Ten peak disability bodies and organisations will receive a share of $5.7 million in funding under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission to develop tools and resources to help build the capacity of providers.
The announcement on Thursday by the Minister for the NDIS, Stuart Robert was welcomed by the organisations.
The funding will support a number of initiatives including a free, online national education and community portal for participants and providers, as well as resources for allied health professionals, people living with psychosocial and intellectual disability, support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander NDIS participants and providers delivering specialist disability accommodation (SDA).
The Summer Foundation is one of the organisations receiving funding, with $481,701 allocated to developing educational resources and training for SDA providers.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Summer Foundation Luke Bo’sher says the initiative will also help support participants who choose to become their own SDA provider, which is an option under the SDA framework.
“SDA payments are helping the housing market to deliver high quality SDA housing. But there are important ongoing obligations to being an SDA provider,” he says.
“These are set out by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, which will provide safeguards against poor practices by SDA providers, ensuring NDIS participants can enjoy their right to well managed housing and choice and control in their lives.
“Our initiative will help SDA providers to build their knowledge of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s requirements and obligations and educate SDA provider organisations about the importance of consumer choice in the provision of SDA.
“Importantly, our resources will feature the voices of NDIS participants to illustrate quality and best practice.”
Leading university for disability research, La Trobe University has received $750,000 in funding to develop a resource ‘toolkit’ to help NDIS providers meet their regulatory requirements and deliver high quality service to their clients.
Director of La Trobe’s Living with Disability Research Centre, Professor Christine Bigby says the resources will help empower people with disability to make the right choices when it comes to NDIS supports and services.
“As well as providing high quality, evidence-informed resources for service providers, our project will also assist auditors in monitoring practice quality and will ultimately help to improve the quality of life of many people living with disabilities in Australia.”
Acting CEO of National Disability Services (NDS), David Moody says the organisation is “extremely pleased” to have received funding to develop and deliver its ‘Conversations and Collaborations’ project.
The project will support behaviour support practitioners, provide Code of Conduct workshops to providers and workers and support providers in meeting their obligations under the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework.
One of Australia’s leading NDIS consultancy services, Amergin, will deliver an innovative new online platform, to help NDIS providers comply with their day-to-day obligations through the lens of NDIS participants’ experience.
The program will be delivered in partnership with Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), the Community Resource Unit (CRU) and Richmond Fellowship Queensland (RFQ).
Director of Amergin Christine Dempsey, says the organisation is “thrilled to have the opportunity to make a real difference on the ground for providers and participants operating in what can be a confusing and highly challenging environment.”
“The Program also aims to break down barriers between providers and participants and promote positive, collaborative information sharing and knowledge building, to improve the NDIS experience for all stakeholders”.
Other funding recipient organisations include:
Allied Health Profession Australia ($500,000)
Cullunghutti Aboriginal and Family Centre ($398,918)
Mental Health Coordinating Council ($629,000)
Parkinson’s NSW ($396,600)
The New South Wales Council for Intellectual Disability ($400,000)
The Northcott Society ($674,550)
The grants are the first under the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s new four-year $17.6 million investment in building capacity amongst NDIS providers.