Opinion | 1 February 2024

The NDIS review “makes me so angry and scared”- by Samantha Petersen (pronouns are you/your)

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Sam Petersen sitting in her power wheelchair is wearing a mask

Samantha Petersen participated in our NDIS Review forum in December where we came together to share our perspectives on the recommendations  in the final report. Here are some of Sam’s concerns.

 

The NDIS Review has  recommended all support workers be registered providers. This makes me so angry and scared. I have experienced far more abuse from registered providers.

Currently all of my support workers are unregistered. I have been able to meet and choose all of them before they started supporting me. I can organise all the shifts directly with my support workers and have more of the flexibility that every person needs but it is so hard to get through a disability support company. 

I can also say no to people if something is wrong, there were so many times when I couldn’t do this with a registered provider. It has taken me so long to be able to build up to this.I am finally close to feeling a bit safer.

Forcing us to use registered providers would undo this. Registration would discourage many support workers from this line of work because of the price and admin work involved. Yet joining a registered disability support company often results in support workers accepting a reduction in pay. 

At the same time, the shared support provider in my building has gone up in price  The additional money has to come out of my one on one support budget and I only can afford it by employing my one on one unregistered support workers directly.

The NDIS Review is saying that registration will  keep us safe, but I have, by far, suffered more abuse and neglect at the hands of registered providers.

They’re taking away our right to choose who supports us.

I thought,  finally, my future was ok… But now I am not so sure. 

If the recommendation to force us to use registered providers is allowed, it will destroy choice and control for participants in the NDIS and the government’s promise to put us in control of our own lives. We will no longer have access to the essential supports that we depend on. Our lives will be at the mercy of the large providers.

We want to hear what you think! Please fill out our survey to share your thoughts on the recommendations in the Independent NDIS Review Report. 

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