News Hub Opinion

Voices of experience on living with disability, inclusion and how the NDIS is transforming lives.

Opinion 20 September 2021

Explainer: What are the proposed changes to the NDIS Act?

What are the good, concerning, and missed opportunities in the draft NDIS Act and Rules? Our friend Chadwick is a Senior Solicitor from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and he has very helpfully written another NDIS Act explainer to try and make it easy for people to understand.

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Opinion 27 August 2021

Support for decision making and the NDIS

The NDIA have just given everyone an extra two weeks to tell them what they think about support for decision making in the NDIS. We asked our friend Catherine McAlpine from Inclusion Australia to tell us what people with intellectual disability and their families think needs to change, and what Inclusion Australia is already working on.

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Opinion 26 August 2021

Vulnerable Australians forgotten in race to reopen

In January 2021 the Commonwealth government released its COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy. The plan prioritised those most likely to be exposed to COVID-19, and importantly those most likely to become ill and die from the disease – a sensible approach, similar to many jurisdictions around the world.

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Opinion 24 August 2021

Open letter: Regarding the reality of booking a COVID vaccination for children with disability and medical conditions

This month, young people with disability joined the list of people who are allowed to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Being eligible is one thing – but how easy is it to actually make happen? Just as we have heard from so many people with disability and families in our community – Heike and her son Bodhi found out just how difficult it can be – the hard way. This is Heike’s open letter to the government.

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Opinion 30 June 2021

Explainer: What changes to look out for in the NDIS Amendment Bill

What are the top 5 big issues we can expect to see in the new NDIS legislation? We’ve all heard plenty about compulsory assessments – but what other changes to the NDIS are going to be hiding in there? Our friend Chadwick – who is a Senior Solicitor from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre – has very helpfully written an explainer to try and make it as easy as possible for people who are not experts in law to understand.

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Opinion 16 June 2021

Are the proposed Independent Assessment tools capable of informing funding decisions in NDIS participant plans?

What’s wrong with NDIS independent assessments? We asked our friend Muriel Cummins from Occupational Therapy Australia’s NDIS Taskforce to help explain why the selected assessment tools are not fit-for-purpose, and why they should not be used to determine plan funding.

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Opinion 14 April 2021

I quit my job with the NDIS in protest against independent assessments

“We are not being listened to and I have had enough.” Carl Thompson has just quit his job as an NDIS Local Area Coordinator out of anger and frustration with the National Disability Insurance Agency.

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Opinion 13 April 2021

Proposed changes to NDIS intervention for autistic children

The NDIA’s latest consultation paper on autistic kids is about more than early intervention like the title suggests. It proposes rigid and fixed funding blocks for children’s NDIS plans, well below averages in Nick Avery’s region. Nick wants you to know why this consultation is so alarming – and encourages you to provide feedback.

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Opinion 31 March 2021

NDIS Autism consultations are “futile and frustrating” – this new consultation is a case in point

Late yesterday afternoon on Stuart Robert’s last day as NDIS Minister, the NDIA released a new consultation paper called “Interventions for children on the autism spectrum”. The paper proposes radical new changes to NDIS funding and supports for Autistic children. Katharine Annear explains why this consultation paper has Autistic people outraged.

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Opinion 23 March 2021

An Open letter to Minister for the NDIS Stuart Robert

Dr George Taleporos thought long and hard about accepting the NDIA’s invitation to take part in the pilot of the new NDIS assessment process. He understands why everyone is concerned about the introduction of these new compulsory assessments and all the changes to the NDIS planning process. But in the end he hoped he could make a difference by providing detailed feedback about what the process was like. But now with the assessment complete George has a message for the Minister for the NDIS. And that message is stop – and come and talk to us about what should come next.

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Opinion 26 February 2021

“My NDIS ‘Independent Assessment’ was a nightmare”

“As an autistic person this petrifies me. The NDIS assessors don’t want to hear outside the boxes of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I can only imagine how bad this will be for people who can’t articulate their needs well. We need to fight and make ourselves heard.”

Aaron Carpenter volunteered to take part in the pilot of the new “independent assessments” being introduced to the NDIS later this year. His experience was a “nightmare”. He wants everyone to know what went wrong – and why we can’t let this go ahead.

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Opinion 23 February 2021

NDIS needs reform but flawed assessment model requires more work

Michael* hasn’t showered or changed his clothes in three weeks, but when the National Disability Insurance Scheme independent assessor asked him how much difficulty he had washing his body, getting dressed and eating, he replied: “None.”

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Opinion 10 February 2021

Time to make all new housing more accessible

There is a once-in-a-generation opportunity right now to improve housing accessibility, for everyone. We asked our friend Dr Di Winkler from the Summer Foundation, and the Building Better Homes campaign to explain it all for us.

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Opinion 5 November 2020

Choice and control, advocacy and relationships – keys to addressing abuse and neglect

This year we learned of the horrific and tragic death of Ann Marie Smith. Her death prompted a police investigation (which is still ongoing), the creation of a taskforce in South Australia and a review into the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission by the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS.

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Opinion 22 August 2020

Pandemic experience shows the NDIS is still not working like it should

“Please stop making this so hard. We are bruised and fragile already, COVID has made us even more vulnerable, and then we have to fight against the very service that is meant to be helping us. Please stop making our needs a battleground, stop assuming we are somehow trying to swindle services we don’t need, and just let us have the NDIS that we were meant to get.”

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Opinion 3 July 2020

New SDA rules are a win for participants and for the NDIS

There have been some great changes recently to the rules about Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). We know it can be hard to stay on top of everything that is happening so we have asked our good friend and resident SDA expert Dr George Taleporos to explain it all for us.

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Opinion 26 June 2020

Corona’s brand new world

The last few months have been really really tough for a lot of people in our community. But for EAC supporter Lumi Winterson, the pandemic has given her the freedom to explore activities that are great for her mental health and wellbeing.

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Opinion 3 June 2020

Self managing my NDIS package

Heather Coombes was one of the panelists at our Make it Work forum in Redlands Queensland. She has self managed her NDIS plan right from the start – and has some useful advice for anyone who might be considering it.

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Opinion 18 May 2020

The Federal Court decision to fund sexual supports – and what it means for for all NDIS participants

Last week, the Federal Court of Australia sent a clear message to the National Disability Insurance Agency. And that message was – if an NDIS participant needs a support because of their disability, the NDIS must fund it. 

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Opinion 6 May 2020

COVID-19 contingency planning: everything actually worked!

Someone in my home got the dreaded phone call last week – he’d been exposed to COVID-19 and needed to self-isolate. And to my extreme shock, all our contingency plans actually worked as intended!

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