June 30, 2016

Introducing the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australian plan designed to provide a greater level of service and support to people living with a disability. The scheme begins to roll-out across the country from July 1, 2016 and will continue to do so over a period of three years.

At present, people with a disability have access to different services and levels of support, dependant largely on where they live as well as the origin and timing of their disability. For this reason, many cannot access the services they need and have to settle for less-than-ideal providers and miss out on the supports they would benefit from the most.

As different parts of the country transition to the scheme, more and more people will be given additional options when it comes to choosing the services that are best suited to them.

While the NDIS is a largely positive move – giving people with a disability greater choice about the supports they need to live the life they want – it does pose some difficulties for migrants and non-English speakers who are not experienced with the disability service system, in particular what disability supports are available, and how the NDIS will relate to their situation.

This is particularly true for people with a disability from CALD backgrounds. As our Aged Care and Disability General Manager Angela Quero says: “It is important to recognise that for someone who has a disability and does not speak English and is not aware of the types of disability supports available or how to access them, having a choice of provider might not make sense. We need to empower people with a disability from CALD backgrounds to say, ‘I know my rights, this is the type of support I need, I want this kind of provider and I know how to make that happen.’’

If you are affected by a disability, the NDIS means:

  • You have the right to choose your supports and services;
  • You have the right to choose how your supports and services are managed;
  • You have the right to choose which provider will deliver your supports and services; and
  • You have the right to change providers if you are unhappy with the services and supports you are receiving.

Ultimately, the NDIS reinforces your right to have your needs met, and gives you the power to ‘shop around’ for the provider that best caters to your individual needs.

For more information on the NDIS, please feel free to contact us.

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