National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) providers across Queensland are being encouraged by the state’s government to build their knowledge to deliver culturally appropriate supports for Queenslanders with disability.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting last week with chief executives from the disability and community services sector, Queensland Minister for Disability Services and Seniors Coralee O’Rourke highlighted the range of barriers experienced by people with disability and their carers who are from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background when trying to access and participate in mainstream support programs.
Minister O’Rourke told the providers of disability supports and services they all have a “great opportunity” over the coming months to increase their capacity to design and deliver supports for NDIS participants from a CALD background as each region transitions.
We’re working with Multicultural Development Australia (MDA) and DiverseWerks to deliver a Provider Readiness (CALD) Project aimed at breaking down barriers,” she explains.
“We’ve also allocated funding to MDA and DiverseWerks to produce a range of online resources and deliver training sessions, targeting especially the providers of services to people with disability from CALD backgrounds.”
MDA Chief Executive Officer Kerrin Benson says they are approaching the implementation of the NDIS as an opportunity to strengthen the sector in the delivery of services and programs to people with CALD backgrounds.
“The individuals most at risk of being lost or forgotten in this transition are those who do not speak English at home or as their first language,” Ms Benson explains.
“Some people with disability in this situation may not even be aware that support programs and assistance exist for them, so the Provider Readiness Project is giving us a means of reaching out and connecting with them.
“We’ve partnered with DiverseWerks to deliver the project in six Queensland regions – through community briefings, training programs; an online resource kit and one-on-one consultancy services (one per region) to providers across Queensland to increase their understanding and responsiveness to people with disability from a CALD background.”
The NDIS in Queensland is expected to be “cranked up” from 1 July this year with the more densely populated parts of the state, including Brisbane, beginning their transition.