Disability groups warn against changes to disability support scheme

Disability groups warn against changes to disability support scheme | Insurance Business

Disability groups warn against changes to disability support scheme

Disability groups have warned federal politicians that the planned changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would result in participants being viewed as a number rather than individuals.

The planned changes include individual assessments for NDIS applicants and reviews to determine what type of support they need.

A coalition of 20 disability representatives, providers, and advocates from Australian Autism Alliance, Deaf Australia, Brain Injury Australia, and Down Syndrome Australia is urging politicians to ditch the changes.

They held an online briefing to explain why the changes should not push through – with Labor MPs, independents Zali Steggall and Rebekha Sharkie, and Greens disability spokesman Senator Jordon Steele-John taking part in the briefing.

“This is not the NDIS we fought for. People with disabilities must be treated as individuals, not numbers,” said Inclusion Australia chief Catherine McAlpine, as reported by Port Lincoln Times.

The assessments are conducted by healthcare professionals who do not know a participant rather than their doctor of choice. They mainly consist of “yes” or “no” questions, which the disability groups fear does not allow added context or complexities to be taken into account.

Aaron, a participant in a pilot for individual assessments, found the process lacking – adding that his occupational therapist and psychologist were not consulted.

“The assessment conducted was not thorough, not in context, and not done by a suitable professional. It did not reflect my life or what my needs are,” Aaron told Port Lincoln Times.