NDIS is Failing People with a Disability. Fix it Now.

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The National Disability Scheme started with high hopes. 

For decades, Pwd's, Disability Groups, Advocates, Parents, Individuals and NGO's campaigned the Government for an improved disability funding model which would address social and economic inequality for disabled lives.  

In the past, opportunities for disabled people in Australia were limited. Families worked beyond exhaustion to provide support to their disabled family member/s. Not having access to quality services or funding, meant many people and families went without. If you were a person with a disability accessing disability service/s -  these services would dominate and control the service and therefore client outcomes. Clients had to conform to the service delivery model as there were no alternatives. These services were careless with disabled lives. 

With NDIS, the funding was meant to go directly to clients.  People were able to choose the right service and/or people who they wanted to work with them. This addressed inequality, poor quality care and service delivery because clients were able to move their funds to the service or people they wanted.  Services would ultimately increase and a disability market was born.  After time as services increased, Pwd' had access to a greater number of services. This also included disability and mainstream services. 

NDIS was meant to revolutionise the Disability Sector and in the trial phase, stories and outcomes looked promising.

It is clear now, the people who were in the trial phase, had a very different experience of NDIS, from the people who are accessing NDIS now. 

That is why we want NDIS fixed and we want it fixed now!

1. The NDIS appears to be more of a long-term cost-cutting Industry measure rather than actually providing real services for people with a Disability. Get real about the scheme. Get real about making an efficient funding model which ensure services are viable in the future.  

2. Disability services are getting cut or are closing. This is because it has not been funded appropriately. 

3. People with disabilities are being reassessed under the scheme to discover their disability does not meet the new and current criteria of having a disability. They now find themselves without any funding and supports at all. It was promised that no one would be worse off under the Scheme, but people are.  

4. NDIS is becoming complicated and too bureaucratic. Participants cannot access the information they need. The information is not accessible. As a result, people need to rely on Advocates for support. This defeats the objective of the funding model. 

5. Advocacy Funding is being cut. 

6. Disability Services are not getting paid. There are ongoing issues with the portal and services sometimes wait months before receiving payments. Parents are refusing to pay services even after commissioning the work. NDIS has no safeguards in place. 

7. There are no obvious Industry Watch Dog which considers complaints of abuse and corruption. 

8. Experienced Staff from the Disability sector are being overlooked for positions within the Agency. While the interview process has "Affirmative Measure" - this only considers how information is accessible during the interview process.  Not having experienced and qualified disability staff is affecting the quality outcomes of the scheme. 

9. There is NOT enough support being offered to newer and smaller disability services which are trying to establish themselves in this market. Notably, a number of larger disability services are gaining access to grant funding and additional funding supports.  This is not building choice in the Disability marketplace as the traditional Disability services maintain their hold in the market and continue to deliver poor quality services. 

10. Participants cannot access their funding due to issues with the portal, lack of services or lack of approvals by the Agency to use the funding. Even with professional reports, funding requests are being denied. This continues the hardship families are facing. 

11. The system through NDIS is extensive, confusing and cumbersome. Instead of resolving these issues, it becomes more confusing.  Changes are being made without active consultation with Disability Groups.

12. The price guide is confusing and does not reflect all the services people with a Disability need. Instead of having so many categories just provide funding and a support plan so people have flexibility on how the funds are used. If changes are made then participants can report to this to the Agency with a new funding support plan. What this does is: simplifies the system and reduces costs for Agency staff who are currently constantly having to review poorly allocated plans. 

13. This Scheme has not been resourced appropriately and this is reducing the quality of the service delivery. Quality Assurances, Auditing, Management and Administration have not been included in billable hours organisations can charge. What this does is, it limits competition, as smaller companies cannot compete.  

14. Some Larger/Traditional Disability Organisations have set up for-profit businesses, which use these funds to feed into the not-for-profit and NDIS section of the Business. Furthermore, these larger companies continue to receive the additional monies by way of Grants which smaller, medium and newer companies are unable to access. 

15. The criteria of who has a disability need to be broader and needs to include more definitions. 

What we want is: 

o  A simpler NDIS Funding model. 

o  A simpler Entry process into the Scheme. 

o  More Qualified and Experienced Workers Trained in Disability. More People working within NDIS who have a lived experience of disability. This needs to include both visible and invisible disabled workers. 

o  Provide more funding and business support to Smaller and Medium Disability Services. 

o  Provide more funding and business support for newer Disability Services who are entering the market.

o  Stop cutting Funding to Advocacy Groups and include Advocacy Services Funding within a funding brokerage system. 

o  Improve training and workforce innovation for disability workers nationally. 

o  Provide a complaints system, so the NDIS complaints system is centralised and is not reliant on the State Departments. 

(Made By Dyslexia) 


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