NDIA allocates over $10 million to disability organisations

Funding to boost collaborative reform efforts

NDIA allocates over $10 million to disability organisations

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has increased its investment in co-designing critical reforms to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by allocating additional funds to Disability Representative and Carer Organisations (DRCOs).

A total of 27 organisations, which collectively represent thousands of individuals with disabilities and their families, will share up to $10.7 million in funding.

Collaborative approach to improve the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Minister for the NDIS Bill Shorten, the NDIA, the Department of Social Services (DSS), the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NQSC), DRCOs, and members of the Independent Advisory Council (IAC) have agreed to a collaborative approach on reforms highlighted in the NDIS Review and outlined in a bill currently before Parliament.

“Organisations led by and who represent people with disability, their families, and carers are invaluable in guiding the scheme in a way that works for all participants and reflects the government’s commitment to include people with disability in co-design – as enshrined in the NDIS Act,” he said.

This two-year funding commitment aims to support ongoing co-design efforts, including:

  • Six Reform for Outcomes co-design working groups focusing on issues such as workforce capability and culture, fraud prevention initiatives, planning process improvements, and home and living evidence submission processes;
  • enhancements to NDIA recruitment processes to improve accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities;
  • a redesign of the NDIS plan and plan approval letter, which is expected to be released in July; and
  • the implementation of the recently launched NDIS Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Strategy.

Why is it important for disability groups and service providers to collaborate with the NDIA?

The 27 DRCOs represent a wide array of disability groups and services, including the Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO).

El Gibbs, acting CEO of DANA, underscored the significance of having NDIS changes guided by those directly affected by the scheme.

“DANA welcomes the additional resources for disability representative organisations as we work on co-design on NDIS reforms. This funding will enable DANA to include the expertise of our members, independent disability advocacy organisations, about how these changes are being felt by people with disability in local communities,” she said.

NDIS projects open for public consultation

The NDIA engages with participants, families, carers, supporters, and the public through various means, including workshops, surveys, research, and targeted approaches to reach under-represented groups.

The “Have Your Say” page on the NDIS website lists projects open for public consultation. The Participant First initiative also offers opportunities for feedback on improvements, with new engagement opportunities for participants and the wider community coming soon.

Interested parties can fill out a web form on the NDIS website to join.

“Co-design means we make better, more informed decisions and that people have greater ownership of the decisions made,” Shorten said.

The NDIA, which recently reminded plan managers and support coordinators of their responsibility to prevent the inappropriate use of funds, will continue to provide updates on co-design activities and keep the community informed about the progress of these efforts.

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