In The Media | 26 April 2017

Concern over speed of NDIS rollout in Indigenous communities, as NSW launches approach

The NDIS will launch in many of the state’s regional areas from July 1, and will see people with a disability able to receive funds directly to spend on services they choose.

The First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) said it believed the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which is behind the NDIS, has not done enough to ensure there is enough culturally-appropriate support for applicants.

“[Community members] don’t really know how to access the scheme,” deputy CEO, June Riemer, said.

“The essence of the scheme is about people applying online, or making a telephone call to send in a referral.

“But again, [in] our community there are issues around internet and having an accessible phone, and then they need somebody to support them through these processes.”

She said recent visits to isolated communities such as Wilcannia and Menindee reinforced that perspective.

“This is the first time a lot of our people have ever had to do [this] in their life,” Ms Riemer said.

“Previously the way the service system happened, people were offered a particular service or a particular support. It wasn’t about planning what their needs were.

Source: ABC News