Latest from the NDIS

As at July 1, the geographic rollout of the NDIS is now complete, with the inclusion of Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands as the final locations of coverage.

Whilst the Scheme now covers 100% of Australian territory, marking a major milestone, service delivery sits at 90% with 364,000 Participants now receiving services. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) estimates that funded supports will be delivered to 500,000 participants longer term.

Reaching remote communities.
Expansion of NCCP support.
Disability in the Bush app.

Reaching remote communities.

Reaching remote communities has been challenging, but the NDIA is continuing to work to ensure that more Australians living in rural and remote areas have the same ability to access support under the scheme as their city cousins.

This July, Minister for the NDIS Stuart Robert announced a $20 million expansion of the National Community Connector program (NCCP).

The program is specifically designed to build support links and assistance in accessing the NDIS, particularly in ‘harder to reach’ communities, including remote communities, for people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, People experiencing psychosocial disabilities; and Ageing parents or carers of people with disability.

Selected NCCP delivery partners include:

• National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
• Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia
• National Ethnic Disability Alliance
• Mental Health Australia
• First Peoples Disability Network

With the current COVID-19 situation, support will be delivered through telephone services, webinar and radio (in various languages), and online support.

The NDIA has also funded the development of an online app, ‘Disability in the Bush’ by Ninti One and the Interplay Project, that is designed to get vital information about accessing services under the NDIS to people in remote communities.

In an interview with the ABC*, Interplay Project’s Dr Sheree Cairney, an Associate Professor at Flinders University says, “Aboriginal Australians are twice as likely to have a disability as non-Aboriginal Australians, yet their access to services is quite poor.”

The app is designed to bridge the gap and has been developed by, and for, Aboriginal people. The app features the stories and experiences of remote residents with a disability, with translations into the Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara indigenous languages, and with plans to include further languages over time.

Visit Disability in the Bush.

Roll back of COVID-19 measures.

From July 1, the NDIS has rolled back temporary COVID-19 measures, including:

• Removing the temporary 10 per cent price loading on certain core and capacity building supports.
• Redefining the temporary cancellation period from 10 days to levels under the previous policy (2 business days) and;
• Returning the Medium-Term Accommodation (MTA) period to the original policy of 90 days (rolled back from 180 days).

Participant focused COVID-19 response measures will remain in place until further reviews are completed. This includes offering alternatives for face-to-face planning meetings, plan extensions for up to 24 months following review, and flexible use of funds to purchase low cost assistive technology.

Have your say.
The NDIA, in association with the Melbourne Disability Institute at the University of Melbourne, has developed a survey for NDIS Participants to have your say on your experiences during this time of COVID-19.

You can let the NDIA know how you have found communications and interactions with the NDIA, accessing NDIS funded services and using telehealth to access allied health services during this period.

The survey will remain open until August, and all responses will remain anonymous.
Access the survey by Clicking Here.

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