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May 13, 2014
Geraldine Mellet

First NDIS Planning Forum in WA – Schedule of Phase-In

On Tuesday May 13 it was exciting to see the NDIS becoming a reality in WA at the first of a number of planning forums,  and to hear for the first time who will be phased in at what time.

Robyn Massey from DSC and Marita Walker the new State Manager of the National Disability Insurance Agency in WA, presented and took part in a Q&A.

The following is from notes taken on the day.   Please remember to get up to date information on the NDIS go to www.ndis.gov.au

WA NDIS Perth Hills Workshop – with speakers Marita Walker & Robyn Massey
May 13th 2014 Midland Sports Complex

The WA agreement – what does it mean? (Robyn Massey – Exec Director of My Way)
The Productivity Commission, in its 2011 report into Disability support and care, said something needed to be done to fix Australia’s underfunded, unfair and broken disability system, which would need many additional resources. The WA government said they didn’t feel they needed to change their system, as there were aspects wanted to hang onto, but they acknowledged the need for additional resources.

Following the PC report all jurisdictions signed up to the scheme, with various states committing to launch sites at different times. WA said it wanted a unique launch to use its existing system – something the Commonwealth did not agree with. It was the last of the states to sign up to an agreement, and the only one to have 2 distinct launch sites – one for My Way and one for NDIS, with a decision about what works best to happen at the end of the and 2 year trial.
There was a long hold up over the bilateral agreement as to what launch sites would look like. Now that has been signed everyone is frantically working to get details in place – with the schedule of phasing in to NDIS only resolved last week.
There will be an independent evaluation to identify the best bits of both schemes for the future system. There is commitment for equal funding across those 2 sites for those who are eligible based on ABS data. Multiply that that by an average support package of $35,000 and that amounts to significant new resources put in by state and Commonwealth.

There will be an Independent evaluation – overseen by NDIA, the Commission, PM and cabinet and Premier and cabinet and community reps from NDIS Hills trial and My Way. When the tender is awarded the winner will present its methodology and reports to the NDIS steering group.

No one system is perfect so all the way along we will share data and information, that’s part of the agreement. We have to set up a system that is sustainable into future based on actuarial info and data.

Launch arrangements – key criteria – have to be similar in size 4000 plus people deemed to be eligible in all sites. Cockburn/Kwinana doesn’t start till 2015as a My Way NDIS trial. As with the other sites participants will be phased in gradually. Up to 8400 people will be covered.

What is similar to both launch approaches?
Committed to principles of NDIS – increased choice and control of the individual and family members
Consistent approach to eligibility
Largely based on current eligibility expanded to those who have psycho social disability, those getting HACC services etc.
Consistency in determining what is reasonable and necessary support
Continuity of support for those already getting support
Guarantee of portability – moving between states or sites

What will it mean for people in Perth hills?
From July 1 all support to be provided by NDIS
Gradual quarterly transition from state services to NDIS over 2 years
Ongoing supports and services provided until people are due to be rolled in
No services will be cut off
LAC/MWC cease by end of June 2015 – transition across to NDIS
Ongoing eligibility for those currently registered with DSC
New people will be referred to NDIA not DSC

For further contact email MyWay@dsc.wa.gov.au

Transition in the Perth Hills – ( speech by Marita Walker State Launch Site Manager NDIA)

NDIS is the new way of delivering disability support where supports are tailored to individual needs. Everyone in Australia can be reassured that the government has taken out the insurance policy – and in doing this they acknowledge that disability can occur anywhere, anytime and that governments should ensure people receive the support they need with certainty. Like other insurance schemes it will need to build information about what people need, what works best for them, and overall the supports that are most effective.

Choice and Control is central – this comes from strong feedback nationally that people with disability and their families want to be in charge of their own lives.
Needs driven rather than rationed funding – don’t have to wait in queue, don’t have to be critical and urgent.

Delivered in local communities and each launch site has local people employed and delivering the scheme with local flavour.
Working to ensure national coverage so all Australians have access.
People with disability who meet access requirements will become participants.
Wide gateway – encourage you to use the My Access Checker on the NDIA website to find out if you are eligible

Requirements for eligibility:
Permanent disability
The disability must have big impact on the person’s day to day life and ability to participate in the community
The person will need supports for the rest of their life
Early Intervention Requirements

There is greater emphasis on early intervention, recognising evidence that if intervention is early enough it improves outcomes so it is a value investment to spend more money up front

The NDIS Journey
The NDIS is all about the participant being at the centre of what it is we are thinking about and doing. Not a matter of starting from scratch again and re telling your story. For people who are already funded for accommodation or individualised funding package or connected to LAC, you have already satisfied the eligibility criteria.
Only need to check your address and age – for under 65s

Preparing for planning
What can people do now and in next few weeks and months to prepare.
Having a Plan is central to the scheme. Its an opportunity to think about what you have now and what you would like to be different – either support and/or delivery of support
Talk to people now such as your LAC, My Way coordinator, service provider, friends, family etc and find out what supports you currently have and think about what you want the future to look like.
When you come in for formal contact with the NDIA you will talk about your goals and aspirations, your current level of support and what you want to continue. You’ll get the most benefit from that conversation if you spend time now thinking about what you want.
In the planning process you will talk about your existing supports, what you want to retain and what opportunities you want for the future.
Once you and the Agency agree on the plan it is signed off and then sign off
Some of most important things are not necessarily funded, because they are about linking in to mainstream supports.

The Key Questions in your initial session will be:
What is working well for you?
What would you like to change?
What would you like to try?

The Plan is made up of your individual goals plus other supports already provided (from family, friends, community, mainstream etc) and then what needs to be added on and funded by the NDIS
Options for how the plan and funding are managed are various. Iit can be done by yourself or invoices paid by NDIA or managed by a third party.
In other trial sites there is a mixture of those who choose to self manage and those who opt for an agency to do it on their behalf or those who have a combination.

The Hills trial sit is currently building its Perth Hills team which will be aprox 25 staff by July.
Office 74 -78 Railway Pde Midland (near train station)
Local Advisory Group – first meeting 16th May
Local Advisory Network (50) first gathering 23rd May. Membership still open if you want to express interest

Phasing of Scheme Participants will be according to categor and suburb. Click on this link to get the NDIS WA fact sheet WA Phasing NDIS Hills Launch Site

When Where
July ­‑ September 2014 Baskerville,   Herne Hill, Jane Brook, Middle Swan, Midland, Midvale, Millendon, Stratton,   Viveash, Woodbridge
October – December 2014 Kiara,   Lockridge, Brabham, Caversham, Guildford, Hazelmere, Henley Brook, South   Guildford, West Swan, Bellevue, Boya, Greenmount, Helena Valley, Koongamia,  Swan View, Noranda (City of Swan), Aveley   (postcode 6063), Beechboro, Bennett Springs, Ballajura (and Malaga),   Cullacabardee (and Whiteman, Lexia and Melaleuca), Brigadoon
January – March 2015 Aveley   (postcode 6069), Ellenbrook (and Belhus), The Vines, Upper Swan, Gidgegannup   (and Red Hill), Bullsbrook, High Wycombe, Maida Vale, Wattle Grove (postcode   6057), Forrestfield, Roleystone, Bickley, Carmel (and Canning Mills),   Gooseberry Hill, Kalamunda, Lesmurdie, Pickering Brook, Walliston, Wattle   Grove (postcode 6107), Sawyers Valley
April – June 2015 Darlington,   Glen Forrest, Hovea, Mahogany Creek, Mundaring, Parkerville, Stoneville,   Mount Helena, Chidlow (and The Lakes, Gorrie and Malmalling), Wooroloo (and   Beechina)

Contact – Marita.walker@ndis.gov.au

Question & Answer session 
Will there be there any more services, for example therapy, in local areas?

Yes but it won’t necessarily happen quickly – while there is recognition that there needs to be more providers doing different things it will take some time for this to happen.

What happens to the person after they reach 65 – cut off age?
Government policy is that the aged care system is funded separately and differently to NDIS. If you are under 65 and are already a part of disability services – you can choose to stay in disability system or used aged care services…but you wont be able to enter NDIS if you acquire your disability after 65.

What are the key differences between NDIS and My Way?
My Way will continue with their My Way Coordinator as the first and main point of contact through planning and the rest of the process.
My Way pay the providers a person chooses quarterly in advance while the NDIA pay providers a person chooses to use on invoice for services. (This is paying providers directly).
NDIA has started with a list of supports and services and prices but My Way don’t have a menu of supports or prices. `

What will happen to existing LACS?
Those who want to can stay with the Commission and will move to other areas of DSC, or they may apply to work with NDIA.
Once signed off, how much of the plan can be changed with altered needs?
There will be an annual review. But if there are significant changes there is capacity for people to come back before then.

We have a child 18 exiting school applying for ATE funding through DSC, which is expected in August . What will happen now?
You will have done the hard work in planning for what you need – you will come in and talk about that. An LAC can assist you until you come in to the NDIS. There is recognition that school transition is not easy so there may be some flexibility in transition to NDIS.

In regards to LACs- who are a great source of information – is there going to be anyone like that?

Title is different but function is the same with the Planning and Support coordinator. Likely to be a different person to your LAC. We accept that it might be hard to lose long standing relationships. We are still finalising recruitment of planning and support coordinators.

You projected about 4000 people will be eligible – is this based on people in need or funding available?
Based on ABS statistics of what is known of people in need now – including extra amount for those with psycho social conditions. The figure is then used to estimate how much funding is needed in the scheme based on an average package size of $35,000 per year. We know there are people who will need very large packages to cover their supports and others who will only need small amounts. All the current data shows that this averages out across Australia to the average package size.

What if everyone in that area exceeds average amount of support package?
We know that that’s not the case from existing state data and trial site data. There is a commitment that nobody will be worse off, that people will have continuity of support..

If we need to have someone provide invoices from support workers what happens if you use someone once or someone who doesn’t work through an agency?
Then you make a decision to self manage that part of your package and set up ways you can legitimately pay the person. There needs to be some recording of that payment. Principles of self management will be the same as under the legislative framework that exists now – those requirements wont change. There are a whole lot of resources on the website – eg the participant portal where people can check how much money they have left and can manage aquittal forms and the like.
Hopefully when peer support networks start up there will be the opportunity in future to set up workshops on that.

If a package is worked out at $50,000 and you want to go through an agency and not to self manage, is the agency’s fee taken out of that amount?
Yes, if you don’t want to self manage then the NDIA pays the invoices to the service providers and gets paid on your behalf. You will know in advance what those costs are. You could decide to self manage and get someone to help you do that. There are also mixed packages -eg for all of your support worker you could go through an agency but you might self manage the portion that relates to community support.

One thing that’s worrying me is the interim period, we’ve been hanging out till first of July. My son’s My Way application was knocked back…we’ve done all the prep work – and now looking at the list of which suburb comes in first, I can see we are limbo till we are we phased in in Jan to March next year. We’ve been in limbo a long time and I’m sick of hearing that the pie is not big enough?
My Way has not had the resources to cover people through the existing state system – but NDIS will have the resources..

What are the qualifications/background of Planning Support coordinators – who will be determining funding? How do we know they have a sound knowledge of the complexities of disabilities?
In other NDIS sites those people had to have allied health qualification, this has now changed in WA and we see the most important things as their value and attitudes. So we will be finding out how they have given people choice and control in their previous work – whether it was disability or elsewhere. This is not dissimilar to how LACs have been recruited. What we want is a spread of skills and experience and knowledge in team. We have already employed senior managers that have experience in complex circumstances. And where necessary we can buy in specialised advice.

Please remember to get up to date information on the NDIS go to www.ndis.gov.au

 

May 2, 2014
Geraldine Mellet

Dont Mess with the NDIS on the airwaves

In addition to thousands of emails that reached the Prime Minister, State Premiers and Chief Minister in the last 24 hours,  campaigners took to the media to spell out the effects of  the recommendations of the Commission of Audit to people with disabilities and their families.

Among the most vocal were EAC’s Fiona Anderson and WA campaigner Jo Russell who talked about what it means at the frontline of disability and family life to hear the timeline and funding of the NDIS called into question yet again. Fiona also referred to the fact that in the last quarterly review individual funding packages were actually coming down which begged the question of why there needed to be talk of capping, particularly at this early stage of the process.  Click on the bottom two links to listen.

 

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Mar 17, 2014
Fiona Anderson

NDIS: helping people work and participate

We hear a lot of talk about the cost of the NDIS, but let’s not get side-tracked.

What our political leaders and the public need to really understand is the economic return on investment that the NDIS will generate, as it provides the platform for greater social and economic participation for people with disability and their families. Like these Australians:

3 Australians explain the economic benefits of individualised disability funding. Picture 1: Vanessa and her daughter Tayla. Vanessa says: "Caring for Tayla when my husband became ill meant we were in crisis relying on emergency support. With our NDIS plan, Tayla's potential is being realised, I have more work opportunities and our other daughter is getting more of the time and attention she deserves. Suddenly we all have real choices and are a much bigger part of the community." Picture 2: Damien the TV boom operator. Damien says: "With individualised support I got a job with a real wage in open employment. It's something I'm passionate about and now I rely less on my pension, pay my own rent and bills and have savings too. I feel like I'm in control."  Picture 3: Sean and his daughter Alex.  Sean says: "After my accident I was determined to find a way back to work and a normal life. Individual support funding paid for my wheelchair, home modifications and personal and work support which enabled me to set up an assistive technology business for people with disabilities. This helped me buy my own home, support my family and give back."

3 Australians explain the economic benefits of individualised disability funding. The funding pays for supports which enable them to work, care for their families and be part of everyday life.

As NDIS Chair Bruce Bonyhady says:

“Without the NDIS, the nation would miss out on the 1 per cent boost to GDP that the Productivity Commission found the scheme would generate through greater workforce participation by people with disability and their carers.”

Do you think all the new MPs in federal Parliament understand how important the NDIS is to you and your family?

Email us at info@everyaustraliancounts.com.au

We will send your views and hopes on to new federal MPs, who represent you in Parliament.

Aug 20, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

Coalition sticks with NDIS and unveils disability policy

Liberal Leader Tony Abbott today unveiled his party’s disability policy and committed aFederal Coalition Government to honouring all existing Commonwealth agreements with States and Territories for launch sites and the full implementation of the NDIS plus maintaining the announced funding.

He also confirmed that Geelong would host the head office of the NDIS, but that the Coalition would dump the name DisabilityCare Australia and revert to NDIS.

If elected to office, the Coalition would establish a joint parliamentary committee to oversee the implementation of the NDIS. Earlier this year, the Federal Government agreed to the Coalition’s proposal to establish such a committee. The Coalition would extend the committee’s scope and its life until at least 2019-20.

A Coalition Government would put all policy and programs for disability employment under the responsibility of the Minister for Disabilities. (At present, the Disability Minister is responsible for supported employment and the Employment Participation Minister is responsible for Disability Employment Services).

The Coalition says that current arrangements create unnecessary duplication and complexity, blur lines of accountability and make it difficult for people with disability to access the services they need.

The Coalition would also establish an industry advisory council for the disability and carer sector.

You can read the full policy here. 

Aug 18, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

New Fact Sheet – WA & NDIS launch sites

Details of the recent agreement between WA & the Commonwealth over launch sites in WA will be worked out over the next few months. Here is the first of the official fact sheets from the WA Disability Services Commission with answers to many frequently asked questions:

DISABILITY REFORM IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

FACT SHEET – 19 August 2013 

Background information

On Monday 5 August 2013 the Prime Minister and the Premier of Western Australia signed an agreement for disability reform in Western Australia.  The agreement is for a two year launch commencing on 1 July 2014.

The launch in Western Australia will offer eligible people with disability and their families and carers in launch sites the reassurance they will get the reasonable and necessary care and support they need over their lifetimes.

Under this agreement, the Commonwealth and Western Australian governments will contrast two approaches for the delivery of disability services in different locations. Two approaches are being tested in order to allow genuine comparison of the merits of the national DisabilityCare Australia model and the Western Australian My Way model, and to allow the lessons to be shared during the launch period and taken into the full scheme roll out of DisabilityCare across Australia.

The agreement between the two governments is a high level statement of commitment for the reform of the disability support system in Western Australia.  As such, it does not contain the specific details of how the two launch approaches will be trialled. The work required to prepare for the launch in July 2014 will commence immediately and details of these arrangements will be released on a regular basis.

Agreements between the Commonwealth and Western Australian governments with further details of implementation arrangements and costs will be finalised by November 2013.

Keeping people with disability and their families/carers informed of developments over the next ten months will be a high priority.

Launch sites

The State Government’s My Way model will be progressively implemented in the Lower South West region and Cockburn Kwinana area with additional funding from the Commonwealth and State governments to flow from 1 July 2014 in the Lower South West and from 1 July 2015 in Cockburn Kwinana.  The My Way model will be implemented by the WA Disability Services Commission under State legislation.

A two year launch of the national DisabilityCare Australia model will commence in the Perth Hills area on 1 July 2014.  Incremental roll out of the DisabilityCare Australia model will take place over the two year launch period.

The specific geographic boundaries of the launch areas, and the sequencing of phasing-in of localities in the Perth Hills launch site, are yet to be determined and are subject to negotiation between the State and Commonwealth governments.

How many people will be eligible for support in the launch sites? 

In total, approximately 8,400 eligible participants in Western Australia will benefit over the launch period.

Who will be eligible for support in the launch areas?

The eligibility criteria developed for DisabilityCare Australia (as set out in the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013) will be used in both of the Western Australian launch models.  The My Way model will use the same eligibility rules that will apply across the nation.   Like the DisabilityCare Australia launch sites in New South Wales and Victoria, both of the Western Australian launch approaches will apply to all eligible people under 65 at the time of launch, rather than being limited to more specific age cohorts.

Will people with disability currently not accessing services be able to access support in the launch sites? 

Yes.  People with a disability who meet the eligibility criteria under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and are permanently living in the launch areas will be eligible for support in the two launch areas. 

Why will the Goldfields My Way area not be included in the launch?

The agreement between the Commonwealth and State governments required that the two launch sites have similar sized populations to ensure comparability in the evaluation of the two approaches.

The Lower South West region and Kwinana-Cockburn area include a total of approximately 4000 people who will be eligible to participate in the Western Australian My Way launch site. The Perth Hills area has a similar number of people who will be able to participate in the DisabilityCare Australia launch site.

While the Goldfields area will not be part of the two year launch, eligible people will still be able to use the My Way approach within existing funding allocations. My Way in the Goldfields region will continue to align with the key principles of DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, and will also include increased choice and control, local decision making and decentralised funding processes.

Will people with mental health issues be eligible to access support in the launch areas?

The eligibility criteria allows for people with impairments attributable to a psychiatric condition to access the scheme where their impairments are, or are likely to be, permanent, and result in a substantially reduced function in undertaking daily activities and capacity for social and economic participation.   Impairments that vary in intensity may still be considered permanent. The State and Commonwealth Governments will work together in the coming months to clarify how support will be rolled-out to this group of people.

What will be similar in the two launch approaches?

There will be a consistent application of the key aspects of disability reform including:

  • consistent approaches to eligibility
  • consistency in the determination of reasonable and necessary supports
  • a guarantee of portability provisions (for people moving between launch areas – in Western Australia and inter-state)
  • quality assurance system (see further details below) 

What will be different in the two launch approaches?

The key differences between the two approaches are:

  • The My Way launch will be implemented by the WA Disability Services Commission under State Legislation.  State-specific operational guidelines will apply. The DisabilityCare Australia launch will be implemented by the national DisabilityCare Australia agency under the national legislation and use national operational guidelines.
  • The My Way model uses Local Area Coordinators (LACs) as the first point of contact in the planning process. LACs in My Way sites also have access to flexible discretionary funding to use, where appropriate, to assist people achieve the goals identified in their plan. In the DisabilityCare Australia launch, planning conversations will occur with specialist planners and LACS will be involved in planning discussions where they have an existing relationships with the participant. LACs will help people with disability to be linked up in their community and to assist in coordinating the supports they receive.
  • Under the My Way model, disability service organisations will retain their existing strong partnership and contractual relationship with the Disability Services Commission, including the use of payments in advance for disability service organisations. The DisabilityCare Australia launch will operate under a national pricing scheme which reflects the conditions in local markets, including loadings. Participants will be able to source supports from any DisabilityCare Australia registered provider. Providers will be paid for services on receipt of an invoice

 

For details of how DisabilityCare Australia will operate in WA launch refer to www.disabilitycareaustralia.gov.au

For details of how the My Way sites will operate, refer to http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/reform1/reform/my-way

How will people with disability and their families be involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of the launch approaches?

The existing My Way Partnership Group will continue to guide the implementation of the My Way sites.  A local advisory panel will be created to ensure strong local influence in the DCA launch site.  Other arrangements for the involvement of people in design, implementation and evaluation will be explored in the coming months.

What happens at the end of the launch period?

The agreement signed on 5 August 2013 covers the two year launch period.

An independent comparative evaluation of the services and outcomes in the DisabilityCare Australia site and the My Way sites will be undertaken throughout the period July 2014 – July 2016.  The results of this evaluation will feed into any future disability reform in Western Australia and the legislative review of the operation of DCA across Australia

The State and Commonwealth Governments have previously committed to provide ongoing support to participants in launch sites until transition to full scheme commences or an agreement is made covering ongoing support to launch participants.

How will the evaluation of the two approaches be conducted?

The independent evaluation of the services and outcomes in the Western Australian DisabilityCare Australia site and the My Way sites will be overseen by a joint steering committee and with agreed assessment criteria for comparing the operation of the sites.

The terms of reference of the evaluation will be agreed by the committee and the Commonwealth and State disability ministers.  Details of the joint steering committee and the independent evaluators are yet to be determined.

The evaluation of the two approaches in Western Australia will be separate to the evaluation of the launch of DisabilityCare Australia to be conducted by Flinders University.

What happens to people with disabilities living outside the launch areas who require support?

The existing State disability service system will continue to provide services and supports to people with disability, families/carers in all parts of Western Australia outside the launch areas.

The Disability Services Commission has already commenced a major reform of the local disability services system.  This reform process is increasing the flexibility of the support system and is increasing the level of choice and control available to people with disability to plan and develop supports and services to suit their individualised requirements.  These reforms are consistent with the national disability reforms and are on-going.

Will a National Injury Insurance Scheme be implemented by July 2014?

The introduction of a National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS) in Western Australia is still under consideration by the State Government.  Consistent with agreements with all other governments, the costs associated with providing care and support for people who sustain catastrophic injury in the two WA launch areas will be met by the State Government.

What system will be used to ensure the quality of services provided to people in the launch sites?

It has been agreed that the My Way launch and the DisabilityCare Australia launch will both use the existing Western Australian quality assurance system to monitor the quality of services provided by service provider organisations operating in the launch areas.  Prior to July 2014 refinements will be made to this quality assurance system to improve the safeguards and monitoring processes.

What complaints and appeals processes will be operating in the two launch areas?

The details of the complaints and appeals processes to operate in the two launch areas are yet to be determined.

How will sector development be supported and progressed in the launch sites?

Sector planning and development will be a key component of both models.

Ensuring that people with disability who are eligible for support can exercise choice and control by being able to access a range of alternative service providers in their local area will be an important component of the My Way approach.

The Commonwealth has a Sector Development Fund covering the DisabilityCare Australia  approach, to prepare the disability sector for the new way of delivering disability support in recognition of the fact that building the capacity of disability organisations to harness the opportunities available through DisabilityCare Australia is critical to success.

What will happen next?

The State and Commonwealth Governments will negotiate the details of the agreement, including the financial arrangements, by November 2013.  Details will be made available as soon as possible.

The Disability Services Commission will work with DisabilityCare Australia and the existing WA NDIS Reference Group to develop a strategy for engagement with people with disability, their families and carers, and service providers.

How will the Disability Services Commission communicate with people with disability and families/carers in the My Way launch sites prior to the start of the launch?

The Disability Services Commission is developing a detailed stakeholder communication and engagement strategy.  This is a high priority and will be released as soon as possible.

For currently available information about My Way and DisabilityCare Australia go to:

My Way:                                  www.disability.wa.gov.au>Reform>My way

DisabilityCare Australia     www.disabilitycareaustralia.gov.au

 

 

Aug 14, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

Diary of DisabilityCare Experience – Lynne Foreman

Lynne Foreman is a Geelong resident who has been one of the foremost campaigners for the NDIS in her area She is also someone who knows personally about what a difference this reform can make, having been on a waiting list for 9 years with only a modest amount of emergency support. 

While visiting relatives in WA,  over the last two weeks Lynne was willing to don the campaign t-shirt and talk about her experience as one of the first people in Australia to go through the DisabilityCare system and receive a support package, including a component which allowed her to access equipment and support during her holiday in WA.  She is pictured above with members of the MS Outreach Society.

Lynne has Arthrogryposis (Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita) which is a muscle disorder that causes multiple joint contractures at birth. (A contracture is a limitation in the range of motion of a joint). This is how she describes it:

I was born with my legs crossed across my chest, deformed feet (my feet now are the size of a 3 year olds and I have no toes) stiff joints mainly from my hips down, on my hands I do have a few fingers which have no top joints. At the age of 49 they discovered my neck also has been fused in the 2 top vertebras from birth.  

Lynne talked about her firsthand experience noting the immediate difference of DisabilityCare as a ‘one stop shop’ where she can get information any time she needs it as well as her main support package. She found the service timely and flexible, although some of the language in the documents was a little confusing. She particularly appreciatedfeatures such as the portal which enables her to keep track of what support she is entitled to and what she’s used and how that makes the care provider accountable.

Lynne kept a diary of her experience and you can read it here.

Aug 14, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

Minister Macklin’s message re WA

With WA now counted in the Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin, who has progressed this scheme from a good idea to a reality, can now truly call it national. Read her joint letter with Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Amanda Rishworth about this exciting development :

Dear Friends

We are so pleased to be part of a Federal Labor Government that is delivering DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, in every Australian state and territory.

This week, the Prime Minister announced that the Australian Government and Western Australian Governments have agreed to launch the scheme in Western Australia from July 2014.

Around 8400 West Australians with disability, their families and carers will benefit from this significant agreement.

The two Governments will jointly fund a DisabilityCare Australia launch site in the Perth Hills area. The Perth Hills DisabilityCare launch site will provide individualised care and support to around 4300 people with disability, with the Australian Government investing around $61 million over two years for participants’ support packages.

In addition, two sites will also be jointly funded to operate under the West Australian My Way model, in the Lower South West and Cockburn-Kwinana areas, with around 4,080 participants. These sites will be delivered by the Western Australian Disability Services Commission under State legislation.

The Australian Government will contribute around $60 million to participants’ support packages in the My Way sites over the two-year launch period.

An independent evaluation of the services and outcomes across the sites will be undertaken throughout the launch period.

The Western Australian launch agreement is another important step forward for DisabilityCare Australia and builds on the successful launch of the scheme in four sites across the country on 1 July this year.
And it is a huge step forward in rolling out the national scheme across the country by 2019, which the Federal Labor Government has locked in with our investment of more than $14 billion in additional funding over the next seven years.

Just like Labor built Medicare, we are building DisabilityCare.

We’d like to thank you all for your continued support for this historic Labor reform –your voices have been an essential part of making DisabilityCare Australia become a reality.

Jenny and Amanda
http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office/launch-disabilitycare-australia-western-australia

Aug 6, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

Details on WA launch sites

Today Ron Chalmers,  the CEO of Disabilities Services Commission WA,  issued a letter with details of Western Australia’s sign up to NDIS launch sites.

Read the full letter here.

Aug 5, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

WA Campaigners speak about sign up

There’s been some great media awareness created in the last 24 hours by WA campaigners celebrating their state’s sign up to DisabilityCare launch sites.

Listen to how the ABC covered the news with campaigners Sue Ellen Bull and Neeva Steven after an explanation by the Premier Colin Barnett.

Read the Australian article here featuring the Guilfoile family.

Aug 4, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

WA makes DisabilityCare truly National

 Both the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the WA Premier Colin Barnett today announced that the State government had reached an historic agreement with the Commonwealth which will see approximately 8,400 West Australians covered in 2 launch sites from July 2014.

The deal resolves differences over how the scheme is administered with a unique combination of 2 launch sites that will be co funded but run separately. The My Way trial sites in the Lower South West and Cockburn/Kwinana will be boosted to cover 4,100 people and will be run by the WA Disability Services Commission. The launch site in the Hills will cover 4,300 people and be run by DisabilityCare Australia.  Both sites will be independently monitored and evaluated so that the learnings can contribute to the best possible version of the scheme in the future.

Its a great result for campaigners in West Australia who have never stopped putting their case to the State government for the urgent introduction of the scheme. One longtime campaigner said today that she had  burst into tears when she read the news as it finally gives her and her husband some hope for the future. ” We’ve had so many set backs as a family & life has been extremely hard. So this news finally give me the hope I needed to carry on”.

Every Australian Counts wants to congratulate both the campaigners who kept on going and the WA and Commonwealth governments who heard them and put aside their differences for a compromise that is a great outcome for both the state and the country.

Read what the PM and Minister for Disability Reform said here: http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office/launch-disabilitycare-australia-western-australia

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