What is the NDIS?

NDIS stands for National Disability Insurance Scheme. It is the new way of providing support to people with disability in Australia.

The NDIS provides people with disability with the support they need to live an ordinary life.

Unlike previous systems, the NDIS provides people with disability with the choice of how, when and where that support is delivered to them. NDIS participants are in the driver’s seat, and can choose what works best for them.

The kinds of support that are funded through the NDIS are things that help people with disability live the same kind of life as others in the community. They include things like wheelchairs, home modifications or therapies like speech therapy or occupational therapy. The NDIS also funds things like personal care or assistance to get out and participate in activities in the community.

The scheme is currently being rolled out in stages across the country. By 2020, approximately 460,000 people with disability will receive help through the NDIS.

You can read more about the NDIS on the NDIS website.

And you can check out our news section for all of the latest jargon-free updates about the NDIS.

Why is the NDIS so important?

The NDIS is a ground-breaking, once-in-a-generation change to the way people with disability are supported in Australia. It is a social reform on the same scale as the introduction of Medicare or compulsory superannuation.

The NDIS is fundamentally different to previous systems in three ways.

1. NDIS support is based on individual need. There is no need for people to prove they are more deserving than anyone else. Everyone who has a disability that has a significant impact on their daily life will receive “reasonable and necessary” supports to help them live an ordinary life.

Under the previous system – a shortage of funding many people missed out, and those that did get help rarely got enough. The NDIS is supposed to change all this and give people reassurance that help will be there when they need it.

2. The NDIS puts people with a disability in control. People with disability can use their NDIS funds to chose how, when and where support is delivered, and in the ways that works best for them. This is different to the previous system, where people with disability had little choice and had to take whatever was offered.

3. The NDIS is an insurance scheme, not a welfare system. The scheme will invest and invest early in people with disability, to improve outcomes later in life. This is not only good for people with disability, but also reduces the cost of the scheme over the long run.

The NDIS is there for every Australian. Disability won’t happen to everyone but it can happen to anyone, anytime. All Australians deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing that support will be there if they need it. And all Australians will benefit from the more diverse, inclusive community that the NDIS will help build.

Latest news and opinion

News 18 May 2022

An open letter to all members of Australia’s next Federal Parliament

More than 50 disability advocacy organisations representing millions of Australians are urging the next Federal Parliament to reverse the “death by a thousand cuts” that is devastating the lives of people with disability and undermining the NDIS. In the Open Letter to Australia’s Future Parliament released today, the disability advocacy and support organisations are calling on future MPs to back key reforms that will ensure no one with disability who needs support is left behind. Read and sign the open letter here.

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News 6 May 2022

Vale Wendy Lovelace and Matt McCracken

The Every Australian Counts community is greatly saddened by the recent passing of two passionate inclusion and disability advocates, Matt McCracken and Wendy Lovelace.

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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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