News | 7 December 2023

Response to NDIS Review – Choice and control are under threat – the government must recommit to codesign

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Our Response to NDIS Review social media tile

It’s been an extremely stressful time for our community waiting for these recommendations, our lives depend on the NDIS.

While we have had some glimpses of some of the findings, today is our first opportunity to examine the recommendations of the NDIS Review.

Statement by Dr George Taleporos, Independent Chair of Every Australian Counts

UPDATE: Bill Shorten has promised to work with us to make sure that in the recommendations that are adopted by the government are codesigned and meet the needs of our community

It’s been an extremely stressful time for our community waiting for these recommendations, our lives depend on the NDIS.

While we have had some glimpses of some of the findings, today is our first opportunity to examine the recommendations of the NDIS Review.

We are glad that the Minister has released the report today so our community can finally have our say on what this report is proposing.

We will need to take time to thoroughly examine these recommendations and work with our community to understand the report and listen to what they have to say about what is being proposed.

At first glance…

We are very concerned to see the recommendations that might force more people than ever into unsafe group homes and subject us to abuse and neglect. This will only further embed segregation and is in breach of Australia’s responsibilities under the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability. 

We are dismayed with the proposed changes to force us to use registered providers. This will impact on our rights to decide who comes into our homes and who provides our support. This is an attack on our right to self manage our supports and on the fundamental principles of choice and control.  The principles of choice and control are fundamental to the NDIS that we fought for and they must be maintained. The right to self-management and self-determination must be protected.

There is a serious risk that forcing us to use registered providers will make it impossible to get the essential support that we need. People in regional and remote Australia, many of whom have little or no access to registered providers, are at greatest risk.

We fought for an NDIS where we are in control of our lives, where we make the decisions that affect us. Where we decide where we live and who we live with. Where we decide how we are supported and who provides our support.

We fought for an NDIS that promised access to the support that we need to be in control of our own lives and to be included in our Australian community. This promise must not be broken.

The NDIS is a vital lifeline for thousands of people with disabilities and our families across the country. It is insurance for all Australians who could be born with or acquire a disability. Disability can happen to any of us within an instant. We want to know that support will be there, if and when we need it.

The review has concluded that for the NDIS to be sustainable, we need an inclusive Australian society. So we need all states and territories and all levels of governments to do what it takes to make mainstream services accessible and inclusive of people with disability.  Without that, the NDIS becomes the only lifeboat in the ocean and will be in danger of sinking under the pressure.

While the media has focused on the cost of the NDIS, we need to remember that the NDIS has many economic and social benefits. Every dollar spent on the NDIS returns more than double that to the economy. Early intervention and investment in our lives pays dividends and must be maintained. While we welcome the commitment by National Cabinet to Foundational Supports, many people in our community will be worried that their supports will be taken away. We don’t want to see children or anyone who needs disability support falling through the cracks.

Our community needs NDIS decisions to be faster and fairer and we need planners who understand us and listen to us. The assessments proposed by the NDIS Review, will make many people in our community nervous. Assessments of any sort will only work if they are codesigned with people with disabilities.

For the NDIS to work, people with disability need to be at the centre of decision making. All changes to the NDIS that come out of the NDIS Review need to be codesigned. We look forward to working with the government to ensure that all changes are codesigned and  meet the needs of our community. Nothing about us without us!

 

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