This is just a very small note to say a very big thank you to every single one of you who took the time to send us a message for the Tune Review. In just a few short weeks almost 700 people from all across the country sent us stories, messages and ideas for us to pass along to David Tune’s independent review of the NDIS Act and Rules. We read/listened/watched them all – and here’s what everyone said…
There have been so many reviews into the NDIS over the past 12 months it’s all been a bit confusing and exhausting. And more than a bit frustrating – how many times do we have to say the same thing?
But the Tune Review is the biggie. It’s an independent review, which means the government won’t be able to ignore its recommendations. And whatever happens, the government has already promised the NDIS legislation WILL change next year.
That’s why it was SO important we all had our say – because it’s us, people with disability, families and carers, who know what’s really going on and what needs to change.
So we opened a page on our website and set up a telephone messagebank – just so everyone could have their say in the way that worked best for them. We were stoked to have so many people get in touch and share their stories and ideas. We got lots of emails and written messages – but we also received voicemails, PDFs, videos (including in Auslan), we even got a few screenshots, photos, and a spreadsheet … you name it, we got it.
And have put them all together in a deidentified, private document and sent them off to David Tune and his review team.
We also wrote a summary with recommendations based on the most common issues in your messages – in a way that responded to the questions in the Tune Review’s discussion paper. You can get into the nitty-gritty and check the whole thing out for yourself – or scroll down for a quick overview of the main recommendations.
But before we get stuck into it – we want to say a really big thank you to you.
We weren’t able to get back to each and every one of you individually – but we want every single one of you to know how much we appreciate the time and effort you put into pulling together your messages.
So many of your stories were so hard to read. They were shocking and awful, poignant and touching, thoughtful and innovative… and they had many, many great ideas.
Each one had a power of its own. But all together they are even more powerful. They tell a tale of how great the NDIS can be when it works – but also of all the ways it is failing and letting people down.
So what did you tell us?
Make everything simpler, quicker and easier
Everyone said the NDIS was too complicated, too difficult to navigate and as a result everything was taking far, far too long. Much more needed to be done to clear the backlogs and make all the NDIS processes simpler and easier for everyone. No one should wait two years for a wheelchair or nine months for a review. No one.
And because the scheme is so complicated and so hard people are just getting lost. People with disabilities are drowning in paperwork, unable to make their way through the maze or falling through the cracks altogether. Everyone wants to see more help at every stage of the NDIS process – before entering the scheme, before planning, during planning and finally to get plans up and running and funds out the door. And help must come from help people and organisations we know and trust – don’t tell us again the LACs are supposed to help. They don’t.
Some straight talk
It’s time to ditch the jargon. The NDIS needs to use plain, simple, everyday language we can all understand.
It’s beyond frustrating to have money left in one part of your plan only to run out in another and have zero ability to move things around. This was never the way the NDIS was intended to work. Greater flexibility will cut down stress, cut down reviews and save everyone heaps of time and money. Win, win, win.
Don’t leave anyone behind
The NDIS is consistently inconsistent. That has to change. It must also be fair. Much more work needs to be done to make sure everyone is able to make the most of the incredible opportunities it presents. We don’t want anyone to miss out – but in particular much more attention needs to be paid to people with complex needs, people from a culturally or linguistically diverse background, people from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, people without families in their corner or an advocate to help. They just aren’t getting the same outcomes as others. Some are missing out altogether. We want to make sure we don’t leave anyone behind.
And finally …
Listen. Everyone needs to listen to people with disability and their families and carers. We are the experts in our own lives. Everyone – government, NDIA, LACs and planners need to listen – not ignore, not dismiss, not think they know better.
This is our scheme. We fought hard for it and we want it to work.
So our message to government and the NDIA – we’ve all spoken. Now you need to listen and act.
Tune Review Submissions Summary – Every Australian Counts
Minister Announces review of NDIS Act – Every Australian Counts
Review of the NDIS Act and the new NDIS Participant Service Guarantee – Department of Social Services