Monday, October 24, 2016

NDIS Reform

The two key words for understanding the NDIS reforms are "choice" and "control". The National Disability Insurance Scheme seeks to give individuals and families self-direction in determining the own lifestyles. Until now this has not been possible, as 'funding' was tied to a region not individuals and their individual and family needs. The key objective of the scheme is to increase participation rates in community life.

It is important to note that the agreement between each state and the federal government is different and when accessing information from the Website you click on the state in which you live. Todays post is about reform.

For those living with disability it is easy to get caught up with the changes needed under the new funding arrangements, our needs and preparing our plans for the National Disability Insurance Agency, we lose sight of the reform goals themselves.

The role of the NDIS is to assist people with disabilities and their families 'to live their best lives.'

The NDIS is a reform for all Australian and seeks to raise the equality of people living with disabilities with the peers. At policy level this is about social reform, but I feel the sector has lost sight of these as it struggles to grapple with the complexities of changes at grassroots level.  We are all flying on the edge of our seats.

What trouble me is social reform needs to be address at community level and like many policies people do not engage in discussion unless it affects us.  The irony is the NDIS is there in the event a person acquires a disability. Its great to seek the government tackling things like underemployment, aging population and encouraging independence, but until social inclusion issues are address the uptake on accessibility improvements to business, housing and cars will be slow. 

There has been little conversation other than facebook in regards to building community awareness, community engagement is only possible if everyone us open to changed.  If the public perceptions is one for "People in need of help" . Then things like employment opportunity and leadership roles are not going to evolved. 

The missing ingredient is empowerment. To make choices people need to be informed and understand all the options and the conquences of each choice. More encouragement is need from parents and carers for people with disabilities to have a go and the culture to protect and 'care for' people with disabilities is still very strong.

The funding changes are being rolled out but is the social reform keeping pace.

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