National Disabilty Insurance Scheme Legislated 28th March 2013

 A greater step towards self determination of people with disability

I have been buried under pressures from work and study over the past few weeks. Therefore, I've not had a chance to post up my take on the National Disability Scheme that was legislated on 28 March 2013.  This is a massive step towards the government addressing the massive discrepancies that exist between life expectations and people with disabilities.  I attended a meeting of leading stakeholders for special education last week and it was received with resounding support.  The only critical point disability advocacy groups claim is that the title of the scheme still indicates a dependance of people with disability on the government and does not set the framework for self determination.

The following post is summarized from the governments NDIS website.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme will revolutionize the way disability support is provided . Rather than funding based on historical budget allocations, a funding pool will be based on actuarial assessment of need.

It will recognise that disability is for a lifetime, and so it will take a lifelong approach to providing care and support. This means that assessment will look beyond the immediate need, and across the course of a person’s life. For example, home modifications might be expensive up front, but if they afford a person with significant disability the opportunity of greater independence, or if they mean that a parent carer can continue to care for their loved one, it’s a good investment.

Taking a lifelong approach also means focusing on intensive early intervention, particularly for people where there is good evidence that it will substantially improve functioning or delay or lesson a decline in functioning.

Importantly, an NDIS will support choice for people with disability, their families and carers, and put people in control of the care and support they receive, based on need. Of course, there will also be safeguards in place to support people in exercising this choice and control, and to help them make informed choices.

An NDIS will ensure people are no longer “shut out” from opportunities and from independence by providing the appropriate and necessary supports that allow people with disability to reach their full potential.

It will nurture and sustain the support of families, carers and friendship groups — the very communities of support that are critical to improving the lives of people with disability.
And it will include a comprehensive information and referral service, to help people with a disability who need access to mainstream, disability and community supports.

A National Disability Insurance Scheme will give all Australians the peace of mind to know that if they have or acquire a disability that leaves them needing daily assistance with everyday life, or if they care for someone who has a disability, that they will be supported.

The funding will see an NDIS start in mid-2013 for around 10,000 people with significant and permanent disabilities in select locations across the country. This will increase to 20,000 people from mid-2014.  The funding in the Budget includes the establishment of a new National Disability Transition Agency to run the delivery of care and support to people with disability, their families and carers in the select locations.

This announcement is an important step towards making an NDIS real for people with disability, their families and carers, and to giving all Australians the peace of mind that if something happens to them or to a loved one, there will be a helping hand when they need it.