Milestone for NDIS as disability clinical services transfer to Australia’s oldest charity

Today the NSW Government announced the Benevolent Society will be the new operator of its specialist disability community support teams. These services are being transferred to the non-government sector to support the roll out of the NDIS.

Community support teams are made up of more than 800 highly skilled and dedicated professionals who provide clinical services such as therapy, case management and behaviour supports.

Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams said the Benevolent Society has been chosen after an extensive and competitive selection process.

“The Benevolent Society is an exceptionally strong service provider with a great track record as Australia’s first charity. For more than 200 years they have supported Australians to live their best life,” he said.

“They have an impressive plan to grow and expand the business, and a proven record in delivering supports to children, young people and adults with disability. Their safety and continuity of service throughout the transfer remains the priority.”

Other key factors in the decision were the Benevolent Society’s strong existing footprint in NSW, and ability to integrate clinical services into its business.

Benevolent Society CEO Jo Toohey said the organisation was well positioned to integrate clinical services, with the appropriate business systems, quality and risk management frameworks and resources to enable a successful transition.

“We aim to transform the specialist disability clinical services into a leading centre of excellence that is known for its research, practice development, clinical expertise and sector development to achieve better outcomes for people with disability.”

“Our strong focus on culture and people will ensure clients and staff are well supported,’’ Ms Toohey said.

The Benevolent Society is Australia’s oldest charity. It is a not-for-profit organisation focused on helping people, families and communities achieve positive change.

Download Media Release for Milestone for NDIS here

Signing the documents to become the new provider of disability clinical services in NSW are (from left) Benevolent Society CEO Jo Toohey, Board member Rob Warren, Chairman Lisa Chung, Ageing, Disability and Home Care Deputy Secretary Jim Longley and Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams.

NDIS: Straight Up!

An exciting project, designed specifically around increasing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) readiness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the Far West/Murrumbidgee District, has come to fruition in the form of ‘NDIS: Straight Up!’

NDIS: Straight Up! events are a series of intimate community-based gatherings across the district for Aboriginal people with disability, their family and carers as well as for mainstream and disability specific services providing support to this group.

The events give people the opportunity to meet and learn about the NDIS together and discuss what needs to happen to best prepare participants and the community for the NDIS.

For more information contact

NDIS National Quality and Safeguarding Framework Released

The Council of Australian Councils (COAG) Disability Reform Council has today released the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguarding Framework (the Framework).

The Framework sets out the key functions of the national quality and safeguards system to be implemented for the full scheme NDIS, including roles and responsibilities.  All Governments are committed to working together to implement the Framework in consultation with people with disability and other stakeholders.

The transition to a full scheme NDIS in NSW will be completed by July 2018. NSW Transitional Quality and Safeguards Working Arrangements will continue to apply during the transition period.

Click here to view the Disability Reform Council Statement

Click here to view the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework 

State-wide NDIS events now available

If you are interested in keeping up to date with events about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) that are taking place in metropolitan and regional communities across the state, then you should take time to visit our events page.

Our quick and easy to use events calendar, can help you find events that might be happening nearby or online, including community consultation workshops and information sessions.

You can join seminars that will give you insight into how to prepare for the NDIS, how to fill in the relevant paperwork and how to start to develop and then implement your plan.

February is a bumper month with some great information sessions and seminars taking place across the state. You can access our events page here:

Don’t forget to tell us if you are holding an event, meeting or information session in NSW about the NDIS. It is quick and easy, just email the details to and we will put it up on the calendar.

Auslan NDIS resources now available

Auslan NDIS resources now available

The National Disability Insurance Agency has developed a range of Auslan videos to help build awareness of the NDIS in the Australian Deaf Community.

The videos explain what the NDIS is, how people can access it and introduces some key concepts regarding how the NDIS works.

The videos were developed with the involvement of native Deaf Auslan users to help ensure the resources are accurate and reflect the diversity of language in Auslan across Australia.

To view the resources and visit the Auslan page of the NDIS website click here


Getting in touch about the National Disability Insurance Scheme over the Holiday Season

Getting in touch about the National Disability Insurance Scheme over the Holiday Season

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the federal agency that is responsible for implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). For enquiries about eligibility or how to access the NDIS, or to follow up on an existing plan you need to content the NDIA.

There will be changes to the NDIA’s operating hours over the Christmas Holiday period.

Many services will not be available on the public holidays and there will be reduced services at other times.

NDIA Contact Centre: 1800 800 110

Available from 8.00 am to 11.00 pm local time on:

  • Friday 23 December
  • Wednesday 28 December
  • Thursday 29 December
  • Friday 30 December

Please note: the Contact Centre will not be available on public holidays.
If you require urgent assistance outside of these times please call: Lifeline: 13 11 14

Emailing the NDIA

Submissions through the Contact Form on the NDIS website received after 12.30 pm Friday 23 December 2016 will be processed from Tuesday 3 January 2016. The contact form is located here
If you require urgent assistance please call the NDIS Contact Centre: 1800 800 110.
Please note: the Contact Centre will not be available on public holidays.

Visiting the NDIA Customer Service Centers

Christmas Eve

Most sites will close at 12.30 pm on Friday 23 December 2016 (Christmas Eve) and re-open on Tuesday 3 January 2017. Some larger regional offices will be open over the Christmas & New Year period on non-public holidays.

If you need to visit a site after 12.30 pm on Christmas Eve and you do not have an appointment, please check the NDIA website located here to see when your local office is open.

Please contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 if you have any questions or concerns.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) NSW Providers have been announced

Early in 2016 the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) announced it would implement a nationally consistent approach to supporting children with disability aged birth to 6 years, under the NDIS. It is called the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention approach (ECEI).

The NDIA worked hand in hand with early childhood practitioners and researchers to design the approach, with key design aspects being informed by the NSW Strengthening supports for children and families 0-8 years: Now and into the future.

The aim of ECEI is inclusion, with children supported in a range of mainstream early childhood settings such as preschool and playgroup, meaning increased opportunities to learn and develop positive social relationships.

The NDIA’s approach to providing ECEI supports under the full scheme NDIS will be in place from July 2018 when the NSW transition is complete.

A list of Year 1 ECEI transitional are now available from the National Disability Insurance Agency website

To find out more about ECEI, click here:

New NDIS planning resources available

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has developed new resources which provide further detail around the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) planning process; including what participants need to do before the planning process starts; what they need to know during the planning process and what will happen when a plan is finalised.

A key resource in this suite of materials is a fact sheet called Starting your plan with a Supports Coordinator. This provides details about the role of a Supports Coordinator and how they will work with participants to put plans into place, identify options for community, mainstream and funded NDIS supports as well as help participants to choose providers and to register with the NDIS participant portal.

Information about the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach is available too – called Accessing supports for my child – the fact sheet outlines the approach designed for children aged birth to six years. The NDIS ECEI approach will help children with disability and their families to achieve better long-term outcomes.

Additional resources also include information around self managing budgets under an NDIS plan, as well as the role of Local Area Coordinators (LAC) and more advice about the NDIS plan, what different terms mean and how to understand the plan.

The full suite of resources are available to download by clicking on the links below:

Factsheet: Starting your plan (PDF 11KB)
Factsheet: Starting your plan with a Support Coordinator (PDF 158KB)
Factsheet: Starting our plan with a Local Area Coordinator (PDF 160KB)
Factsheet: Accessing supports for my child (PDF 391.KB)
Factsheet: Starting my plan as a self-managed participant (PDF 227KB)
Understanding your plan and supports
Self-managing budgets in your plan.
Factsheet: Understanding your NDIS plan (DOCX)
Factsheet: Understanding your NDIS plan (PDF 255KB)

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.

NSW ready to begin transition to NDIS

Media Release

Thursday 30 June 2016

Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka today joined children with disability and their families at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) in Western Sydney to mark the official start of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in NSW.

Mr Ajaka said more than 40,000 people with disability living in NSW were expected to transition to the NDIS over the next 12 months.

“The NSW Government is delivering its commitment to transition to the NDIS by July 2018. The NDIS is on track, on time and on budget in NSW,” Mr Ajaka said.

“The Scheme will give people with disability in NSW real choice and control over their lives.

“Importantly, the NSW Government has been working hard with its partners in government and non-government sectors to ensure NSW is NDIS-ready.”

Starting tomorrow, people with disability in Sydney’s North, West and South West, as well as the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter New England and Southern NSW region will have access to the NDIS. Other areas of NSW will join the Scheme from 1 July 2017.

“For most of their lives, people with disability have been waiting. Waiting for support and opportunities. Tomorrow’s NDIS launch means for many that wait is over. And soon that wait will be over for all. We’ve come so far. The NDIS is real and this is a cause for celebration,” Every Australian Counts Campaign Director John Della Bosca said.

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.

The NSW Government will contribute $1.3 billion to the NDIS in 2016-17, while the Commonwealth will contribute an additional $740 million.