Research and Reports | 10 November 2014

16 things you’ve already told us about the NDIS

balls and books

Back in August, we surveyed Every Australian Counts supporters about the NDIS.
They were either people with a disability, one of their family members, or a carer.

Back in August, we surveyed Every Australian Counts supporters about the NDIS.

They were either people with a disability, one of their family members, or a carer. Some of them were already accessing the NDIS at a trial site.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. You get what it’s about

You understand it’s a national scheme established to provide better services and support to people with disabilities. You get that it gives the individual more control about the services they need.

2. And you’re hopeful it will change things for the better

Overall impressions were super positive, especially from people at trial sites. But one or two people were a little fearful or sceptical. Which is normal for such a big, new thing.

3. Having said that, you’re still not quite sure how it works

Most of the questions are things like how the funding will be distributed, how you will be assessed for funding, whether there’ll be a centralised information portal about service providers.

4. Some of you even have a “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach

Some of you told us you’d feel a lot more secure when you read the stories of people who are already using the NDIS. Well, many of those people’s stories are already on this site. Read them, watch them, be excited for them, learn from them.

5. You get that it’s about choices – your choices.

The buzzword with the NDIS is its “person-centred approach”. That means it’s about services that you want or need, not what someone else thinks you need.

Or as one of the people we surveyed put it: “A person-centred approach is when a system is developed around the individual instead of making a basic mould and trying to get everyone to fit into it.”

6. You’re excited about choosing your own service providers

As one of the people we surveyed said: “In the past, I have received services I do not need, do not want, didn’t like the service provider/wasn’t happy with the service. I would rather my funding go to service providers whom I trust will do the job appropriately.

7. But you still have lots of questions, especially around funding and eligibility

You’re not sure how individual funding is determined, or how its paid. You’re also not sure about who’s eligible. In fact, you have countless questions from the ground up. The good news is, our research shows these questions soon disappear when people start using the Scheme.

8. You’re worried about administrative costs and red tape

One carer we surveyed said: I am sure it will be a good thing, as long as it is not wasted on too much red tape. The money needs to go to the people who actually need it.”

The good news on this front is that no extra layer of bureaucracy has been created to administer the NDIS. So there is no reason why there would be any wastage.

9. You believe you’ll have greater access to specialist services

And you’re right. With the NDIS you’ll have access to things like recreational and employment services, as well as services which improve your physical health.

10. But you’re not sure that providers are up to speed

One of our most consistent forms of feedback was that providers are still getting to know the system too. That’s true in some cases. But this thing is a work in progress. All it takes is a little familiarity with the system.

11. You can’t wait till it’s fully rolled out

Almost everybody wants a quicker rollout. You acknowledge the need for trials but you don’t want to wait years while your health and/or quality of life diminishes. Fair enough, because there is obviously much urgency here. Take for example the case of one of the people we surveyed, who said this of the urgent need to provide support to her disabled daughter:

“To wait five years for the real help she needs would put us into a situation where we are missing out on the help she needs in these crucial earning years.”

For the record, the system will be in full swing nationwide from 2016. Here’s what another person we surveyed said:

“Yes, it would be great to see the program pushed sooner if it is a benefit to us people with disabilities… but on the other hand if it takes longer to implement due to fixing any issues during the trial process it is better to wait and receive a service with less problems attached to it.”

12. And really, all you want is for life life to be a little easier

As one of the participants in our research said: “I really hope they find a cure for what I have as it’s pretty unknown. I would like to still be alive in five years and able to do things more independently, a nice holiday would be lovely within the next five years also.”

13. Or a touch brighter

Here’s another person we surveyed: “My biggest hope for the future would be for both my children to have fulfilling, secure and independent lives. In five years from now I’d like to my daughters getting through high school happily, and all of us living in a tidy renovated house.”

14. Or a little more secure

Another person we surveyed said: “In five years time I hope to be out of debt (although that is a huge ask as working is very difficult), on the correct medication and medical support required to assist me in managing my condition.”

15. And the NDIS really is helping deliver these things

Here’s what one of the people we surveyed said: “I have a positive view now, because I am starting to believe in the scheme. I think the people in the trials are better off, because they are being listened to and given some help. Very important indeed.”

16. But despite the early good signs, you’re still hungry for information, and you want it online

And that’s exactly what this website is for. Explore it. Use it. Depend on it.