This year the NDIS rollout begins, so it’s a time of great change and more than a little anxiety for people with disability around Australia.
If you’re worried about what it all means, here are three tips from our work in Victoria’s Geelong region where the NDIS began three years ago:
- The NDIS process can be daunting and many are finding it confusing. And the explosion of websites and information sources to explain it doesn’t help much! To get your head around it, stick to trusted sources, take your time to understand the system, and most of all stay positive — there are some great stories emerging of how people’s lives are transformed by the new supports they are accessing under the NDIS.
- When you’re new on the NDIS, you’ll first meet with your NDIS planner who will decide your package of supports. Preparing for this meeting is vital if you want to get a good outcome. People are starting to document their current supports and aspirations well in advance of their planning meetings, and we suggest you follow their lead. Your NDIS planner needs to know as much as possible about your specific circumstances, and that won’t be easy to communicate in a couple of short planning meetings. Make sure you involve trusted family and friends along the way too.
- Try to get advice from someone who can guide you through the NDIS process. Like any government service, the NDIS has strict eligibility criteria, plus rules and guidelines about what they will and won’t fund in your circumstances. You want to focus your energy on making the most of what you are eligible for. Independent advocates and planners are starting to emerge to help you navigate the system, and the good ones will be an invaluable resource for participants in the scheme.
What do you think people should do to prepare? Feel free to share your thoughts here. In our next post we’ll discuss your feedback and flesh out these tips with some specific actions you can take now.