Australia has a population of over 25 million people, of which approximately 4.3 million have some form of a disability. The National Disability Insurance Scheme, known as the NDIS, was created by the Gilliard Government and introduced to Federal Parliament in late 2012.
It passed in March 2013 as the Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. Over time, it has been rolled out gradually to different areas of Australia, before being rolled out nationally on 1 July 2016. The NDIS continues to receive consistent funding to help more and more disabled Australians.
The NDIS occupational therapy is designed to assist those afflicted with a disability. This is achieved by connecting those who are disabled to various support centres and networks, such as doctors, occupational therapists, social workers and support groups. On top of this, the scheme focuses on providing education and information services to those who need it the most.
The system provides funding directly to the individuals, and as a result, is the first national scheme for disabled people in Australia. The scheme is forecasted to reach more than 460 000 people with disabilities when in full operation.
Who is rolling out the NDIS
Currently, the scheme is being rolled out gradually across various Australian states. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the primary authoritative body that makes decisions as to whether someone is eligible to be an NDIS participant.
Moreover, the NDIA is the one that evaluates how much funding that individual or group may need, which then facilitates what specific services will be required to provide adequate support and assistance.
Early Childhood Early Intervention
ECEI partners assist young children aged 0-6 who suffer from a developmental delay or some form of disability. In many of these scenarios, it is not just about helping the child learn to be independent with their disability but it’s also about helping the family understand how they can help and cope.
Caring for a child with a disability requires compassion and patience, which can sometimes be difficult for guardians or parents. ECEI partners help tailor the services to the child’s specific needs, while connecting the family with other community-based services like playgroups in the area.
Local Area Coordination
LAC partners help people understand and access the NDIS. This is a major problem with a lot of nation-wide legislation and institutions; a lack of knowledge regarding access and eligibility can often mean services are left unutilised.
Fortunately, LAC partners can connect individuals with the specific services and government groups they need to become more active in the community. At the end of the day, the scheme is about building accessibility and inclusivity for all disabled people.
What is funded by the NDIS?
The scheme funds a variety of services for people with disabilities or handicaps. However, such supports need to be considered as “reasonable and necessary”, meaning they must meet the following criteria:
- must have some relation to the person’s disability
- must be likely to be effective for the individual
- should also consider other services provided to the individual (government services, family, carers and the community)
- costs not directly related to the person’s disability (i.e. travel costs) cannot be included in the day-to-day living expenses of the services
On top of this, the NDIA has operational guidelines to ensure that decision makers have enough information to make the right choice regarding NDIS-funded support services. According to Kev’s Best the services will be assessed on the basis as to whether they will help the individual achieve their goals, improve their sense of autonomy and independence, help the individual become a more active member of the community and increase the person’s capacity to contribute to the workforce (if possible).