NDIS participants voice concern over proposed changes

Issues as government considers response to NDIS Review

NDIS participants voice concern over proposed changes

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

A survey conducted by the grassroots initiative Every Australian Counts has brought to light widespread concerns within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) community about proposed changes in the NDIS Review.

The feedback, sourced from both NDIS participants and their families or nominees, primarily contests the recommendation to limit participants to only using providers that are registered or enrolled.

NDIS participants and families are against the review recommendations

The survey revealed that 68% of participants are either against or strongly against the idea of mandatory registration for service providers, with a mere 13% in favour. This sentiment is mirrored among family members and nominees, with 58% opposing and 22% supporting the proposal.

Key issues identified include potential reductions in the autonomy of participants to choose their support services, questions over the efficacy of the current registration framework in preventing abuse and ensuring provider accountability, concerns about a narrowed market for support services, and anticipated hikes in the costs of services.

Expressions of deep concern were voiced, with some participants fearing that the proposed changes would strip them of essential supports without offering any tangible benefits, thus exposing them to heightened risks and vulnerabilities.

A common thread in the feedback was apprehension over the loss of existing supports due to the obligation for registration and the consequent inaccessibility to unregistered providers, which would include informal supports from friends or certain provider types that may opt out of registration.

In addition, the survey pointed to dissatisfaction with the conduct of some registered providers, described by some as large entities more focused on profit than on delivering personalised support.

Government called to listen to NDIS participants and families regarding review

Dr George Taleporos, independent chair of Every Australian Counts, called for the government to heed these concerns as it considers its response to the NDIS Review.

“Our community is greatly concerned that some of the changes proposed by the NDIS Review attack the key foundations of the NDIS that we fought for. Our community have spoken and have said a strong NO to any changes that will impact on our ability to be in control of where we live, who we live with and who provides our support,” he said. “As the government prepares its response to the NDIS Review, we ask them to listen to the voices of the disability community and our clear message to defend participant choice and control in the NDIS.

“We want to work collaboratively with the government to ensure that the NDIS stays true to its original intentions and ask the minister to meet with us to discuss our concerns and how they will be addressed.”

A community forum took place on April 7 at 12pm, where campaign director Kevin Stone led discussions on the survey findings and explored next steps.

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