01 September 2020
On Friday, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Stuart Robert announced reforms to the NDIS Scheme in a media release. The reforms have been termed as being “the most substantial since the implementation of the NDIS.”
In his release, Minister Robert also announced the implementation of “independent assessments”, with a focus on “gathering accurate information about the individual’s support needs and the impact of their disability on their daily life.”
At the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA), we have been part of the NDIS since its inception and we have always welcomed changes and upgrades to the scheme. We have mainly been supportive of changes which made it easier for eligible culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) Australians to participate to the scheme.
However, we have serious concerns around the “independent assessments” announced, as we believe it could pose a major disadvantage to special cohorts of people with disability – CALD people with disability, with language and cultural barriers and/or English as a second language.
We are also very concerned for children and young people with disability, especially those on the autism spectrum, who need to have a relationship-based process. A clinical based model would never work for them.
For CALD people with disability and children and young people with disability, the relationship with their clinicians, doctors and medical carers are essential both to their mental and physical well-being.
We are hence, seeking for greater clarity and information from the National Disability Insurance Agency and Minister Stuart Robert on the proposed changes, to ensure that the NDIS remains a fair, inclusive system, without any barriers to participants.
We want to ensure that the planned changes do not discriminate, in any way, current or prospective NDIS participants.
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