A good way to find out more about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
Welcome to AFDO Disability Loop eNews for Spring 2018. This newsletter is packed with lots of positive news and useful resources. There is news about what the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is doing, the changes and improvements they have made, and some of their recent announcements. There is also news on some things that government has done that relate to the NDIS outside of the NDIA. After all of the news, you will find several resources described and at least one of them is bound to be helpful to you with your NDIS-related activities.
NDIS Pathway Improvements Announced
The NDIA has announced big changes to the NDIS Participant and Provider Pathways. Pathways refers to how you connect and work with NDIS. They are making changes to improve the experiences that people are having when engaging with the NDIS.
Some of the changes to the Participant Pathways that will benefit people with disability include:
More staff will be hired and specialised disability and cultural awareness training will be provided to staff;
Face-to-face planning meetings will be available and the plans will be easier to understand and accessible;
Participants will be able to have one contact for their pre-planning, planning and putting the plan into action;
There will be clear and easy-to-understand information to assist people to use the NDIS, and links to other service systems to make sure that people get the support they need from other services like the housing, education, employment, and health systems;
There will be specific pathways designed for people with complex needs, people who are hard of hearing, and people with psychosocial disabilities, to address their particular needs.
The AAG met for the first time in July 2018. The AAG will strengthen the NDIA’s relationships with the disability sector, making sure that the NDIS supports people with autism and that they have choice and control over their lives.
The AAG has set four priorities for the next 12 months:
Exploring the most appropriate approach for assessing NDIS eligibility and improving outcomes for people with autism;
Improving the NDIS participant experience for people with autism;
Enhancing the skills of NDIA staff, Local Area Coordinators and Early Childhood Early Intervention staff; and
Providing greater mainstream and community inclusion for people with autism.
The AAG will now develop a work plan to guide its priorities and stakeholder engagement program. The AAG is made up of the following groups:
Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC)
Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia and New Zealand (ASAN AUNZ)
Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders (AABASD), and
The NDIA is making improvements to the Myplace portals, one of the main online places for both providers and participants, with the aim to make it easier for them to engage with each other.
Changes have been made to the Provider Finder Tool to make it easier to find and connect with suitable providers.
Improvements have also been made to the online service booking system to give participants and providers more control. Find out more by visiting this link: NDIA Website.
Your questions answered
The NDIS is a big change for Australians with disability and their families and carers. The NDIA is frequently being asked questions on their social media channels, their website and through the contact centre.
Each Friday, the NDIA write answers to questions on their website called the Weekly Q and A. This can be found at: https://www.ndis.gov.au/latest_news.html. You can submit questions through the weekly Q & A posts on the Facebook page or through twitter by using this hashtag #ndisqanda.
Changing attitudes towards parents with intellectual disability
ILC is all about inclusion of people with disability. It is about creating connections between people with disability and their communities. One way the NDIA wants to help create those connections is through providing grants to organisations to carry out projects.
One funded project is the Mainstream and Me project. Sonia Hume is part of a team working to challenge assumptions about people who have an intellectual disability. Read about Sonia and the project Mainstream and Mewhere she is changing attitudes towards parents with intellectual disability.
Get the NDIS basics
As the NDIS is a new way of delivering disability supports, it may be different to what you have received in the past. NDIS Planner, Rachel talks you through what the NDIS is, what it will fund and how to apply for the NDIS. Watch Rachel's video here
Steps to get you NDIS ready
Whether the NDIS is new in your area, or still yet to roll out, there are some simple steps you can take to get ready for the NDIS. Check out these steps and resources on the NDIS website
Participant Information Kit from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (also known as the NDIS Commission), commenced operations in NSW and SA on 1 July 2018. They will start operating in other states and territories in the next couple of years.
In August this year, the NDIA released a new NDIS Guide to self-management. This guide will help support participants to self-manage their NDIS budget so they have more control, choice and flexibility in arranging and paying for their NDIS supports. You can download a copy of the Guide to Self-Management at: https://www.ndis.gov.au/participant/self-managing-budgets.html#content or you can call 1800 800 110 to order a print copy.
YDAS Managing Your NDIS Plan Resources
Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) have created a series of resources to help you understand the different ways that you can manage your plan.
The YDAS NDIS self-management resources are:
4 ways to manage your NDIS plan
True or false: NDIS self-management
Getting ready to self-manage your NDIS plan
Work sheet: Are you ready to self-manage your NDIS plan?