Opinion 18 May 2022

Explainer: What were the original intentions of the National Disability Insurance Scheme?

One of the things people with disability and families have been asking their federal election candidates to reflect on this year is a promise to bring the NDIS back on track with it’s original intentions. To look at why we all fought so hard for the NDIS in the first place. What were the ideas, intentions and principles behind the idea for an NDIS? Our friends from PIAC have written a new helpful explainer…

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Opinion 13 April 2022

Explainer part 3: New changes to the NDIS Act

Last year thousands of you emailed our Senators urging them not to support certain changes to the NDIS Bill as originally proposed by NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds. And your message got through loud and clear – the changes were changed! The NDIS Bill was voted through parliament recently – thankfully our friends from PIAC have another explainer to help us all make sense of it all…

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Opinion 10 March 2022

Is your organisation returning to face-to-face meetings? You need to read this…

Lockdowns have lifted – and some disability organisations are moving back to face-to-face meetings, and interstate travel. The pandemic is not over. People with disability are still at risk of serious health complications and death – even with some protections from vaccines. And apart from that – we cannot now or ever forget the enormous gains mainstream society has made in online accessibility over the last couple of years. Our friend Dr George Taleporos has some important advice for these organisations based on his recent personal experience.

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Opinion 13 December 2021

Goodbye Mum, I’ll be okay

“Like most parents, my mum wanted to know that I was okay. But unlike most parents, her middle-aged son needs round-the-clock support from others, to stay alive.” Our good friend Dr George Taleporos has an important message for NDIS decision-makers, following the recent death of his Mother. “When we say the NDIS is for 450,000 Australians with disabilities – we are leaving out millions of family members who rely on the scheme to provide them with the assurance that their loved ones are going to be okay when they die.”

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Opinion 2 December 2021

Safety net in danger: High price of changes to NDIS legislation

Jessica*, 23, is working with her occupational therapist, to build the living skills she needs to move out of her parents’ home. She lives with both cerebral palsy and autism, and hoped to apply for NDIS supported independent living.

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Opinion 30 November 2021

Planning for life with COVID – getting some answers on what people with disabilities need to know to stay safe

As Australia opens up despite ongoing COVID community transmission, people with disabilities need to work through some complex questions. One of these questions hits our friend Dr George Taleporos a bit too close to home – so he got some answers to share with all of us in his new series of Reasonable and Necessary.

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Opinion 4 November 2021

Australia should invest in the NDIS to help the economy after COVID

Emma Dawson, head of independent think tank Per Capita has had a good look at the numbers behind the NDIS – and the Federal Government’s cost-blowout scare campaign. While people with disability and families are all aware of how valuable the NDIS is when it’s working well, Emma also found that for every dollar invested in the NDIS, $2.25 is returned to the Australian economy. The NDIS is a good investment. Here’s why…

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Opinion 4 November 2021

NDIS was transformational for Australians living with disability

Of all the disappointments from the last decade of Australian political dysfunction, the National Disability Insurance Scheme is not one of them.

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Opinion 3 November 2021

Explainer part 2: What are the proposed changes to the NDIS Act?

On 28 October 2021, the Government introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021 to the House of Representatives. If passed, this Bill will make changes to the NDIS Act. Our friend Chadwick is a Senior Solicitor from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and he has very helpfully written a follow-up NDIS Act explainer to try and make it easier for people to understand.

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Opinion 5 October 2021

Left behind – disabled people and the COVID vaccine

A new report from the Disability Royal Commission into the COVID vaccine rollout is just the latest in a long list of documented failures by governments to address the needs and rights of disabled people. In the race to “open up”, governments must prioritise the needs of disabled people and do a much better job of engaging with the expertise of disabled people and the sector’s organisations, says El Gibbs, an award-winning writer and disability rights advocate.

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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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