News | 27 September 2023

Every Australian Counts Codesign Work with NDIA

NDIS Co-design

The Commonwealth Government has announced funding for improving NDIS processes, and the NDIA has committed to codesigning these improvements with the disability sector.

We want to hear from you about what isn’t working in the NDIS Planning process, and your ideas for improving how NDIS Planning works.

Every Australian Counts is one of  27 Disability Representative and Carer Organisations (DRCO) working with the NDIA to codesign the improvements to the NDIS.  There are six Working Groups:

Each Working Group includes NDIS participants, members of the Independent Advisory Council (IAC), DRCOs and NDIA staff.  Every Australian Counts is part of the Better Planning Working Group, which will meet once every three weeks. The first meeting was held on the 18th July 2023.

Some of the issues raised at the first Better Planning Working Group meeting include:

  • Need for better training for NDIS representatives.
  • Participants need to see draft versions of their NDIS plan before its finalised.
  • Lack of support to participants and nominees to understand and use our NDIS plans (worse for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities). This includes support to understand and use the participant portal and NDIS App.
  • Preferred method of communication not being used by NDIS representatives. Getting communication right from the beginning is key.
  • Issue of primary disability and secondary disabilities, and that this doesn’t work for many people.
  • More face-to-face planning needed – and meeting with the NDIA planner (decision-maker) direct.
  • Culture within the NDIS needs to change – currently very adversarial.
  • Need for greater flexibility in NDIS plans, especially for regional, rural and remote participants.
  • Information in participant NDIS files may be incorrect, and this isn’t being checked with participants. This can seriously affect how decisions are made.

The Working Group also started to brainstorm solutions to some of these issues, focused on four key areas:

  • Person-centred pathway
  • Improved communication to participants
  • Education
  • Defining the role of support coordinators and providers.

There have been three meetings to-date, with discussion focussed on improving communication to participants and monitoring how plans are spent.  This issue is the key requirement of the Better Planning Working Group.

We are waiting on the recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission and the Independent NDIS Review, which will hopefully lead to the Better Planning Working Group being able to focus more on how to improve the NDIS planning process itself.

Every Australian Counts representative in the Codesign work with NDIA, Nick Avery, was appointed Co-Chair of the Better Planning Working Group. She will be attending the monthly Implementation Steering Committee meetings, which provide oversight across all of the six working groups.

We will be hosting workshops via Zoom in the coming months.

The NDIA will post updates about the work undertaken by all six Working Groups on the NDIS website, and we’ll be sure to share this information with you over the coming months. We want to make sure that your concerns and ideas are heard.  This is our NDIS – lets work together to fix it!

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