In a world-first, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolled out in 2016 with the aim of transforming the lives of people with disability and providing better choice and control for participants. Today, more than 300,000 people now receive funding supports through the NDIS with this figure set to grow to around 500,000 over the next five years.
“The NDIS has presented a fundamental change not only in the way disability support services are funded, but in how disability is perceived and regarded amongst the community,” says CEO of Achieve Australia, Jo-Anne Hewitt.
“More and more we are seeing examples of people with disability living independently, having a job, pursuing their passions and getting involved in community life. There’s still more work to do, but the NDIS has really played a big part in making this possible for the people we support and their families,” said Jo-Anne.
During the National Disability Services (NDS) CEOs’ Meeting held in Sydney from 20 to 21 November 2019, approximately 700 senior leaders from the disability sector came together to address the current state and future of the NDIS.
At the event, Jo-Anne says there was a new-found confidence in the room among service providers and those involved in the sector. “The commentary and discussions at the CEOs’ Meeting was more positive, focused on solutions and forward thinking which is great to see,” said Jo-Anne.
“There is also more optimism than ever before,” explained Jo-Anne. “Once the key issues of the NDIS are addressed, the scheme will be operating more effectively for everyone and, as a service provider, we will be able to deliver even better outcomes for the people we support.”
Minister for the NDIS, The Hon Stuart Robert presented at the CEOs Meeting on the Government’s newly developed strategy to finalise the roll out of the NDIS in 2020. “We are about 80 per cent there, with 20 per cent left to go. And the last 20 per cent is often the hardest,” said Minister Robert during his speech to announce the new plan at the Press Club on 14 November 2019.
“The plan is about delivering the last 20 per cent and putting the NDIS onto a business as usual even keel for the long term,” said Minister Robert.
The NDIS plan has six key areas of focus or ‘swim lanes’:
- Quicker access and quality decision making
- Increased engagement and collaboration
- Market innovation and improved technology
- A financially sustainable scheme
- Equitable and consistent decisions
- Improve long term outcomes
“Many of the vital areas in the NDIS which need to be addressed are featured in the Government’s new plan,” explained Jo-Anne. “With improved NDIS processes, structures, financial management and long term sustainability in place, providers can also focus more on areas of advocacy by supporting people with disability and their families to have their voices heard.”
In 2020 together with Alliance20, a collective of Australia’s largest disability service providers, Achieve Australia will continue to lead the way in advocating for solutions to strengthen the NDIS and champion for better services and outcomes for people with disability and their families. The group will meet quarterly in the new year to follow the progress on improvements set for the NDIS and continue to be a voice for the people we support.
Furthermore, the NDIS Annual Price Review 2020–21 has commenced to find out whether the existing pricing framework is appropriate and whether it meets the needs of participants, families, providers and those involved in the sector. Submissions close on Sunday, 2 February 2020.
Through government, sector and community collaboration, the ability of the NDIS to transform and positively impact more lives in the future is encouraging. “As an organisation we believe in the fundamentals of the NDIS and want to see more people with disability in future living their best life as an integral part of our community,” said Jo-Anne.
Find out more about Achieve Australia’s disability accommodation and services.