Did you know that it can take up to 2 years to access a government funded wheelchair?
Did you know that it took 12 months before the relevant agency organised for an accessible door to be fitted for someone without the strength to lift their arms to unlock their own front door?
Did you know that power chairs are currently only provided to children over the age of 5 which limits the ability of younger children to play, participate learn and develop?
Today I hosted a morning tea to encourage awareness and support for the National Disability Insurance Scheme – NDIS.
Unlike the popular crime show with a similar name, the NDIS will make it possible for people with significant and permanent disability to get the necessary care and support they require, when they require it.
Under the NDIS people will have more control over the services and supports they receive, and the flexibility to explore and choose from a wider range of options and providers. Support will be personalised, based on a plan that reflects their own goals and aspirations.
My morning tea with some close friends was part of a wider campaign across Australia where hundreds of “DisabiliTeas” were held. This campaign was the brainchild of Every Australian Counts, an organisation with the sole purpose of lobbying the government to make the NDIS a reality.
The NDIS was devised and recommended by the Productivity Commission in July 2011, following an intensive 18-month investigation of the unmet needs of people with disability and their families and carers across Australia, and analysis of high-functioning disability support systems overseas.
The Productivity Commission’s recommendations for the NDIS have been welcomed by people with disability and their families, carers and support organisations across the country. Personalised, individual funding would be a dream come true for many families struggling to look after their loved ones at home with limited support and respite opportunities.
I know of many local families with children with disabilities who cannot access respite services. I know of many more who have waited YEARS to see specialists in the public system in order to receive diagnoses and to access early intervention therapy.
The current system is in distress. There is not enough money to go around. Every state has a different regime of eligibility for assistance. There is NO guarantee that you would receive adequate assistance if you or someone you love is born with a disability or acquires one later in life.
The truth is that in the current system we all run the risk of falling through a huge hole in Australia’s safety net.
This is why we need a scheme to ensure funding and support is available to help those who need it, when they need it. This is why we need the NDIS.
The Federal Government has committed to trialling the NDIS in several locations across Australia next year, but full roll out of the scheme is still not assured. This is why we need to pressure the Government (and the Opposition) into allocating the funds to make the NDIS a reality into the future.
If you wish to show your support and take action to make the NDIS a reality please join the campaign and sign up for regular email updates.
I support the NDIS – do you?