Link December 2018 Volume 27 Issue 6 - Page 13

Making it work Every Australian Counts has been holding ‘Make It Work’ forums on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) around the country, giving people with disability, their families, carers and people who work in the sector an opportunity to share their NDIS experiences and ideas for improvement. T Above: At the Make It Work forum in Geelong at the Eastern Hub are Assistant Minister for Social Services Sarah Henderson MP, forum panellists Lynne Forman and Jacqui Pearce, and EAC campaign director Kirsten Deane. Below: Kirsten Deane addresses a ‘Make It Work’ forum. he ‘Make It Work’ forums common issues which came up dealing with people with a range of represent an important regularly. These included the need disabilities,” she said. opportunity to talk about for simpler, quicker processes. what’s working, what’s not, and what “People are finding the NDIS too “The scheme also needs consistent, plain language. needs to change with the NDIS, complex, too hard to navigate and Communication from the NDIA according to Every Australian Counts there isn’t enough help out there. needs to be simple. Often things that Campaign Director Kirsten Deane. Lots of people talk about how long participants and their families need to they have had to wait for vital support, know are lost in bureaucratic jargon.” “While no-one would have ever thought the roll out of such a particularly equipment,” she said. NDIS plans should go for longer complex scheme would be easy, we She said many people believe than 12 months, meaning fewer really think it has been a rockier road National Disability Insurance Agency reviews and less people falling than it needed to be,” she said. (NDIA) staff need more training through the cracks, Ms Deane said. “While the scheme is working well for lots of people, it’s not working well for everyone. And we think that five when it comes to disability and individual needs. “People are frustrated that “Everyone agreed at the forums that yearly reviews are stressful, time- consuming and expensive. They can years on (since it was first introduced staff appear to have had limited leave people with gaps in their plans in 2013), it’s about time it did.” training and even less experience and no support,” she said. ‘Make It Work’ forums have been “Another major theme of the held in western Sydney, Cairns, forums has been that people want Warnambool, Perth, Darwin and the NDIS to focus on outcomes. north Sydney to name a few, with We need a structure that rewards attendees including people with innovation and outcomes. To do this, disabilities, their families, carers, the scheme needs to support people politicians and people who work in gaining employment and getting the disability sector. involved in their local communities, Ms Deane said while all the forums had been different, there were some not just getting basic supports.” ndis 13