The National Disability Insurance Scheme celebrated a major milestone last week after welcoming its 200,000th participant.
The national Scheme is currently supporting people with disabilities living in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and South Australia, with ongoing roll-outs throughout the rest of the country, including most recently Southern Melbourne.
Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher notes the positive impact the NDIS is having on Australians with disability, their families and carers, as well as providing job opportunities and economic growth.
“The NDIS is one of the most important social reforms in Australian history, not only delivering for those with disabilities but driving new important economic benefits by creating new markets and new business and employment opportunities.”
He highlights the Scheme is benefiting 60,000 people who are now receiving support for the very first time.
“Together, we are building and delivering the NDIS for an estimated 460,000 Australians by 2020,” Mr Fletcher says.
Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson says the NDIS is important in empowering Australians with disability to live their best life and achieve their goals.
“In the most recent NDIS Quarterly Report, over 90 percent of parents or carers of children with disability under the age of five said the NDIS has had a positive impact on their child’s development,” she says.
“While this is strong progress, I look forward to working with the National Disability Insurance Agency to further improve the NDIS for all Australians with disability, their families and carers.”
Co-Chief Executive Officer of People with Disability Australia (PWDA) Matthew Bowden says PWDA are pleased to see more people with disability receiving the essential disability supports they need through the NDIS.
“Until now, many people with disability weren’t able to access services or get the right kinds of supports for them.”
However, despite the NDIS Quarterly Report from April 2018 to June 2018 revealing 88 percent of all NDIS participants rated their experience with the Scheme as either ‘good’ or ‘very good’, improvements must continue to be made.
“We are concerned about an emerging group of people with disability who were promised continuity of supports from specialist disability services and have found they are ineligible under the NDIS and are no longer able to access the services and supports they need,” Mr Bowden says.
He says many people with less visible, or recognised disability, such as chronic illness, are not getting the disability supports they need.
“Also, we are concerned to also hear that spending on the NDIS is significantly below the budget estimates, with billions of dollars not being allocated yet for NDIS plans and disability supports.
“We need the Government, and the NDIA, to refocus the NDIS to make sure that people with disability aren’t missing out."
For more information on disability support and services, please visit DisabilitySupportGuide.com.au