Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Rolling on with the NDIS

Possible Entry for Brisbane Rotary Art Show

Recently the ndia conducted a review of the National Disability Scheme, feedback from participants, providers and other stakeholders show that the majority of these were struggling to navigate ndis pathways. The ndia admits their needs to be a change its pathways to enter the ndis for participates. In particular the planning process, the push for telephone planning system has left many confused and dissatisfied.

The speed of the roll out has also affected service delivery, provider readiness, staff shortages and over all dissatisfaction from participants.  The transition is not a few computer flicks to change from one system to the next, but requires a major change in the way people with disabilities and their families are assisted to participate in living their best life.

We all know the single biggest change is to provide participants and families greater choice in the services they choose to access to meet their individuals needs. 

'When you've never had choice, how do you make choices 
and how do you know what choices, opportunities and services 
there are available to choose from.' 

On the ndis website you will find a list of ndis providers to chose from. I am not sure what your experience has been in accessing this list, but I gave up with trying to fish out providers from an extensive list. So I was guided by what I knew and was guided by "Street Talk". 

For providers giving participants choice and control of supports was scary business, the current system provides care, risk management and protection for 'some of the most vulnerable people in our community'. Until now our experience of giving people with disabilities 'choices' was unknown and for many still is; our natural instinct to protect participants is strongly in grained.  

So it is naturally many feel they are swimming against the tide. However, `an end to a care system of disability' was what participants said the wanted the most, so providers and those who provide care need to adapt.  In preparation for the ndis providers needed to explore 'how they cared for clients vs how the empower clients', both models can allow 'the protection' we are accommodate with. 

The ndis does not throw out the disability standards, industrial awards nor workplace laws.  Common laws and those pertaining to 1992 Disability Act need to be upheld by services providers; supplies; support staff - whether engage through a provider or employed by a private individual.  People with disabilities are no sick nor are the an endangered  spices.

They are people like you! With their own dreams and aspirations, their own likes and dislikes, they live in the community, attend the schools your children attend; study; look for work; undertake training; need to learn life skills; work and own businesses. They have relationships; fall in and out of love; get married; buy houses or pay rent; have children; get divorce, lose love ones and die too,

Participants make these choices and mundane choices like when to get out of bed and what to wear and have for lunch.  The notion that people with disabilities can not make choices and self-direct their own lives is clearly unfounded.  Those who need guardians have them to guide them.  The ndis doesn't not abolish the law, but rather points to participants gaining these rights rights under the laws.  Until understand this we will all struggle with the ndis pathways.

The core key in enabling participants to make choices around service providers and equipment supplies and how their funding will be administrated, comes back to the ndis goals they nominate in their planning meeting.  From there a map or pathway to allow the participants to achieve their goals can be developed. For participants the two key questions are:

  • What do you want to do?
  • How do you want to do it?
Your ndis plan is not about what services, supplies or providers you will be accessing,  but you, your family and 'life choices' we all make. These are choices around accommodation; schooling, education and training; work life - employment or volunteering, sports, arts and recreation. 

I was reminded of the importance of ndis goals in the planning process this week. Reviews are conducted 3 months out from your 2nd year plan being signed off.  My Local Area Coordinator as me yesterday,  how my goals are sitting for 2018/2019, we know my goal of a new chair will be carried over, but what's happening with my art business.  For me this emphasises the role your goals play in determining what your plan looks like. 

The first question on the review is where are you at with your goals?    The focus on participants goals in their planning and evaluation process is unlike anything tried before. The ndis empowers participants to take the lead when determining their own supports and networks.

Yesterday, the Ipswich ndis Area Office turned 1! Congratulations to the team who have been empowering individuals and families to determine their own futures and live their best lives.   

Tomorrow I am interviewing potential support staff as I begin to self-direct my own team.  I am both excited and anxious about the road ahead, the knowledge that working with providers has not been successful for me, spurs me on to try self-direction  I will let you know how my team develops. 

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