Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Towards Self-Direction under the ndis

The key to your ndis pathway is choice. The role of the ndis is to empower people with disabilities and their families (participants) to be actively engaged in the planning of their own supports. This process begins with choosing your ndis goals and how your package will be administrated.

The administration of your funding has three main paths:-
  1. the ndia
  2. funds host provider
  3. self-management
If you chose to have the ndia to manage your package on your behalf they will direct payment of invoices. You still will be setting your own ndis goals; be able to chose ndis support providers and supplies; and how you want to achieve your goals. However you won't be able to self-direct your supports or engage your own team of support workers. 

In most cases if you are under the adult guardian the ndia would prefer to managed your package. If you have a carer/guardian they can assist you to make choices around your goals and administration of your package.

  1. Your guardian might self-manage and self-direct your package on your behalf.
  2. Your guardian might engage a funds host provider on your behalf.

Choosing a funds host provider is the second way you package can be administrated. This will allow you to:

  • nominate your ndis goals
  • chose how to achieve those goals
  • chose the steps in achieving your goals
  • chose who will assist you to achieve your goals
  • chose your providers and suppliers 
  • self-direct your supports

Lastly you may choose to self-manage your package. This gives you all the choices around your goals and how you achieve them. As well as:-

  • Chasing between a Plan Manager or Self Management
  • Choosing to engage supports from ndis service providers and suppliers or genetic support provider like you local physiotherapist.
  • Self-directing your own supports.
  • Engaging your own support team.
  • Establishing you self managed support network; paying invoices and reporting.

Developing your pathways can be difficult at times. As you move through the ndis maze you will find choices within choices. Some choices will lead to road blocks and others will lead to more choices.

Choosing to Self-direct

Set my ndis goals 

Plan Manager or Self-manage

Choose ndis or genetic providers and supplies

Employ you own support team

There are many ways you can choose to engage your support team some of them are:
  1. Through a support provider
  2. Through a staffing agency
  3. Engaging a support worker through their ABN
  4. Directly employing support staff through your ABN

With the last three choices you need to negotiate your service agreements an ensure who is responsible for insurances, work cover and payments of invoices and wages.  Who will organize supperannnuation of employees.  Lots to consider before putting an advisement of SEEK.

There are people who can assist you in your planning and coordination of your supports.  Your ndis planner is the first person who you will talk to about your goals, how you might achieve your goals and plan management. Other assistance can be found by:

  • The ndis website
  • Your current provider
  • People who know you well. (This could be a current support worker.)
  • Use an advocate you know 
  • Carers' Queensland
  • Other ndis participants
  • Google
  • ndis information sessions and workshops
  • Queensland Disability Network
  • Disabilities Services Expo
  • Facebook discussion groups
  • Per-support groups
  • Reading articles, stories and blogs about ndis participants.

So I've rolled down the track a bit; made some mistakes; took some wrong u-turns; struggled with early pathways, struggled as we all are still learning how the ndis, made some changes in providers, asked lots of questions and I am thinking about my second ndis plan.

My ndis goals are about visual arts, inclusion and remaining independent. I am self-managing my package through engaging a Plan Manager. I started my journey through accessing one on one supports and threaphies through ndis service providers and engaging a home maintance team through their ABN.

Being an artist who does not keep 9 to 5 hours plan A has not worked for me. Like many participants in my area providers are still struggling to catch-up with demand and not been able to deliver on their promises.

Last week through the support of my Local Area Coordinator and Plan Manager I started interviewing potential members of my own support team.  To do this I am using a team I know well and trust. I also chatted to people in my network about the type of workers I was looking for.

Life as a artists is busy and there are always unplanned things to cope with, so I went to a recruitment agency. I ask them to advertise; short list candidates and arrange the interviews at times to suit me. 

Now I have almost finished interviewing I need to do reference checks and train my team.  My team will be employed by me through and agency.  This means my team will follow their policies and procressdures; be covered by the agency insurances and on their pay roll, their were a number of chioces I got to make along the way.  

I have been empowered through this process and enjoyed learning new skills, like working with a recuriting agency; interviewing and learning how to do reference checks. Now I need to look towards training my new team after Easter. 

This is my journey through the ndis maze, involving many u-turns. I hope it helps you in your own ndis maze.

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