Statement from the Aboriginal Blind Peoples Gathering

On Wednesday 7 June 2017, 15 blind or vision impaired Aboriginal people from across Australia met on Gadigal land in Sydney for the inaugural Aboriginal Blind Persons Gathering. First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN), the peak organisation of and for First Peoples with disability convened the meeting in partnership with Blind Citizens Australia.

The historic gathering was the first of its kind in Australia and discussions commenced regarding the formation of an Aboriginal Blind Persons Network.

Read the full statement here.

Submission on the Review of the NDIS ACT

The Australian Government commissioned an independent review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) (NDIS Act), as required under Section 208 of the NDIS Act. In accordance with this legislative requirement, Disability Ministers had agreed that Ernst & Young (EY) conduct the review.
The purpose of the review is to assess the operation of the legislative framework (comprising the NDIS Act and the NDIS Rules) and develop recommendations as to whether any improvements can be made to better support the objectives and principles of the NDIS Act.

The Blind Citizens Australia submission to the then released discussion paper can be found here: BCA NDIS ACT Review October 2015 (Word doc)

In conversation with Minister Fifield

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Manager of Government Business in the Senate, Minister Fifield tells Chair of Australian Federation of Disability Organisations Margherita Coppolino about the NDIS and his plans to make it the best it can be.

Watch the video

NDS News Update – NDIA revises support definitions and pricing lists

NDIA revises support definitions and pricing lists

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released new versions of the ‘Support Clusters Definitions and Pricing’. The revised items have positive features, but note: this is not the Agency’s response to the review of the prices for one-to-one supports, which is not expected until the end of November.The positive features include a new category for supporting participants with challenging behaviour or with high medical support needs. This covers support with daily personal activities and support to participate in community, social and civic activities. While the rates set for this support category are inadequate, NDS is pleased that the NDIA has accepted our argument that supporting participants with challenging behaviour or high medical needs costs more than supporting other participants.

NDS is also pleased to see a new support item that recognises that some individuals require higher intensity complex support coordination. The price for this has been set at $83.00 per hour, more than $30 per hour more than the standard coordination price. In addition, the NDIA has acknowledged that where “such support is provided or guided by a health professional because of the needs of the participant, the health professional rates apply for that support.” This range of complex support coordination items better reflects the needs of participants who require assistance with coordination or managing life stages, transitions and supports.

The expansion of the number of items under the ‘Assistance to access and maintain employment’ cluster is also positive. It better reflects the assistance that people with significant disability require to find and maintain employment. The inclusion of ‘Assessment to identify vocational potential and suitability’ and ‘Workplace assessment’ are particularly welcome, along with the items for ‘Post-school employment assistance’.

The prices related to work in an Australian Disability Enterprise have been revised to reflect current ADE case-based funding levels. This at least will clarify pricing arrangements for ADE providers during the launch phase of the NDIS.

As NDS’s negotiations with the NDIA continue, members operating in the launch sites are encouraged to provide NDS with feedback on NDIS prices, particularly those prices relating to accommodation support, group-based community participation and employment. We thank members who have already assisted us with information.

NDS will inform members as soon as the outcome of the review of prices for one-to-one support is available. 

 

Contact Information:
Ken Baker, Chief Executive, Ph 02 6283 3200, ken.baker@nds.org.au