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Down Syndrome NSW
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Monday, 28 October 2013

News and commentary on the NDIS (8)

How a forty-year-old proposal became a movement for change
Mike Steketee, Inside Story, 22nd October 2013
Amid the often-protracted policy debates of the Rudd and Gillard years, DisabilityCare is widely seen as Labor’s most popular and effectively managed reform. The story begins during the Whitlam years ... and takes in a highly effective community campaign ...

Every Australian Counts comment, 25th October 2013
Reports today say the Federal Government is looking at absorbing the newly established agency administering the National Disability Insurance Scheme into Medibank Private.

Good management of the NDIS is critical and we expect people with disability and their families, carers and disability organisations will demand scrutiny of any proposals to change the way the NDIS is administered. Hundreds of thousands of campaigners expect the NDIS will be rolled out on time and in line with the recommendations of the Productivity Commission.

We'll keep a close eye on how the roll out and will keep you updated as it progresses.

Read the full article on this here and the response from the opposition here

We will deliver NDIS: Abbott government
AAP (via the Herald-Sun), 25th October 2013
The Abbott government insists it has no plans to either privatise or unwind the national disability insurance scheme. But it could allow the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to contract out some administrative functions to the private and not-for-profit sectors ...

Abbott recommits to disability insurance
AAP (Via, 14th October 2013
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has recommitted the coalition to rolling out the national disability insurance scheme and maintaining individual allowances and benefits for carers ...

NDIS: Stockton Centre set to close 
Ian Kirkwood, Newcastle Herald, 16th October 2013
The Stockton Centre is scheduled to close between 2015 and 2018 under state government policies driven by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Plans for closing the disability group home have come and gone over the years and some families with members at the centre believe they had assurances of lifetime care on the site ...

OPINION: Stockton Centre should close 
Linda Hughes and Catherine Mahony, Newcastle Herald, 22nd October 2013
Linda Hughes and Catherine Mahony represent Community Disability Alliance Hunter, a user-led organisation run by and for people with disability.

Last week, the Newcastle Herald reported the possible closure of the Stockton Centre for people with disabilities. Concerns were raised about this by family members of residents, and unions. What hasn’t been raised are the well-documented detrimental outcomes of institutional care nor the benefits and positive outcomes of closing institutions and enabling people to live in the community with appropriate support. These benefits extend to people with disability, families and the community ...

No state for disabled 
Ian Kirkwood, Newcastle Herald, 20th october 2013
Premier Barry O’Farrell signed two major reforms with the former federal Labor government in the past year – the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Gonski education reforms.
Both schemes are designed to put more money into their respective systems.

Imagine the outcry if we later found that the Gonski reforms also involved the state government shutting down or privatising the NSW education system? Gonski does nothing of the sort, of course. But when we get to the NDIS, we find that’s exactly what’s happening ...

NDIS: Asset move opens door 
Michelle Harris, Newcastle Herald, 24th October 2013
The state government has begun to pave the way for disability staff, 580 group homes and six residential centres, including Stockton, to be transferred to the private sector by 2018, as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Legislation to enable the transfer of public assets and employees, as part of the roll out of the national scheme across the state from 2016 to 2018, has been introduced to the Parliament’s upper house this week. Under the bill, industrial conditions and pay of public sector workers would continue and entitlements such as sick leave would follow workers transferring to the non-government sector ...

DisabilityCare to be sent to private providers to implement
Anna Patty, Sydney Morning Herald, 28th October 2013
The NSW government plans to transfer all its disability services to the private sector from next year in preparation for the introduction of the national scheme, DisabilityCare, in 2018. Public service workers are concerned the transfer will mean a cut in their pay and conditions. The transfer is expected to include the redevelopment of group homes such as Stockton in Newcastle ...

... Kerry Stubbs, the chief executive officer of Northcott, a not-for-profit agency which has delivered disability services for decades, said: ''We are ready, willing and able to take on government-run services".

Ms Stubbs said the legislation, if passed, would deliver the Productivity Commission's recommended removal of the government as the main service provider, creating greater competition among disability services.

"More competition means more choice and opportunity for people with disabilities,'' she said...

Housing shortfall for young people living in nursing homes
Libby Galloway and Di Winkler, The Conversation, 1st October 2013
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a once-in-a-lifetime disability reform, but a report released today by theSummer Foundation and PwC shows the scheme alone cannot resolve the issue of young people living in nursing homes. There are currently 6,192 Australians aged under 65 years who live in aged care facilities. This group is effectively excluded from society, and experience deep and persistent disadvantage.

Give disability scheme a chance
Disability Directory, 4th October, 2013
As the mother of a son severely disabled with cerebral palsy from birth until his death aged 21, I know only too well what Nick Cater meant in his recent opinion piece about the perils that bureaucracy – by its nature – poses to the successful implementation of the national disability insurance scheme.

Cater is far from the only person in Australia worried about that, and rightly so. However, his analysis fails to grasp many crucial aspects of DisabilityCare Australia; aspects that in turn explain why so many thousands of disabled Australians, their families and other advocates from numerous walks of life fought so hard – against seemingly insuperable odds for much of the time, let’s not forget – for its introduction ...

Colac carers pleased with rollover process to new disability scheme
Lily Partland, ABC Ballarat, 8th October 2013
Three months after the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme began in four regions of Australia - including Barwon in Victoria - two carers from Colac discuss the process.

Grant paves way for independent life
Lisa Cox, Canberra Times, October 8, 2013
The ACT government has awarded $4.3 million to disabled Canberrans in the first phase of the national disability insurance scheme implementation. More than 800 Canberrans have been promised an enhanced service offer, which is a cash grant to pay for equipment, home modifications, or activities to improve their quality of life. As many as 300 of those receiving money through round one of the grants will be using the cash to access a disability service for the first time.

Information for DisabilityCare Australia applicants - Review of DisabilityCare Australia decisions
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
This page includes information about the AAT's role, how to apply for review and how the AAT will conduct reviews.

Disability Service Orgs Merge
ProBono Australia News, 8th October, 2013
Two major disability service organisations have merged in response to the challenges and reforms brought about by the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme ...

DisabilityCare and the Indigenous Population
National Disability and Carer Alliance 10th October 2013
Implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme in indigenous communities is a significant challenge for service providers. Not only does the indigenous population have a higher prevalence of disability than the rest of the Australian population, but the population also has poorer access to disability services.

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