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 June 2021

“Stop independent assessments. Sack the CEO. Sack the Board.” Catch the blistering NDIS speech from disability advocate Kevin Stone

“The NDIA is at risk of turning people with a disability and families, who have been the Scheme’s greatest supporter and most important ally, into a desperate and angry enemy.” Kevin Stone, the highly-regarded intellectual disability advocate has delivered a blistering speech on the NDIS – calling not just for independent assessments to be scrapped – but also for the NDIA CEO and Board to be sacked. Watch the video, read the transcript – or join the fight here.

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News 30 April 2021

Terms of engagement for NDIS Minister Reynolds from the disability community

Disability advocates today delivered new NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds a formal ‘terms of engagement’ in a bid to reset relations between the NDIA and people with disability, their families and community.

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Opinion 16 June 2021

Are the proposed Independent Assessment tools capable of informing funding decisions in NDIS participant plans?

What’s wrong with NDIS independent assessments? We asked our friend Muriel Cummins from Occupational Therapy Australia’s NDIS Taskforce to help explain why the selected assessment tools are not fit-for-purpose, and why they should not be used to determine plan funding.

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