New resources available to help people with disability move to the NDIS

New resources have been developed to support a greater understanding of key NDIS concepts such as the first planning process and how people with disability will continue to receive quality supports as well as clarity around common terms within the NDIS.

My first plan fact sheet: information on the first plan process in plain English and easy read English. These fact sheets provide information about what to expect and how to prepare for a first plan meeting. The Easy English my first plan fact sheet uses images as well as text to illustrate the first plan process.

 NDIS Word list: there are a lot of new terms to understand as people transition to the new scheme, so we have developed an Easy Read word list to help explain the NDIS.

 Providing quality and safe supports for NDIS participants in NSW: this fact sheet details how people with disability will continue to receive quality and safe supports during the transition to the NDIS between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018.

Our fact sheet on The NDIS for people aged 65 has also been updated with new information on the next steps and who can be contacted for more information.  

For more information and to access the latest information sheets visit the resources page.

NDIS rolls out across half of NSW

Image shows Minister Ajaka, RIDBC CEO Chris Rehn and students celebrating the NDIS NSW launch

Minister Ajaka (right), RIDBC CEO Chris Rehn (left) and students celebrating the NDIS NSW launch

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) begins rolling out across half of NSW from today, 1 July 2016.

Minister for Disability Services, the Hon John Ajaka (MP) celebrated the important milestone at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children in Western Sydney.

“July 1 will see half the state – from western Sydney to the Central Coast and also southern NSW – begin the transition to the NDIS,” Minister Ajaka said.

“A reform such as the NDIS only comes along once in a lifetime, and I strongly believe we become a much more inclusive, accessible and tolerant society when we reach out to others.”

About 9,000 children, young people and adults with disability have already benefited from the Scheme in the Hunter trial site and Nepean early rollout site.

Around 37,000 existing clients living in Hunter New England, Southern NSW, Central Coast, Northern Sydney, South Western Sydney, Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains are planned to enter the scheme in 2016/17 with around 7,000 new participants also expected.

“These are big numbers so there will be challenges. But I am confident, working together with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), we are in a strong position to lead the country in delivering this reform,” Minister Ajaka said.

“Tomorrow is the next step in the journey for thousands of people with disability, and hundreds of existing service providers and new operators who will enter the sector.”

RIDBC chief executive Chris Rehn said the NDIS allows for greater control, flexibility and choice for people with disability.

“RIDBC already leads the way in providing individualised and tailored services to meet the unique needs and life goals of the children, adults and families we support. Access to our services is strengthened under NDIS, ensuring the best outcomes for people with vision or hearing loss,” Mr Rehn said.

Minister Ajaka also pointed to a jobs boom with nearly 29,000 new jobs expected to be generated by the NDIS with the size of the disability market tipped to double to $6.8 billion.

To keep up to date on the rollout of the NDIS in NSW please visit

You can also watch a video of Minister Ajaka discussing the NSW NDIS rollout on YouTube at:

The NDIS and Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

 Image shows a person walking with a guide dog.

Wednesday 27 April marks International Guide Dog Day. We invited Guide Dogs NSW/ACT CEO, Dr Graeme White, to discuss the positive change the NDIS will bring to people who are blind or vision impaired.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) offers a significant advancement in the provision of disability support, training and services for people who are blind or vision impaired.

As a registered NDIS service provider, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has been providing assistance to people who are blind or vision impaired in the Hunter and the ACT where the NDIS rollout is underway.

Personally, as CEO, this has allowed me to witness the positive change the NDIS is bringing to people and the way that supports enable them to get to school, university, work, sport, social events or wherever they need to go, safely and independently.

A great example of the positive change of the NDIS is from Cathryn Gilewski, a client in the Hunter region. In Cathryn’s own words:

“I was so used to not doing anything… and having no control over my choices. So I didn’t dream of anything. Whereas now, I’m thinking I might be able to get out and bush walk again. I might be able to go to a medical appointment when it is made for me and not have to wait for my husband to get a day off.”

While Cathryn has gained more choice and control over her life through the NDIS, the Scheme represents an enormous change for many people, so we have been actively assisting participants to transition to the Scheme as quickly and easily as possible.

To do this we’ve held NDIS information sessions to build readiness, and our Orientation and Mobility Specialists have used their knowledge of supports to help participants who are blind or vision impaired with their NDIS planning.

The feedback has been great – like from Canberra-based Leonie Pye, who said she was having trouble understanding the NDIS and what she needed to do:

 “I was feeling anxious about the NDIS, so I contacted Guide Dogs and organised a one-on-one meeting. They helped me by sitting down with me and explaining the details around the NDIS and what I needed to do.”

As the NDIS rolls out across NSW and the ACT we will continue to support our clients and to remind people that while vision loss can be challenging, with the right supports it doesn’t have to limit people’s independence.

For more information on Guide Dogs, visit or call (02) 9412 9300.

Getting ready for the move to the NDIS

The NDIS rollout in NSW will begin in just a few months, with people with disability in year one districts due to begin moving to the NDIS from 1 July 2016.

With so many people coming into the Scheme in a short time, it is important that there is a planned approach as to how and when they access the NDIS.

People currently accessing accommodation and community high supports from the NSW Government in year 1 rollout areas will enter the Scheme first – between July and September 2016.

Over the next few weeks NSW will write to people in accommodation and community high supports to let them know how and when they will move to the NDIS.

People in year one areas that access other types of supports such community access, community support, respite and community care as will move to the NDIS throughout the remainder of the year.

More information is available on the resources section of the NDIS NSW website.

The NDIS and carers – Carers NSW

The following blog is from Carers NSW CEO, Elena Katrakis. We invited Carers NSW to discuss what the NDIS means for carers in NSW. The 6th of April also marks the 40th anniversary of Carers NSW.

The NDIS is an unprecedented opportunity for people with disability, their families and carers to receive the support they need to achieve their goals and engage with their communities.

With the NDIS comes the good news that more NSW residents than ever before will be able to access funded disability support. People with disability, their families and carers will also have more choice and control over the disability support they receive.

Better funded, more tailored support promises to reduce the pressure on many family carers, freeing them up to go back to work or study, take better care of their own needs or focus on other responsibilities. Whether these outcomes are being realised at a larger scale is not yet clear, but positive stories abound.

What is clear is that the NDIS will not take over the role of family carers; encouraging informal support networks is a key priority of the NDIS.

The NDIS legislation, rules and guidelines acknowledge the importance of carers in the lives of participants and the need to ensure that the support they provide is sustainable.

With the participant’s agreement, carers can:

  • be involved in the planning process
  • provide a ‘carer statement’ about how their caring role impacts them
  • have a separate conversation with the planner, where appropriate
  • help the participant to manage their supports
  • receive funded supports that build their capacity to care

Many carers will benefit greatly from the NDIS supports provided to the person they care for. However, it is important to remember that the NDIS is ultimately focused on the participant’s needs and preferences, not the carer’s.

Given that many existing carer support programs are set to be incorporated into NDIS, governments must ensure that carers are included and supported by the NDIS in line with carer recognition legislation, and that adequate carer specific supports continue outside of the NDIS.

Governments must also ensure that carers experience continuity of support throughout the transition to the NDIS and receive adequate information and support as they prepare.

I’ll conclude with a quote from one respondent to the Carers NSW 2014 Carer Survey, about what the NDIS means for carers.

The NDIS is allowing my son to receive invaluable support, especially speech therapy, which we could not afford to provide at the current level without the assistance of the NDIA. The difference it is making to his abilities will have a life-long impact on how he interacts with the world. It has given us a renewed hope for his abilities to cope with adult life, and will hopefully reduce the level of financial assistance he will require as an adult.”

For more information about the NDIS and how it effects carers, you can visit

100 Days To Go: New Era Dawns For Disability Services

Disability Services Minister, John Ajaka, and NDIS Participant and Ability Options client, Julie Godsell

Disability Services Minister, John Ajaka, and NDIS Participant and Ability Options client, Julie Godsell

Today is a significant day for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in NSW with just 100 days to go until the full rollout of the NDIS begins in NSW, and, the announcement of a new Transition Assistance Program.

Minister for Disability Services, John Ajaka, marked 100 days to go milestone with clients, families and carers at Ability Options at Bella Vista and Parliament House.

From today, there are just 100 days before one of the most significant days in history for people with disability and their families. From 1 July, people living in half the state will have choice and control over their lives and the supports they receive.

“From today, there are just 100 days before one of the most significant days in history for people with disability and their families.

“From 1 July, people living in half the state will have choice and control over their lives and the supports they receive,” Mr Ajaka said, speaking from Bella Vista.

The Minister later announced the Transition Assistance Program, a new grant to help rural and remote disability support service providers get ready for the NDIS.

The program, which is available to providers that have less than $3 million in annual turnover and are located in or provide services to rural and remote areas and intend to become providers under the NDIS, is now open for applications.

You can read more about the rollout of the NDIS in NSW on the NDIS NSW website.

Transition Assistance Program application forms and guidelines can be found on the Ageing and Community Services NSW & ACT website. Applications for funding under close Friday, 22 April 2016.

NSW NDIS grows jobs and support

The NDIS in NSW is expected to generate up to 28,930 extra jobs and double the size of the disability services market to $6.8 billion during the next three years.

The market for disability supports in the state is also expected to grow from 78,000 people in 2016 to 142,000 in 2019.

The forecast figures, taken from the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) NSW Market Position Statement, suggest a jobs and economic boom in NSW.

Growth is being fuelled by strong demand for disability supports and services from regions such as South Western Sydney, Western Sydney and the Hunter New England.

In Western Sydney, for example, the disability services market will increase in size by $390 million by June 2019. This is expected to create between 2700 and 3300 full time equivalent jobs.

You can read the full NSW Market Position Statement on the NDIA’s website, and read the joint statement from NSW Minister for Disability Services, John Ajaka, and Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, on the Family and Community Services (FACS) website.

Carers and the NDIS: New information for Aboriginal people

A new information resource for Aboriginal people with disability, their families, carers and communities – the Carers and the NDIS fact sheet – is now available on the NSW NDIS website.

The sixth fact sheet is part of an ongoing suite of dedicated resources for Aboriginal people. Carers and the NDIS provides guidance on the relationship between the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the vital role played by carers in supporting people with disability.

The Carers and the NDIS fact sheet helps carers better understand:

  • What the NDIS is
  • The carer role
  • How people with disability can use the NDIS
  • How the NDIS can help carers
  • Carers’ needs
  • What carers can do to get ready for the NDIS
  • Next steps, and where to get more information

You can find all the current information resources available on the Aboriginal people page on the NDIS NSW website, including:

Drawing your attention to the NDIS in NSW

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a vital reform that will give people with disability choice and control over their lives and the supports they receive.

Once fully rolled out around 140,000 people in NSW will receive support under the NDIS.

When and how people enter the scheme can be a bit complicated, so watch our short video available on the homepage to learn more about when people with disability can access the NDIS.

The video has closed captions available (or subtitles as they are also known). To turn these on, click on the ‘CC’ icon on the video player then select ‘English CC’. The captions should then display.

You can also find out when the NDIS will be coming to your area using the postcode checker and learn more about the scheme with our fact sheets and guides.

For advice about your eligibility for the NDIS or how to access the scheme, please contact the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) by visiting or call 1800 800 110.


NDIA announces Local Area Coordination providers in NSW

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has announced the appointment of two Local Area Coordination (LAC) providers for some National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) areas across NSW.

The selected LAC providers before and during the NDIS transition are the St Vincent De Paul Society and Uniting. These two providers – responsible for provision of LAC services from now until June 2018 – are far-reaching across NSW and have long standing experience in working with people with disability.

LAC provides a vital function of the NDIS, with coordinators helping to streamline participants’ NDIS experience and assisting them to navigate the variety of NDIS supports for best outcomes.

Coordinators will also raise awareness of the scheme and assist people to be ready for the transition while working with local communities and mainstream services to become more inclusive.

Negotiations for a third provider of LAC services for the remaining Districts in NSW will commence shortly and arrangements for LAC provision beyond July 2018 will be finalised by the NDIA at a later date.