The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a report recapping disability support services funded under the National Disability Agreement (NDA) during 2017-18.
The report titled Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2017–18 was released on Tuesday 28 May and highlights some key information about users of the Government run National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The NDA was introduced by the Federal Government in 2009 and is an agreement between State and Territory Governments to fund a range of services that aim to ensure that people with disability and their carers have an enhanced quality of life and can participate as valued members of the community.
As the NDIS continues to roll-out across the country, 280,000 people with disability used support services funded by the NDA, with about 40,000 (or 14 percent) people transitioning to the Scheme during the period.
The report also highlights the average age of service users was 37 years old, almost three-quarters of users aged over 15 were unemployed, two-thirds had an informal carer such as a parent providing care and the proportion of users with an intellectual or learning disability had fallen, suggesting people had transitioned to the NDIS.
Of the 280,000 people who used NDA services, over half used services expected to move to the NDIS as it rolls out.
Founder of Inclusion Moves and advocate working in human services for over two decades, Geoff Trappett says the transition from NDA services to NDIS services is crucial.
“The NDIS is a paradigm shift for the disabled community. However, we must ensure that as and when appropriate services that were existing under the NDA administered by states that do not fit with the NDIS principles are kept available.
“No person with disability should fall through the gaps of bureaucracy.”
Mr Trappett describes the previous State and Territory based arrangements as “disjointed” and “ineffectual for most people to navigate” and says the same mistakes should not be repeated under the NDIS.
“The NDIS should be about more than a name change. It must be a cultural shift to a rights-based model of support,” he says, adding that the NDIS should make a conscious effort to ensure their systems and processes are delivered in a way that all Australians can understand.
You can read the AIHW report here.