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Podcast: Is the Disability Sector NDIS Ready?


7 July 2016 at 11:39 am
Ellie Cooper
The National Disability Insurance Scheme promises choice and control for people with disability, but both Not for Profits and participants face teething problems as the service is rolled out nationwide.

Ellie Cooper | 7 July 2016 at 11:39 am


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Podcast: Is the Disability Sector NDIS Ready?
7 July 2016 at 11:39 am

The National Disability Insurance Scheme promises choice and control for people with disability, but both Not for Profits and participants face teething problems as the service is rolled out nationwide.

wheelchair

The $22 billion per year scheme – which doubles the level of public funding for disability – is Australia’s biggest social policy project since Medicare, and it’s been widely welcomed by the sector.

But there are also many concerns. Can Not for Profits stand out in a competitive market? Do people with disability know their rights? How do they navigate the system? And can the national agency overseeing the system cope with the mammoth task?

In the first episode of a three-part series, Not for Podcast investigates whether the sector is NDIS ready.

Experts and people working on the ground explore the impact of the NDIS on service organisations and participants.

Coforte Consulting CEO and founder Natasha Hudson assists organisations to become NDIS ready. She said Not for Profits would face challenges as they move into a commercial market.

“Some of the challenges are really about this issue of market versus mission,” she said.

“It’s forcing organisations to do business differently, and that for-profit way of doing business doesn’t mean that organisations need to necessarily change what they’re for-purpose offer is. It just might mean that how they do it will be different.”

She said she was “not sure” if the sector was ready for the roll out.

“On the one hand I think people want the change, I think certainly people with disability want the change, and I think… organisations that want best for the people they’re providing supports for, want the change,” she said.

“I think that there might be a lack of skill… and know-how… about how to make that transition from block funding to user-pays. And also getting the resources and structures in place to enable that change to happen.”  

People With Disability Australia president Craig Wallace said while the scheme was mostly positive, there were some problems that need to be addressed.

“People are getting equipment and support they’ve been waiting for for decades, plus therapy and respite. We’re hearing overwhelmingly the experience is positive,” Wallace said.

“But there are some areas where people are encountering difficulty, like self-management. There’s also some people waiting for plans longer than they should be.

“The most common queries [are] what do I have to do as an individual to be part of the NDIS? And my answer to that is don’t sit on your laurels, don’t expect that you will just automatically transition [onto the scheme].”

Featured in this episode:

  • Natasha Hudson, CEO and founder of Coforte Consulting, assisting organisations to become NDIS ready
  • Liz Forsyth, general manager of customer experience at Northcott
  • NDIS participant Zane McKenzie, public speaker and educator both independently and for Not for Profit Scope
  • Craig Wallace, president of People With Disability Australia.

Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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