Transforming lives: Australia’s disability scheme marks a turning point – Australia & The Pacific Policy Society

Extract from an article by Melanie O’Brien and Alec McConnell

Supporting people with disability isn’t just a human right, it’s a requirement under international law, and Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme is helping the nation lead the world in meeting these obligations, Melanie O’Brien and Alec McConnell write.

With the resumption of Australia’s parliament, there has been much discussion about the funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), including mixed messages from the government. Many people may be asking why it is so important to fund the NDIS, and in particular, why is it so much more important than the previous disability service system Australia had?

The NDIS began its full official roll out across Australia in April 2016. It is available to people who incurred a permanent disability before the age of 65 which impacts on their daily life. NDIS participants are interviewed regarding their needs and future aspirations, and assessments are performed by allied health professionals to determine what ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports will be provided to each participant.

The NDIS scheme shifts funding from an equitable division of a pot of money to allocating a recipient’s funding by assessing what they actually need and acknowledging that the person has a human right to access to those services.

As with any funding or government scheme, there have been some gaps and challenges for NDIS service providers and participants. The most common issues faced have been inadequate funding for the provision of transport, pricing for support workers being set unreasonably low and many technical issues with the NDIS portal when it was opened…(continues)

SOURCE: Melanie O’Brien and Alec McConnell, “Transforming lives: Australia’s disability scheme marks a turning point”, Australia & The Pacific Policy Society, 02 mARCH 2017

Link to full article

BroCAP is produced by the two librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia.

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