The NDIS is coming. Admittedly not fast enough for many of us but the fact that it will be rolled out across Australia in the next few years means now is a good time to start thinking about how to prepare.
Every Australian Counts has talked to lots of people in the trial sites and asked them what they think people with disability need to do to get ready for the NDIS.
One of the first steps in the NDIS process, once you have established your eligibility, is to meet with an NDIS planner who will help you work out what support you need to live your life.
The overwhelming piece of advice from the trial sites is – make sure you give a lot of consideration to what you want, think outside the box and make sure you have a vision for how you want to live your life before you even get to that first NDIS meeting.
Caroline, mum to 14 year old Siobhan Daley, in the Hunter trial site said “I guess the best piece of advice if you haven’t started with the NDIS is to starting looking at what you want your life to be like.
“Start thinking about those goals, start planning and get an idea of what would work for you,” she said. “Read stories of what other people are up to; listen to stories of what other people are doing.
“Think broader than what you are currently able to see and come up with something that fits you as opposed to maybe fit someone else.”
All the participants we spoke to said that the NDIS is a massive change for the better which can be daunting at first but preparation is key.
Stephen Hallinan is another NDIS participant in the Hunter. He says that first meeting is critical:
“I would actually say don’t go to a meeting without doing preparation,” he said. “I know other people who went to the meeting and thought, “oh we’ll work it out while we were there” and came away very disappointed.
“So do think about what your lifestyle is now. What are the things you do and what are the things you want to do, why can’t you do the things you want to do.
“And think about them not just the night before, give yourself time to think about them, write them down and think about them some more because things will come to you at all sorts of strange times, in the middle of the night and ‘oh I didn’t think of that!” put that down.’”
Jane Paardekooper, mum to little Molly van Beek even involved others before she went to her first planning meeting.
“The paediatric brain injury rehab team had sat down with us maybe six months before we went into the NDIS to talk about what our goals were and that was our first step of being able to see outside of the day to day life and some more positive goals that we could aim towards.”
Lynn Foreman is a participant in the Barwon trial site. She takes it a step further and recommends you take somebody with you to the planning meeting, like a carer you’ve worked with, or your partner or even just a friend who knows you well.
“That’s very important because I forget things, simple little things,” she explains. I’m quite articulate so that’s not the problem but to have someone who knows you and your routine really well is very important.”
The NDIS is coming. Get ready.