Today: NDIS Citizens’ Jury to evaluate participant experiences

17 February 2015

Participants from the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be given the chance to speak about their experience as part of an innovative Citizens’ Jury.

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) will be running the Citizens’ Jury, which begins in Sydney today and continues until Friday 20 February. A report will be provided in April 2015.

This innovative model draws on some processes of a courtroom jury, targeting people who are not advocates and encouraging them to have a say on important issues.

The Jury will assess the extent to which the National Disability Insurance Agency is on-track to achieve the objectives of the NDIS and will identify areas for improvement in the future. The jury will hear direct responses from participants and will also develop a written scorecard.

The Jury is made up of 12 randomly selected Australians, including six people with disability who will hear evidence from participants across the trial sites (except the Northern Territory). Additionally, the Jury will hear from six ‘advocate witnesses’ — people with disability who have collated stories of at least 10 participants not already providing their story to the Jury.

This first user-led national scorecard will be assessed and delivered by NDIS participants, as well as members of the broader Australian community who have helped fund this scheme.

Craig Wallace, President of People with Disability Australia (PWDA) said, “A Citizens’ Jury with expert witnesses from trial sites is a perfect fit for the NDIS.”

“Instead of rendering that verdict inhouse we are handing the task back to the real owners of this national reform,” Mr Wallace said.

“A trial of a serious national investment deserves a real jury with real evidence and testimony so we are using a Citizens’ Jury to enable a group of ordinary people to render a scorecard on this scheme after hearing from the real experts in the room – those actually receiving disability services under the new NDIS,” he said.

“They will be encouraged to ask hard questions and it is pleasing that the Agency itself has embraced this process as an opportunity to learn and build.”

The results will be an important resource for the Australian people and in particular for people with disability waiting to enter the scheme, as well as policy makers and services providers working on the national roll out.

“This is a challenging person-centred process for a person-centred scheme. It means that people with disability will be front and centre advising on the reform of the system and the transition to self-directed support,” Mr Wallace said.

Note to editors

The Citizens’ Jury will use the Productivity Commission’s 2011 report as a reference point in its assessment of the NDIS trial. It can be viewed at this link.

The jurors and expert witnesses will be selected by newDemocracy Foundation, a leading independent, non-partisan research organisation that specialises in citizen participation. The selection process will be totally independent.

Key dates:

  • Citizens’ Jury sitting dates: Tuesday 17 February to Friday 20 February 2015
  • National Scorecard published: April 2015

The make-up of the Citizens’ Jury:

  • 12 jurors selected randomly from the Australian population, six people with disability who are not participants of the NDISParticipant witnesses, selected from each of the NDIS trial sites (except NT)
  • Six advocate witnesses representing each of the six NDIS trial sites;
  • Participant interviewees, selected from six NDIS trial sites. The NDIS Jury will be held from 17-20
  • February 2015 and you can follow the conversation on #ndisjury

Media Contact
Sara Irvine
0402 982 002
Phone: 02 9370 3100 Toll Free: 1800 422 015 Email:

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy, non-profit, non-government organisation. We have a cross-disability focus, representing the interests of people with all kinds of disability and our membership is made up of people with disability and organisations mainly constituted by people with disability.

Our vision is of a socially just, accessible and inclusive community, in which the human rights, citizenship, contribution, potential and diversity of all people with disability are respected and celebrated.