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Foundational supports for all people with disability

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The panel’s vision

We want there to be a connected system of support for all people with disability. This connected system should include accessible and inclusive mainstream services, foundational supports, support from a navigator and individual support funded through the NDIS. Foundational support is a new term we are introducing.

Foundational supports are foundational to a good life. They should improve and expand current programs and activities funded through the Information Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grants program.

Foundational supports will be general – for all people with disability, and targeted – for people with lower level support needs who are not eligible for the NDIS. Foundational supports should improve inclusion, increase social and economic participation and ensure all people with disability get support that meets their needs.

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What is the problem?

The NDIS was always intended for people with disability with the highest support needs. It was designed to sit within a broader support system so that Australians with disability who were not eligible for the NDIS could still get their needs met.

But we have heard that these services supports do not exist or are hard to find – leaving people without support. This results in poor outcomes for people with disability.

It is also putting pressure on the NDIS as more people try and get the help they need. This is unfair and has to change.

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What is the solution?

All governments must work together to make sure mainstream services are more accessible and inclusive. We also recommend that all governments invest more in foundational supports. Foundational supports should be available to all NDIS participants and people with disability aged under age 65 who are not eligible for the NDIS and their families. There should be two types of foundational supports:

  • General foundational supports would include programs and activities like information and advice, individual and family capacity building, peer support, self-advocacy, and disability employment supports.
  • Targeted foundational supports are supports available for people aged under 65 with disability who are not eligible for the NDIS. They should include home and community supports, such as shopping and cleaning or aids and equipment for people with less intensive support needs. There should be targeted supports for adults with a psychosocial disability to build their capacity, independence and daily living skills. There should also be early supports for families and children with emerging developmental concerns and transition supports to help young people prepare for employment and independent living. Targeted supports should be matched to people’s level of need.

Foundational supports should also be designed to meet the diverse needs of individuals and of particular community groups, including First Nations, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, LGBTQI+SB and people with disability who live in rural or remote areas.

Foundational supports would replace the ILC grants program, so that it is reliable and available more widely. Foundational supports are essential supports for all people with disability. Governments should therefore measure and evaluate outcomes, and make changes so that activities and programs respond to changing needs and circumstances.

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Who will this benefit?

All people with disability and their families should have access to disability supports in their community. This will meet needs, improve inclusion and help to make the NDIS sustainable.

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What happens next?

We know you might be worried about what this will mean for you. We recommend that governments work together with people with disability, their families and their representative organisations to design a Foundational Supports Strategy to guide the introduction of foundational supports.

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Want more information?

Read the final NDIS review report and recommendations, NDIS Review Guide, NDIS Review fact sheets and FAQ.

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