People with disability in Australia deserve a decent life of choice and inclusion. A key principle of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is to support the independence as well as the social and economic participation of people with disability.
The NDIS allows individuals and families to choose the supports and services they need to fully participate in society, potentially transforming the lives of people with disability.
It is imperative that the NDIS is fully funded, properly rolled-out and that no one is left behind in the process.
The issues we face
An estimated 1.5 million people with disability needed formal assistance from a service provider for at least one everyday living activity in 2012. Around half of these had an unmet need for formal assistance - either they got less assistance than they needed or no assistance at all.
It is estimated that the majority of NDIS participants (close to 80%) are on low or very-low incomes.
Around 440,000 people across Australia are waiting for the NDIS roll-out which is scheduled to take three years and commenced in July 2016.
The full roll-out will require adequate resourcing by the Commonwealth, states and territories to meet any service gaps and ensure all Australians reach their potential. Funding must not be provided at the expense of other members of the community.
In the transition to the NDIS it is essential that all people with disability, including older Australians and people with a mental illness, receive adequate support and appropriate assistance to make informed choices for their future. Service providers across all sectors must work together to avoid gaps for people with complex and interlocking needs such as drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.
The transition to the NDIS is having a significant impact on the support workforce, with some providers struggling to recruit and maintain a suitably skilled workforce. If the basic NDIS unit price is too low, providers will not be able to offer safe, quality services as they will have limited capacity to invest in adequately qualified and supported staff.