The AFDO logo with Australian Federation of Disability Organisations next to it

Are you in the loop?

Disability Loop eNews Issue #42
Disability Loop - Are you in the loop? An AFDO project.

Welcome to AFDO Disability Loop


A good way to find out more about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)


Welcome to Disability Loop eNews for winter 2018. Sorry that we haven’t been in contact for a little while; we have had some staff changes over recent months.  However, you can always stay up-to-date with Disability Loop news and events by visiting our website or following us on social media. See the details at the end of the newsletter. 

Free NDIS Workshops in Victoria

AFDO Disability Loop is rolling out more NDIS workshops across Victoria. Our “Understanding the NDIS” workshops are designed by people with disability, for people with disability and their families and carers. 
This three-hour workshop will cover lots of different parts of the NDIS, including knowing who is eligible for the NDIS, working out what support you can get in your NDIS plan, to actually using the funds in your NDIS plan to live a better life in the community. 
There are 3 workshops on different days and times. However each workshop covers the same topics. So you can choose the workshop that best suits you.
Our next set of workshops will be held in the Outer Eastern Melbourne region, located at two different venues, on 8 and 11 August. We will be holding a week-day session (1pm – 4pm), a weekday evening session (6:00pm – 9:00pm), and a weekend session (10am – 1pm).  You can learn more about our NDIS workshops and register, by visiting our Disability Loop website “events” page:

NDIS Roll Out Areas

The NDIS is still gradually being rolled out to different parts of Australia at different times. The scheme will not be fully in place until 2020. If you are wondering when the NDIS will come to a certain area, here is a useful link which will take you to the NDIS website page for looking up the rollout areas across Australia. It also tells you which LGA’s (Local Government Areas), that is, which councils or shires, are covered in each site.

NDIA CALD Strategy

CALD stands for “Culturally and Linguistically diverse” and usually refers to people who speak languages other than English as their main language, or who were born overseas or their parents and grandparents were, and who have different traditions or cultural practices to the majority of Australians. 
In May this year, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released their plan, known as their “Strategy” for working with people with disability from CALD backgrounds. 
It is expected that about one-fifth of NDIS participants when the Scheme is fully rolled out will identify as coming from a culturally or linguistically diverse background. This Strategy outlines how the Agency will work to make this happen, by ensuring people from diverse backgrounds can access the NDIS and the information they need. 
The Strategy is now available on the NDIS website including an Easy Read version. Translations of the Easy Read version into Languages Other Than English and Auslan will become available in the coming months.

Interesting figures from the NDIA

The NDIA has released the latest National Disability Insurance Scheme Quarterly Report for the period of 31 December 2017 to 31 March 2018. Highlights from the report include:
  • Of the 162,223 Australians now benefiting from the NDIS, 44,945 had not received State, Territory or Commonwealth support prior to entering the Scheme.
  • 90 percent of parents or carers of children aged between zero and six report the NDIS has helped with their child’s development and access to school services.
  • 72 percent of participants aged 25 and over report the NDIS has helped them with daily living activities.
  • 14,271 service providers are now approved to deliver disability supports, an increase of 64 percent since 30 June 2017.           
For more information read the media release and the latest Quarterly Report on the NDIS website.

Timeframes for the NDIA to reply to an internal review request.

If you don’t like a decision that the NDIA has made, you can ask for it to be reviewed. Most reviews concern access to the NDIS or the level of funding a participant receives. A person who is directly affected by a reviewable decision can request an internal review from the NDIA if the request is made within three months from when the participant receives written notice of the reviewable decision.
Once an internal review has been completed, if the person affected is still unhappy with the NDIA’s decision, they can then request an independent review through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
Up until recently, the situation was that there was no given timeframe for which the internal review had to be completed. The NDIS rules only say that it must be attended to within a “reasonably practicable” timeframe. The NDIA tries to address review requests as soon as possible but some people have had to wait too long for the review outcome.
However, in May there was a development in this area. A new decision by the AAT has found that there is a timeframe in which the NDIA must complete internal reviews. If the NDIA does not complete an internal review within this timeframe, people directly affected are allowed to proceed directly to the AAT for the decision to be reviewed by them.
The actual timeframes for what is “reasonably practicable” as defined by the AAT will vary according to the case in question and will consider all the circumstances involved. It is good news though, as we can confidently state that the NDIA does need to make an internal decision within a definable period of time.  Future Tribunal decisions will further clarify what this means.
This issue with more detail is described in a brief, clear article on the Brain Injury SA web site at the following page:

School transport consultation process 

A consultation process will be led by the Department of Social Services (DSS), looking at the issue of supported school transport and the role it might play in the NDIS. A public discussion paper is now available via the DSS website. Submissions are invited until 20 July 2018.
To complement this discussion paper, face-to-face consultations will be held in each state and territory with further details to be published on the DSS website shortly.
To learn more, please visit the DSS website or email

Partners in the Community Announced in Northern Territory

$14.8 million has been allocated to provide Local Area Coordination (LAC) services and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services for the NDIS in the Darwin, Litchfield, and Palmerston areas of the Northern Territory. Visit the Minister for Social Services website to read the media release, and learn more about the NDIS in the Northern Territory on the NDIS website.

Pathway improvement update

The NDIS pathway means the process for how you and the NDIA work together to help you access the scheme, and then how you put it into action. The NDIA provides regular pathway improvement updates on the NDIS website. The latest update provides information about how the NDIA is improving the participant experience, the progress of the tailored pathways (pathways for specific groups of people with particular needs such as those people with disability who have complex needs), and improvements to the provider finder. 

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission - website now live

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission- a new independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services - has commenced operation in New South Wales and South Australia from 1 July 2018, and will progressively begin operating in other states and territories. By 2020, it will be rolled out nationally, bringing together various quality and safeguard functions under a single agency for the first time. Visit their recently launched new website to learn more.

NDIS terminology explained

There are a lot of new words that have come about since the NDIS was launched.  The NDIA has published some handy information. Check out the NDIS website for some of the most common terms asked about on the NDIS Facebook page. Want to know more? Visit the Reimagine website glossary for some more quick references for key NDIS words.

Are you in the loop?

Stay up-to-date with information about the NDIS by following the links below to our website, Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Share this issue of Disability Loop eNews


Find more Disability Loop content online

Disability Loop website
Disability Loop on Facebook
Disability Loop on Twitter
Victoria State Government. NDIS - Funded by the NDIS Sector Development Fund