Sector News — 16 December 2014

DAVID MARK: More problems are emerging with the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

South Australia’s Dignity for Disability MP Kelly Vincent is urging the Federal Government to review aspects of the South Australian trial.

Ms Vincent says parents feel their expertise isn’t being properly taken into account.

The national campaign coordinator for Every Australian Counts, John Della Bosca, says the Federal Government needs to be more honest and open with the Australian public about the progress of the scheme.

Nance Haxton reports.

NANCE HAXTON: The National Disability Insurance Scheme is progressively rolling out across Australia, with trial sites starting around the country since the middle of 2013.

South Australia has hosted a trial for children under five years old for the past 18 months.

The state’s Dignity for Disability MP Kelly Vincent says problems are becoming apparent with the design of the scheme.Disabled person in wheechair

KELLY VINCENT: There have been a number of reports of parents feeling like they’re still unclear about the eligibility, about what will be covered by the NDIS and what should be covered by other systems and there is still a lot of concern that perhaps that (inaudible) mentality between departments will continue in terms of this is not our responsibility of another department.

When the NDIS is actually about – supposed to be about – meeting the holistic human needs of people with disabilities regardless of their diagnosis and where they live. So we’re just concerning that we still seem to see that (inaudible) mentality continuing.

So I think we do need more information around eligibility but also I think more respect, particularly in the cohort for South Australia, in understanding that the parents in the this case are they experts in their children’s needs and yes they might need to work with experts but they also need to have that expertise as their child’s parent and primary supporter recognised.

NANCE HAXTON: She says families are worried the NDIS is adding another unnecessary level of bureaucracy, rather than simplifying the process of getting appropriate support for their disabled children.

KELLY VINCENT: I do have a lot of concerns about what will happen under the NDIS for children up on the lands, particularly given that the trial cohort has to do with chronological age and for many people living on the lands due to cultural considerations.

You know chronological age is not something that is monitored in the same way that it is in metropolitan Adelaide and also I have concerns around the fact that the service gaps are so great that the availability of services, particularly culturally appropriate services, will delay the provision of plans.

As I understand it that there are currently two children on the lands who’ve been assessed as being eligible for National Disability Insurance Scheme support but it’s the lack of available support that is causing the delays.

NANCE HAXTON: Every Australian Counts is a national campaign lobbying to ensure the NDIS is implemented to the fullest extent possible.

National campaign coordinator John Della Bosca says these problems show the Federal Government needs to release a comprehensive blueprint of how the scheme will be rolled out, and improved upon.

JOHN DELLA BOSCA: The trials are key to making sure the NDIS is the most effective support system it can be, but what’s critical is to how the transparent and public disability support plan based on the NDIS rollout as soon as possible.

So we need the disability ministers and for that matter the Premier and Prime Minister to bring the people with a disability and their family and friends into their confidence and produce a blueprint for the rollout of the NDIS.

DAVID MARK: That was John Della Bosca from Every Australian Counts ending Nance Haxton’s report.

This article first appeared on ‘ABC News – PM’ on 15 December 2014.

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