The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a ground-breaking scheme that sets out to empower individuals with a disability.
Under the NDIS participants are given choice and control over the supports that they receive. This independence and control is a cornerstone of the NDIS providing Australians with disability with the opportunities and chances that have never really been available to them.
A report released by the Australian Government Productivity Commission in 2011 identified that current disability supports are severely lacking and that change needed to occur. The report found that:
- The current disability support system is underfunded, unfair, fragmented, and inefficient, and gives people with a disability little choice and no certainty of access to appropriate supports. The stresses on the system are growing, with rising costs for all governments.
Individuals who would qualify for the NDIS (when it rolls out in their area) are currently receiving varying types of funding, allocated to them based on a myriad of different variables. The NDIS is being introduced to level the playing field and to assess each and every individual and assign a funding package based on their level of need.
The NDIS has been created to help people with a disability to:
- Access mainstream services and supports
- Doctors, teachers and other professional services.
- Access community services and supports:
- Sports clubs, community groups, libraries, charities
- Maintain informal support arrangements
- Help that people receive from family and friends, support that people don’t pay for and is a part of most individuals lives.
- Receive reasonable and necessary funded supports
- The NDIS can provide funding for supports that are required for an individual to live an ordinary life.
The estimated number of participants under the NDIS by 2019 is 460,000.
This is a monumental shift in the disability sector and it is going to take time to implement. For this reason the NDIS is being rolled out in selected regions in a staggered approach.
To find out when the NDIS is available in your area
So why is it such a big deal?
The NDIS places the power of choice solely in the hands of the individual. This is a very exciting time in the disability sector where providers will need to respond to the needs and wants of their clients in order to remain competitive.
The nature of the NDIS opens the door to a competitive marketplace where providers will have to attract clients with the highest quality and most innovative services. This is a huge shift not only in the way that supports will be provided; but also how funding is handled.
Traditionally in the disability sector funding is allocated to providers to serve their participants in a way that they feel serves them best. Under the NDIS a participant is able to allocate their funding to activities that interest them and enable them to work on their goals; whatever they may be.
Below is a video released on the NDIS website which shows how participants in the trial sites have been finding the implementation of the scheme.
Over the coming weeks we will be looking at the NDIS from both the client and provider perspective and providing information for both groups about how to best ready themselves for the rollout.