by Michael Coutts-Trotter
As the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out across Australia, these next few years are going to be an exciting time for people with disability, their families and carers, and for the disability sector.
The NDIS is the largest reform to disability services ever undertaken in Australia. New South Wales, the Commonwealth and other state governments have come together to find a better way to deliver better services and better outcomes for people with disability.
We were the first state in Australia to sign up to the NDIS and plans to be the first to complete the rollout. Under the scheme, more people with disability than ever before will be able to access the services that will help them achieve their goals. In New South Wales alone, an estimated 140,000 people will benefit from the scheme by July 2018, up from the 95,000 who are supported by the current state system.
But the NDIS is not just about numbers. It is also about the quality and range of services on offer. More importantly, it is about choice and control.
Too often in the past, there has been a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t take into account the diversity of people with disability. If you were to ask any group of people with similar disability about their needs and goals, you would receive many different responses.
Everyone has different goals and different dreams. Therefore, different supports are needed to help them reach those goals. Recognising this and giving freedom of choice back to people with disability is what the NDIS is all about.
The expanded range of choices will come with a lot of new information and new ways of doing things. Change on this scale can be confusing and intimidating, but there are many places to turn to get help in navigating this new system.
The purpose of this website is to provide people with disability in NSW with tools and links that will help them do exactly that. The site will also answer many of the questions that you may have.
Gradually, we will add more tools, more resources, and more answers to your questions. Your feedback will help us better tailor the site to suit your needs. So please get involved by emailing your suggestions to us, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Michael Coutts-Trotter is the Secretary of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services