Last month I reflected that a new government provides MS Australia with new opportunities to progress our key policy priorities – chief among those being to secure improvements to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
With a government review of the NDIS now brought forward to 2022 and the new government promising to restore fairness and rebuild trust in the NDIS, there is reason for great optimism, and importantly, a golden opportunity to ensure the voice of the MS community is heard.
We have long advocated for improvements to the NDIS to better meet the needs of people living with MS.
Over a decade and across 28 policy submissions, we have identified the Scheme’s faults and put forward solutions that, if implemented, would provide life-changing benefits to many more Australians.
MS Australia has now formally launched its online campaign – A better NDIS for people living with MS
The campaign highlights three essential areas for reform:
- We need to secure effective representation for people living with MS. The 1.6 million Australians who live with progressive, degenerative neurological or neuromuscular
conditions deserve to be heard, understood and effectively represented within the NDIS.
- There needs to be greater understanding of MS. Put simply, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) cannot provide solutions to what it doesn’t fully understand. Better outcomes for people with MS requires greater training and education about MS.
- We need to ensure that all Australians with MS are able to receive support from the NDIS regardless of their age.
In the coming weeks and months ahead of the formal NDIS review, MS Australia will continue to advocate on behalf of the MS community to ensure your voice is heard.
And a word of thanks today to the MS community.
To everyone who has seen and engaged with the campaign, who has shared their stories and assisted in amplifying the voice of the MS community on this important issue, I say a heartfelt thank you.
Speaking just last week, Minister for the NDIS, Bill Shorten, the original architect of the Scheme said he knows how invaluable lived experience is. Telling the ABC, “…I am committed to improving disability representation in leadership roles across the board and NDIA leadership.”
MS Australia stands ready to support the government in achieving that ambition.