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Facts Matter (When It Comes To the National Disability Insurance Agency)

Written by: Anthea Taylor l NDIS Plan Management Team

 

As the saying goes, never let the truth get in the way of a good story.  And who doesn’t love a good story?  We certainly heard some good ones throughout the recent federal election campaign over a broad range of issues – some based on truth, some with embellished truth and some not so truthful.  The National Disability Insurance Scheme was a feature of the election campaign, and rightly so, with politicians current at the time of campaigning and the wannabes all advocating their positions and telling stories using statistics, examples and future visions.

As good as a story may be, when it comes to the NDIS, the narrative should be based on the information which is factual and evidence-based.  Sorting fact from fiction in the information age, where information is a commodity that is readily available and widely disseminated by all manner of creators can however be an issue.

Now that the election is over, and a new government is in place, there is work to be done and promises to be kept.  We have a new Prime Minister in Anthony Albanese and a new Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Bill Shorten, who along with their party colleagues, committed to defending and fixing the NDIS based on a six-point plan.

Six Point Plan Guided Towards Bettering The Disability Insurance Agency

So, let’s take a look at the six-point plan;

  1. Revitalising the National Disability Insurance Agency through the lifting of the staffing caps, increasing the number of permanent staff, and reviewing the design, operation and sustainability of the scheme.
  2. Stopping the waste by reviewing the use of external lawyers, “cracking down” on down criminal and fraudulent activity, and reviewing consultancy contracts to ensure value for money.
  3. Boosting efficiency by streamlining the planning process to result in better initial plans for NDIS Participants, and improving the planning pathway and appeals.
  4. Stopping unfair cuts to NDIS Participants’ plans through the introduction and expert review that will guarantee NDIS Plans will not be arbitrarily cut.
  5. Fixing regional access by appointing a senior office with the National Disability Insurance Agency to tackle the concerning barriers to service delivery in regional areas of Australia.
  6. Putting people back into the National Disability Insurance Scheme by engaging people with disability to co-design changes to the scheme, including representation on the National Disability Insurance Agency board.

Further Commitments for NDIS Management

In addition to the six main policy initiatives, commitments were made to:

  • Increase advocacy funding by investing an additional $10 million for disability advocacy.
  • More flexible housing by pausing the changes to Supported Independent Living and identifying solutions to the red tape and increasing waitlists preventing people with disability from accessing appropriate housing.
  • Boost employment by creating an evidence-based Centre of Excellence to assist more people with disability in gaining long term jobs.
  • Not leaving anyone behind by ensuring action and support to measure the progress on a National Disability Strategy, develop a National Autism Strategy, backing research, and a central coordination point for disability.

The plan, at its essence, is about restoring the integrity of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and building on the original objectives of the scheme.  Authoritative and reliable information and integral to achieving this.

Help To Manage Your Plan With No Fake News

The plan as practical as it is needs an informed and evidence-based implementation.  There’s no shortage of information on the National Disability Insurance Scheme and all aspects of disability, but how much of it is reliable?

Any good librarian would advise and reiterate that sourcing and referring to authoritative and reputable sources of information are the key to information literacy and critical thinking.  Luckily at Canny Plan Management we have that covered.  We are adept at information research and referencing sources.

We find the following sources to be very useful starts when needing information relating to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and disability:

  • National Disability Insurance Act 2013 and other relevant legislation and instruments.  Whilst the National Disability Insurance Agency Act is the foundation for the purpose and operation of the NDIS, it is informed by and linked to the Disability Discrimination Act, the State based Equal Opportunity acts, and the various treaties and conventions Australia is party to.
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits – as the highest-ranking priority for interpreting any discrepancies between other National Disability Insurance Scheme published pricing related documents, it is the ‘go to’ source for NDIS Plan Managers.  The information in the Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits should also be readily known and referred to by Support Coordinators, providers and all National Disability Insurance Scheme staff.
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Website – the National Disability Insurance Scheme website provides comprehensive information on its web pages and links.  It should be an initial ‘go to’ source for information, however, like many large government or organisation websites its navigational and discovery structures can be frustrating.  What you think will and should be a quick and easy search can be very easily and quickly turn into a search akin to being in an information labyrinth.
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguards Commission website – as with the NDIS website, the Quality and Safeguards Commission website provides an array of relevant information and is another primary source of information.
  • National Disability Insurance Agency Publications – with any primary purpose of reporting on the progress of accountability of both the National Disability Insurance Agency and the National Disability Insurance Scheme it administers, the annual and quarterly reports, along with the monthly summaries make for some very interesting reading.
  • Department of Social Services Website – Disability and carers.  The DSS website is a great starting source of information on disability including research and data, and a range of publications and articles.  Importantly it provides access to Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 and the Disability Gateway.
  • Peak bodies and leading sector organisations play a vital role in providing and publishing authoritative evidence-based information.  The National Disability Representative Organisations, provide the government with information and advice on breaking down barriers and improving the social and economic participation of people with disability.  Leading sector organisations and academic think tanks are excellent sources of information arising from research.  The Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Summer Foundation and the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Disability Institute are just a few.
  • The Analysis & Policy Observation (APO) collects and collates public policy and research resources to provide a digital repository of reliable and authoritative evidence-based information.

This by no means is an exhaustive list of sources of information, merely some starting points, for finding the right information at the right time.

Canny Plan Management + Your NDIS Plan Management Needs

Canny Plan Management like to stick to the facts in everything we do, it’s as simple as that and to be honest, we don’t have time for anything else!

Our team have extensive experience and expertise in the disability sector and we care about you and helping you achieve your goals and aspirations as well as help you understand your entitlements.  We believe you should be looking for trust, expertise, and understanding in an NDIS plan manager – not to mention, one that sticks to the facts!

Get in touch with our team to have a chat and see if we can help you by forming part of your support network!

Head of NDIS Plan Management Anthea Taylor stands centre in the photograph wearing thick red framed glasses and wearing a white dress with a large black paisley print covering

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