Monday, August 15, 2016

Change is scary!

Any physiologist will tell you a major life changing event is stressful. Even positive life changes like having a baby is stressful. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was designed to be the single biggest change to the sector since its introduction. If everything seems back to front that is because it is.

The way you are supported under the NDIS is flipping the sector upside down. The current 'care model' of the sector is inconsistent with many things we now know about disability are incorrect. The NDIS hopes to right the wrongs and enable people living with disability to actively participate in life.  Or to live their best life.

The scary things is no one yet knows what that look likes.  How do you go from a system of 'care' to empowering people to have choice and control. 

So what do I understand the transition to be.  Firstly the NDIS is a participant scheme, where those affected by disability are actively determining here plans and given chose around how the their funds are administered.

At the same time we know the definition of "supports" will change. Currently most of us think of support in terms of hours and programs.  The NDIA doesn't talk about this when you submit your plan and I struggle with this change. "Supports" now include the individual support we are accustomed too; some support programs as we know them; equipment and technology - we know their is a push towards greater independence and life long outcomes for people; inclusion of therapies and transport assistance; and training to enable you to manage your own funding.

The NDIA also talks about 'formal' and 'informal support, for those under the "Growing Stronger System", this is not new language. However it creates fear will I be forced to use informal supports or generic services. I do not believe so.  Everyone in the community uses informal supports, this is another way to highlight how the NDIS encourages the participant to use their informal networks.  If you've read any of our ArtISability newsletters you will have scene how I imagine this to work.

We have been assured that no Queenslander will be worst off under the NDIS.  However this may not mean you have the same no. of hours. The NDIA are looking for better ways to achieve outcomes. I know this is a sore point, but for some that involves moving out for home, because parents and carers can not do their job forever. So the NDIS is very much about preparing for the future. Having said this moving out of home may be a long term goal.

I expect under the NDIS your supports, your hours and the way you are support will look different to now. As you know your NDIS plan is centred around goals, not supports. The means the NDIA wants to know what you think your best live could look like? A goal is something you want to do or achieve.

  • Loss weight
  • Join a football team
  • Move out of home
  • Find work
  • Sell your art
  • Learn to draw
Not every participant will want to be a movie star; climb a mountain, or be the Queensland Representative for Supported Art Studio, although I hear oversea travel is high on agendas.  This maybe because its become a everyday thing for Aussies to do. Where possible the NDIA want participants lives to reflect those of their community peers.

So where's the protection for vulomable people? Personally I do not think participants need the level of duty of care that now exists. However protections were remain.

  • Goals must be lawful
  • The NDIA will not approve goals putting us at risk
  • Service providers still will be audited
  • Support staff need to have police checks even when directly employed by families.
  • Families who self-manager need to report each quarter and be subject to audits.
The NDIS is not throwing out the law book. Polices and procedures remain. 

We are natural fearful because we can not fully visualise how the changes will look.

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