The NDIS Review has released its interim report, outlining five issues that the Review and community input have identified as key challenges to the sustainability of the NDIS and the experience of participants. After ten years of the NDIS, the organisation is undertaking this review to identify what is working and what is not, and to develop new solutions going forward.

The Review has identified five key challenges in the current NDIS that seem to impact participants of the scheme the most. The NDIS is asking for community input on how best to solve these major issues.

Five key challenges

“Why is the NDIS an oasis in the desert?”

Community support for people with disability that were intended to work in combination with the NDIS have not been developed. This has significantly affected the cost of the scheme and has left people outside the scheme without sufficient or appropriate support.

“What does reasonable and necessary mean?”

NDIS funding goes towards “reasonable and necessary” support for participants, but these qualities are poorly defined. This has resulted in frustrating and inconsistent funding decisions and tension between the NDIS and participants.

“Why are there more children in the NDIS than expected?”

There have been a greater number of young children entered into the scheme than expected. This reflects the lack of support for children with disability in general. Support for families has been largely ignored in favour of diagnosis and early intervention supports. The lack of support for children and the apparent lack of intervention effectiveness are undermining the scheme’s success.

“Why aren’t NDIS markets working?”

Competition in the NDIS markets has not improved the quality or diversity of services for all participants. Inequalities between participants in service availability and quality are clear. The system had not produced connection or inclusion in communities. The NDIS had little idea about the quality of services participants are receiving or the quality of the outcomes.

“How do we ensure that the NDIS is sustainable?”

The NDIS needs to provide certainty for participants and their families while being financially sustainable and predictable for governments and the public.

What do they want to know?

Besides these key areas, the Review’s consultation with community has come up with ten areas for improvement. They are for input on improvements to the following questions:

  • How can we empower you through the planning process?
  • What is the best way to provide supports for those not in the NDIS?
  • How would you define reasonable and necessary, and put it into practice?
  • What is the best way to support children with disability and those with emerging developmental concerns?
  • How can the markets be better designed, structured and supported?
  • How should outcomes and performance be measured and shared?
  • How would you like to build better outcomes into your plans?
  • What does good service from someone helping you navigate the NDIS look like?
  • How should housing and living options be improved to build a good life?
  • How should the safeguarding system be improved for a better NDIS?

What does this mean?

The final report and recommendations for reform are due to be presented to the Disability Reform Ministers’ Meeting by October this year. The Review has not identified any solutions for these issues yet and the outcome of the report has yet to be seen. However, based on these preliminary findings there is reason to be hopeful.

As the Review enters its final stages, now is the time to have your say and advocate for the NDIS YOU want to see.

The Review is calling for community input on your experiences. You can have your say at: until 25 August.

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