What it means and how to make the most of it.
The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was the largest social reform since the introduction of Medicare in 1984.
The aim of the NDIS is simple: to give people with disability the power to make and control their own decisions. It means Australians living with disability, and their families and carers, can be in the driver’s seat making their own decisions about the support they receive. Words we often hear are “choice and control” but many people are unsure about what that really means.
Kirsty Austin, CPL’s General Manager Services, said choice and control refers to making decisions about the design and delivery of their NDIS Plan.
“The goal is to empower people to consider their options and create an individualised Plan to suit their needs,” Kirsty said.
“The options with the NDIS are endless, but it’s all about knowing what’s possible and how to ask for it. That might mean talking to your current provider to tailor your services to be closer to what you need.
We have NDIS Facilitators for that reason. They can help you to discover what’s out there and answer any questions you have along the way.”
It’s so important for people to feel in control of their own decisions - whether you’re choosing your next NDIS goal, or choosing what to buy from the supermarket, everybody has the right to make decisions that will impact their lives.
When it comes to NDIS Plans, some of the most common questions people have are around how the funding works, what they can use their funding for, and where they can get their supports from. The great thing is, help is out there!
Another way to exercise choice and control is through support coordination, which is a service NDIS participants can request in their Plan. To get some more information on how support coordination works, we spoke to Kollen Sussman, Support Coordinator, and Peter Tully, Customer Engagement, from OnSide.
“Support coordination is essentially a capacity building service where we work with people to manage their own funded and non-funded supports,” Kollen said.
“We’ve worked with about 500 people in the past two years, and have seen the way it can empower people.”
Peter said one of the biggest things he has noticed is people often don’t know where to start with exploring their options.
“If a participant has just received their Plan, or they haven’t used their Plan how they would like to, they may not know where to start with engaging with a service provider and finding out what their options are. That’s where a Support Coordinator can help,” said Peter.
Choice and control can look different for everyone, and Kirsty, Kollen and Peter all agree: there isn’t a cookie cutter approach, each person’s situation is different.