NDIS: Q&A forum with Bill Shorten
Maree Ireland recently attended a Question & Answer Forum on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), organised by the member for Wills and also attended by the opposition leader Bill Shorten. The forum was held at the Pascoe Vale Neighbourhood Facility, where participants raised a number of issues.
“NDIS has good foundations for continued funding. This scheme is undoubtedly having some ‘teething’ issues with its implementation. However, most of the issues being raised are in the area of administration and solvable.”
Issues raised by forum participants:
This area has too small a team to make effective connections in the community. They are still recruiting coordinators for the Moreland area and have just commenced meeting people.
Why aren’t these services included in the NDIS funding criteria guidelines? Families with children with disabilities still need this service.
It is felt that plans are not really being tailored to the individual. Services needed by the individual are not being recognised as being specific for that person, for e.g. dietician services. Individual reviews are taking too long because of shortage of staff and the time it takes to organise one.
Local Area Co-ordinators (LACs)
It appears that LACs do not have any experience or understanding of disability. Currently, only 17% of workers in the division have knowledge/experience with disability. There is a new pilot pathway for NDIS (sent dozens of workers to work with the NDIS).
Planning process needs to be improved to accommodate people’s individual needs.
There are loads of complaints about being denied access to services.
NDIS needs to be reviewed with greater accountability. Current people are not competent – not engaging in the law.
**Bill Shorten will need to check about reviewing the NDIS – the NDIS is just a means to an end. He has a regular facebook forum proposition so people can put issues and concerns out there for discussion.
An audit mechanism is needed to know how many more resources are needed.
Contact with NDIS
People are complaining that even the forms that they fill in are difficult to send to the NDIS. It is not just about sending it either, there are difficulties completing the form itself.
Staff recruitment is too slow with NDIS. Inconsistency with the planning provides major concerns with the delays, nothing has changed with NDIS. They still have problems with invoicing for service providers.
Updates on NDIS
Based on feedback, NDIS has completed a review, by having meetings and conversations about the problems, inconsistencies are being addressed too, especially with the way the planning process is now being undertaken. NDIS are pushing for stronger minimum wages and good accreditation for the workers and to improve how they will bring people into the system.
As you can see, some people are experiencing problems accessing the NDIS. However, as with all social change, it will take time for this system to work the way we need it to work.