Now boasting almost 50,000 members, the NDIS Grassroots discussion group hosted on Facebook is just one example of the appetite for public discussion around the NDIS. Now, there’s an opportunity for NDIS participants and their family members and carers to share their views on the process directly with the Department of Social Services.
Due to take place between September and October 2019, the national workshops will go up to half a day, but will be structured so participants can attend for all or part of the session.
Further details are yet to be announced, however you can register your interest to attend events in a number of locations across the country. Click through here to see the full list of locations and to register to receive more information as it becomes available.
Once details are supplied to you, you will need to confirm your registration, and you will be given an agenda and materials to support your input on the day.
Consultation access and inclusion
Please ensure that you provide details in the registration form of any adjustments or special requirements you might need to attend a workshop. All workshops will be accessible.
There will also be community consultations that allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have their say in culturally appropriate and safe spaces. Click through here for more information.
A series of discussion groups will also be held with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with intellectual disability or cognitive impairment.
Why are these consultations taking place now?
Following calls for improvements to the operation of the scheme, the Australian Government promised to develop an NDIS Participant Service Guarantee to improve participant experiences. The Guarantee is expected to be in place by July 2020.
A large focus of the guarantee is to set new standards for timeframes in which certain steps in the scheme take place. Specifically, it will look at setting shorter expected timeframes for NDIS access decisions, plan approvals and plan reviews.
The government has also promised to pay particular attention to improving processes for children and participants needing specialist disability accommodation, assistive technology, or other services requiring a quote or further approval.
Other opportunities to participate
As part of this work, the Government has commissioned a review of the NDIS Act. The review will focus on opportunities to make the NDIS process simpler and more straight forward and remove barriers to positive participant and provider experiences with the NDIS.
There are other avenues for involvement if you are not able to attend a consultation session. You can also complete an online survey which will ask about your experiences with the NDIS process and your thoughts on what could improve. Alternatively, you can also write in with a submission. You can find more information about these options here.
NDIS participants using Mable to engage their support team directly can pay significantly lower rates than NDIS reference rates. That could mean more hours of support from your NDIS plan. Find out more here.