Changes welcome, but more work to do to make NDIS fair

Logos of People with Disability Australia and Children and Young People with Disability, followed by the text "Media Release"

Monday 20 January 2020

Disability advocates welcome long overdue changes, released today in the Tune Review report, as a step in the right direction, but warn that there is more that needs to be done to ensure the NDIS works for everyone.

“It’s great to see the Tune Review acknowledge that the NDIS is too complex. People with disability tell us every day that the Scheme is hard to access and difficult to navigate,” said Romola Hollywood, Director of Policy and Advocacy, People with Disability Australia.

“We welcome the commitment to making the NDIS respond more quickly to people with disability, so that we can get access to the essential supports that we need. But we don’t want greater accountability on timeframes for plan assessments and reviews to come at the expense of the quality of the plans.”

The Tune Review makes 29 recommendations to improve the NDIS, including a proposal for stronger outreach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with psychosocial disability who face significant barriers to access the NDIS.

“While it is good to see the NDIS acknowledge that they need to work on barriers for these communities, this outreach needs to be led by advocacy and community-based organisations that have established and trusted relationship with people in our communities as well as the NDIA,” said Ms Hollywood.

“Overall, we are concerned that while the Tune Review makes many positive recommendations, it does not make any clear recommendation for staffing cap to be removed, for staff training particularly on disability rights and for more people with disability employed. These are key issues that have to be urgently addressed.”

“We welcome the Review’s recommendations for children and young people with disability. To date the NDIS has been plagued with problems for families trying to access support for their children, with a lack of recognition that if families are strong then they can better support their children with disability,” said Mary Sayers, CEO, Children and Young People with Disability Australia.

“Family-centred practice is crucial to supporting the development of children and young people with disability, and we welcome recommendations that NDIS plans should support the child in their home and in the community, things like ensuring they can attend pre-school and recreation activities, along with their non-disabled peers.”

“We also think there needs to be a much stronger more focus on fair access to the NDIS.  We know that if you don’t have formal or informal advocacy, you don’t get a fair deal, and that is not OK. Individual advocacy services around the country are overwhelmed by demand, and need an urgent funding boost so they can support people finding it difficult to access and navigate the NDIS,” said Ms Hollywood.

More information:
People with Disability Australia
Media and Communications
0491 034 479

People with Disability Australia
Children and Young People with Disability Australia