that the scheme “is on track in the latest federal budget to overtake the cost of Medicare, from $28.1bn this year to $33.3bn in 2024-25”.
Advocacy organisations are relieved the Federal Government has called a halt to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) assessments. While they hope to work with the government to co-design a people-centred scheme, they also remain prepared to oppose legislation they feel limits disabled people’s choice and control.
The federal government has given up on its plan to bring in independent assessments for NDIS recipients with critics saying the decision is a win for person-centred care.
On 21 June 2021, the NDIA released two new discussion papers on Home and Living and Supported Decision Making. That sound you are hearing right now is an audible groan coming from Australia’s entire disability community. However, these two papers come as a quite pleasant, if not downright shocking, surprise. They appear to be trying to address problems participants face rather than just trying to cut costs. But the most unanticipated development of all is that the NDIA might have finally learned to communicate with people who don’t read NDIS jargon for a living. I know – I’m surprised too!
The government has insisted that it needs a reliable lever with which to keep the scheme’s costs sustainable. Perhaps the Morrison government should think less in terms of leverage and more in terms of building trust. On this front it has created something of a rod for its own back when it comes to service delivery and empowering historically disadvantaged communities.