This paper explores the changing terrain of disability support policy in Australia. Drawing on a critical disability framework of policy sociology, the paper considers the policy problem of access to education for people with disabilities under recent reform by means of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which commenced full roll-out across the country from July 2016. The paper reviews NDIS reports, legislation and associated literature to consider how eligibility to scheme participation and education services are shaped, and how education is positioned in the development and implementation of the NDIS. The analysis highlights tensions that exist for people with disabilities and their families who both access the scheme and who might draw on its provision to support their education, because of the way the policy is oriented towards pathological categorisation, standardised outcomes and service delineation rather than integrated support and informed involvement. The paper concludes by arguing that despite the policy priority across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries of increasing lifelong learning opportunities, fragmented NDIS policy in Australia prevents people with disabilities from achieving this ideal.
SOURCE: Ben Whitburn, Julianne Moss and Jo O’Mara, “The policy problem: the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and implications for access to education”, Journal of Education Policy, Published online 20 Jan 2017
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