3 different perspectives
How well is the NDIS going? How committed is the government to the full roll-out plan and timeline? What about maintenance of current local services to the disability community until the NDIS is implemented in that locality?
Here we present the perspectives of the:
National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the Agency set up by the federal government to implement the NDIS
Every Australian Counts, set up by NDS Ltd, the peak body for non-government disability service organisations, and
People with Disability Australia (PWDA), a national disability rights and advocacy organisation.
National Disability Insurance Agency
Here is the summary list of the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) key achievements in their 1st year from their Annual Report:
* As of 30 June 2014, the NDIA had approved 7316 plans for people with disability, providing them with the reasonable and necessary supports required to lead an ordinary life.
* In 2013-14 the Scheme provided $130 million of support to participants, well within the funding envelope of $148 million.
* Amongst participants 94% were satisfied or very satisfied with their plans.
* As of 30 June 2014, there were 1350 registered service providers.
* The NDIA invested approximately $4.5 million from the Sector Development Fund to help both individuals and organisations make the transition into the Scheme.
* The Scheme Actuary, in her Financial Sustainability Report, and the Reviewing Actuary, have confirmed the results in the first year are consistent with the Productivity Commission’s estimates of total Scheme costs.
* The Annual Report also includes theScheme Actuary’s first Financial Sustainability Report, further supporting the Agency’s commitment to rollout a sustainable Scheme.
Every Australian Counts
The ‘Every Australian Counts’ campaign recently e-mailed the following about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS):
In the NDIS trial sites across Australia lives are being transformed. Watch this video
to hear from some of the people who have shared their experiences from the Newcastle trial site.
In about a week’s time you will be able to hear a lot more from Jane, Stephen, Leigh, Anita, Janelle, Siobhan and Caroline when we relaunch the Every Australian Counts campaign.
We still have a long way to go. We must keep up the pressure to make sure the NDIS is delivered and is the very best it can be for thousands of people with disabilities and their families and carers.
Every Australian Counts supporters outside the trial sites are still waiting. And they are telling us that they feel uncertain about how the NDIS will work and what it will mean for them.
So part of our new campaign is about learning from those who are already accessing the NDIS. They will share their stories and tell us what to expect when it is our turn.
We are also creating a news hub – a one-stop shop for information, events and actions so you can keep up to date and involved as the NDIS makes its way to you.
Our campaign is not over.
People with Disabilities Australia (PWDA)
In an online forum hosted by PWDA in late November, people complained about disability services being cut in preparation for the NDIS but before it had launched in their particular areas. Participants in the discussion cited the impending closure of two Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) facilities in the Hunter region of NSW and the planned privatisation of ADHC services in preparation for the NDIS.
Overall people were cautiously optimistic about the scheme and PWDA president Craig Wallace said the feedback would help form the organisation’s submission to the citizen’s jury.
“Some of the themes from people, generally speaking, are that there was more support under NDIS but they were frazzled by paperwork and feeling a bit intimidated by some of the administrative requirements in dealing with the commonwealth,” he said.
“They were also having uneven experiences with planners, and it all depended on the planner … some were excellent while others didn’t understand why someone needed something such as an electric wheelchair. It is a bit of a patchwork.”
A citizens’ jury will deliver a scorecard on the progress of the NDIS next year in the first time the scheme will be reviewed from the “bottom up” with NDIS participants giving evidence about their treatment under the scheme.
The citizens’ jury is going to be randomly selected by the newDemocracy Foundation, with people with disabilities included on the panel. It will host hearings in the new year and deliver a scorecard on the NDIS in April. “Up until now we’ve had reviews done by academic institutions and the agency itself, there was a review by KPMG but nobody has gone back to two major actors in the national reform: the ordinary taxpayers who opened hearts and wallets from 2011 onwards and are paying for the NDIS, and the ordinary participants on the ground receiving it,” Wallace said.
“This process is about having a jury that is representative of the ordinary taxpayer.”
“We really want to emphasise the perfect fit between the citizen jury process and the kind of scheme NDIS is. Up until now the reviews have been top-down. Because this is a person-centred scheme the most appropriate way to get real information is to charge participants themselves with forming and delivering the scorecard to the people who are paying for it. We actually think it’s a perfect fit,” Wallace said.