As we mentioned in our introduction, we’re keeping our eyes and ears peeled for news as to how the NDIS pilot schemes are going. We were therefore pleased to read the latest quarterly report which included the following positive news:
- Nearly 20,000 people are now in the Scheme at the various trial sites around Australia and it is currently said to be within budget;
- The average cost of an individual plan is coming in at $33,597 which is less than the expected cost of $36,750
- Participants satisfaction remains high with 95% or participants rating their planning process as “good” or “very good”
- MS participants in the scheme are reporting a consistently high level of satisfaction
A major advocacy point for the MS organisations has been the Federal Government’s commitment to full funding and the timely roll out of the NDIS. Full implementation is planned to take place by 2019. Despite regular reassurances from the relevant Ministers regarding the Government’s ongoing commitment, recent rumblings in the media have led some disability organisations to call on the Prime Minister and Government to reassure the community by explicitly ruling out any cuts or delays. We’re watching these developments closely and will be campaigning for a fully funded, timely scheme roll out should the need arise.
An important aspect of the NDIS is the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Framework.
The ILC is the component of the NDIS that provides information, linkages and referrals to efficiently and effectively connect people with disability, their families and carers with appropriate disability, community and mainstream supports.
The ILC is being designed to establish and facilitate capacity building supports for people with disability, their families and carers that are not directly tied to a person through an individually funded package. In addition, the ILC should also promote collaboration and partnership with local communities and mainstream and universal services to ensure greater inclusivity and accessibility of people with disability.
Earlier in August, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released a revised ILC Framework. Whilst the revised ILC framework is welcome, there remain a number of unanswered questions on just how the ILC services and supports will be delivered.
MS Australia and its member organisations are working together to ensure these ILC supports will provide information services and advocacy for people with MS and build the capacity of people with MS to manage their own NDIS packages.
We are looking forward to further announcements by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in September regarding the timetable for full scheme roll out in each State and Territory across Australia and we will keep you updated on these details as soon as these announcements are made.
(The full quarterly report is available from http://www.ndis.gov.au/)