Refining our views
Welcome to our latest ‘Review Round-up’.
Since we last updated you the Panel has had a very busy time holding community events in both Newcastle and Geelong as well as their ordinary schedule of meetings. The choice of these locations was no coincidence. Geelong and Newcastle were two of the original launch (trial) sites of the NDIS more than 10 years ago. We thought it would be a good idea to go back to where it all started to talk about what we have heard from you so far, and some of our ideas for change.
While we were in Geelong we also popped into the NDIA head office to talk with staff about the future of the scheme.
Over the last few weeks we have been talking a lot with people about what the NDIS might look like the future, and how we think it might work best. And while we are always thinking about the scheme’s future we never lose sight of the scheme’s original intent – making sure people with disability have the same opportunities as other for social and economic participation and lead lives of their choosing, meaningfully included in their communities.
If you missed both of the events you can watch the video’s on our website:
At both community events we talked about how we see the NDIS as just one part of a much bigger disability support ecosystem. We wanted to make clear that the Review panel cares just as much about people with disability outside the NDIS as those participants in it. We want to make sure that all people with disability and their families have access to support in their community, regardless of their eligibility for the NDIS. All levels of government, communities and businesses have a role to play in that, and in making sure people with disability can lead connected and inclusive lives. We shared some of our thoughts about how we might make that happen.
We also shared some of our thinking about ways to improve the experience of participants in the scheme. We talked about changes to the way planning is done and the way participant budgets are set. We also talked about the need to clarify what is considered “reasonable and necessary”.
We took questions from the audience at both events. Many of the questions focused on our suggested changes to the planning process. Panel member Dougie Herd answered one of these questions in Geelong in his own inimitable Scottish way. He talked about how people have been traumatised by the way the planning process currently works and why change is necessary. In his words:
“…something is wrong with a status quo that turns human beings into crying wrecks, just because somebody devised and implemented a process that makes them feel powerless, the status quo therefore isn't acceptable, so what is?...somebody sits down with a human being and has a human being's conversation and begins with what are your support needs.”
“…And something is wrong with a status quo that turns human beings into crying wrecks.... You don't have to be called a primary disability or a secondary disability. Who knows which is which and who cares. That process needs to be done in a way that is sensitive to who we are as individuals so that we can build around the people, the resources they need, to be able to live a life to function better, to be out in the community, to engage with their peers, to be supported by their peers.”
Dougie’s answer clearly resonated with everyone in the room. And it’s a great summary of what is driving us. As Lisa said on the day - personalised, comprehensive, compassionate, expert, transparent. That’s the way that we expect the scheme to operate.
Until next time,
Bruce and Lisa
10 reform areas for the future of the NDIS
The Review’s final report will be given to Disability Ministers at the end of October.
It will then be up to Australia’s governments – Commonwealth, State, Territory, and Local – to respond to the Review's recommendations.
At the moment we are still carefully reading your submissions and finalising our report and recommendations. There is still a lot of work to be done.
But we have identified 10 areas that will feature in our final report. They are:
- Reconceptualise disability supports that sit outside the scheme as a new of category of support called ‘foundational supports’. Foundational supports are disability specific supports that will be available to all people with disability - whether they are NDIS participants or not.
- Create a person-centred scheme that understands participants, responds to intersectional disadvantage, and supports decision making.
- Strengthen access to the scheme based on significant functional impairment rather than medical diagnoses.
- Clarify what reasonable and necessary supports are to improve fairness and consistency.
- Refocus early intervention with to make sure children with developmental concerns are better supported through best practice, evidence based approaches
- Consider housing supports more holistically for participants and give people more certainty.Consider ways to scale up more innovative solutions.
- Look at ways to ensure intermediaries all work together more effectively to better support participants and their families.
- Regulate the market to deliver the right supports in the right locations, and encourage innovation.
- Build a more responsive and supportive workforce.
- Expand the quality and safeguard framework to include other disability supports and ensure a greater focus on quality services.
Public submissions now available to view
The NDIS Review panel would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to make a submission. Since the start of the Review we have received more than 2,500 submissions from participants, their families and those that support them. These are now being published on the NDIS Review website - submissions page. It is important to note only the submissions that indicated and agreed to make them public are being published.
View the submissions published to date at the NDIS Review website - submissions page.
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Find out more
Visit our website NDIS Review to find out more about the Review and its progress.