Independent social-profit organisation, JFA Purple Orange has released a paper sharing the positive experiences of current National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants.
The paper Positive Outcomes of NDIS Participation 23 Individual Case Studies shares the anonymous experience of 23 current NDIS participants and how the Scheme helped improve their lives and achieve their goals.
A survey of 94 people, completed in October 2018, showed how the NDIS is helping people with disability and provided recommendations to measure the Scheme’s performance and benefits to participants.
The majority of respondents shared their experience on the NDIS with a neurological disability and 27 percent of respondents were people living with disability, while 73 percent were people responding on behalf of someone with disability.
The case studies highlight that many participants are experiencing significant, positive outcomes through participation in the NDIS, sharing their stories on initial access, plan meetings, goal setting, ways their needs have been met and where improvements lie.
“The way that my disability most impacts me is that I have been unable to access social, community and recreational activities by myself, I have a lack of communication skills, I have no friendships, I am unable to look after myself, and I have experienced bullying,” one young man with intellectual disability and autism explains.
“My NDIS funding has helped me to be more involved in the community because I am able to get out of my house more often under the help of support workers; for example, trying ice-skating for the first time in my life!
“I am also able to get out of the house more to go visiting places that I like to go, and I have been able to learn to cook three recipes now (still with some support from Mum),” he says.
“[The NDIS has helped me] by supporting my need for physical, occupational, speech therapy and psychology,” a young girl with cerebral palsy says.
“Mum says it has really, really helped us because now she doesn’t have to do the therapy work and she can just be my mum.”
A young woman living with vision impairment in a regional area describes her current NDIS plan as her ‘best yet’ following some gaps in earlier plans.
“I have support funding for help around the home, social activities, etc. I have funding for upkeep of my guide dog and funding for orientation and mobility instruction from Guide Dogs.
“I have a budget for low‑cost assistive technology, which I have used to purchase important updates for my screen reader.
“I also receive a contribution to disability-related transport needs.
“In early plans, I did not have the support worker funding that I could have benefited from and which has since opened up my life hugely.”
“It has been really great to have opportunities I never had before and not having to skimp and save for basic assistive tech,” she explains.
A man living with a physical disability as a result of an acquired brain injury says the NDIS has helped his family immensely.
“With the help of the disability educator, we had come up with my goals before the planning meeting.
“She helped the process because it’s hard to plan ahead or look to the future.
“I now have a support worker to transport me and assist me in the community without having to rely on my wife. This makes it easier to get out.”
“Getting money for hands-on support for me and my family has been epic. It helps the whole family unit,” he says.
Policy and Research Leader at Purple Orange, Mikaila Crotty says it is really important that the progress of the NDIS is understood by measuring the real-life outcomes of participants.
“The outcomes we report on in this paper provide key examples of funded supports making a significant difference to NDIS participants.
“This includes core supports such as help with personal care, transport or household support.
“We also heard examples of even more significant benefits, such as people living with disability being able to take up valued roles in mainstream community life as a result of their NDIS plans and the funding they now have access to.”
She says the paper illustrates the benefits NDIS participants are experiencing.
“Overall, this paper provides some salient examples of participants being provided with greater opportunities for the good things in life, such as being in employment, being in a stable housing situation, being connected to others and having greater chances to take up valued roles within local mainstream communities.”
Positive Outcomes of NDIS Participation 23 Individual Case Studies is the first in a series of publications to be brought out by Purple Orange following the experiences collected within the survey.
You can read the paper here.