The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the government’s insurance plan for helping disabled Australian’s, is to undergo a 'citizens jury' as part of its trial and consultation phase.
Originally launched in July 2013, the NDIS is being rolled out to over 400,000 Australians but has been filled with successes and failures since its inception.
It has been announced that sixteen randomly-selected participants in the scheme are to give their evidence to a citizens jury of twelve people in a three-day hearing in Sydney to find out if the scheme is working.
Organised by People with Disability Australia (PWDA), the citizens jury is the first time the trial has asked participants what they think of the scheme thus far and how it can be improved.
"Up until now the NDIS has been reviewed, evaluated and critiqued by a parliamentary committee, by consultants, academics and to some extent in the public domain through the media," said president of PWDA Craig Wallace.
"One group of people that are really central to this who we haven't asked to provide their verdict is people with disabilities themselves. We wanted to hear their views about how the NDIS trials are faring while making sure it's not just the voices that are usually heard."
The $22 billion scheme will be judged by a randomly-selected jury and they will deliver their verdict to government and the public in April.
"Australians signed on to this to help people with disabilities lead the lives they want to live," Wallace said.
"This jury is examining what needs to be celebrated, what needs to be improved and coming up with constructive recommendations."