The National Disability Insurance Scheme is one of the most significant changes to the Australian disability support system in history. But it didn’t happen overnight. The NDIS is the result of many years of tireless campaigning by disability advocates, and the hard work of countless individuals and organisations.
If you’re looking to receive support from this groundbreaking social program, get in touch with HealSoul. Our team can assist you in making the most of your supports, giving you the best possible independence in life.
This article will present a brief chronology of how the NDIS came to be. If you have any questions about anything covered, feel free to get in touch with our team. We exclusively work in the NDIS, and would be happy to answer any of your queries.
Pre-NDIS Disability support in Australia
Before the NDIS was widely available in the country, support for people with disabilities in Australia was limited and uncoordinated. Support services were provided at the state or territory level, which often resulted in a postcode lottery – where people’s access to support depended on where they lived
There was also little consistency in the types of support that were available, as well as how these supports were delivered. This made it difficult for people with disabilities to plan for their long-term needs, as they never knew what supports would be available to them in the future
The introduction of the NDIS has changed all of this, and provides a much-needed safety net for Australians with disabilities.
The Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs released their report, “A Better Way? The Report of the Inquiry into Possible Approaches to Funding Disability Services and Programs in the Next Century”.
This report is influential in the development of the NDIS, as it advocates for a needs-based funding system for disability services, as opposed to the block funding system that was in place at the time.
The Productivity Commission released their report “Caring for People with Severe and Pervasive Disabilities”. This report recommends the establishment of a national insurance scheme to provide long-term care and support for people with severe disabilities.
2009: Federal response
The Federal Government responds to the Productivity Commission’s report, announcing their intention to develop a National Disability Insurance Scheme. A taskforce is established to investigate the feasibility of the scheme.
The Productivity Commission released their final report on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, “A New System for Better Employment and Support for People with a Disability”. This report provides the blueprint for the NDIS, and is instrumental in its development
2013: Pilot program
The first stage of the NDIS is introduced in four pilot sites around Australia. These sites are:
- The Barwon region of Victoria
- The Hunter region of New South Wales
- The South Australian site (which covers the entire state)
- The Tasmanian site (which also covers the whole state)
These sites were selected by the NDIA to test different approaches to delivering the Scheme. The pilot program is widely considered to be a success.
The NDIS was previously called DisabilityCare Australia, but this was changed in September of 2013.
2014: Second stage
The second stage of the NDIS is introduced, expanding to include people aged between 0-14 years old in the pilot sites. The budget for the NDIS is also increased, in order to accommodate this expansion.
2016-present: National rollout
In March 2016 the Australian Government announced that the NDIS would be rolled out nationwide.
2018: Third stage
The third stage of the NDIS is introduced, expanding to include people aged between 15-24 years old in the pilot sites. The budget for the NDIS is once again increased to cover the costs of this expansion.
2019: Fourth stage
The fourth and final stage of the NDIS is introduced, expanding to include all people aged 0-64 years old with a disability in the pilot sites. The budget for the NDIS is increased for the third time.
2020: COVID Challenges
COVID -19 pandemic causes widespread disruption to the NDIS, with many service providers forced to close their doors due to government restrictions. The NDIS rolls out a series of temporary measures in order to support participants during this difficult time.
2021: Fully operational
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is now fully operational across Australia. Over 700,000 people are registered. The NDIS is now available to all Australians with a disability who meet the access requirements. The Scheme is constantly evolving, and the NDIA is always working to improve the support that is available to participants.
At time of writing, the NDIS is still fully operational across Australia. The Scheme continues to grow and evolve, with new supports and services being added all the time. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is now Australia’s primary needs-based funding system for disability services, and an invaluable program for people living with disability and their families all over the country.
The future of the NDIS
The future of the NDIS looks promising. The scheme has been fully operational for over two years, and continues to grow and expand. The budget for the NDIS is also increasing, which means that more people with disabilities will be able to access the supports they need.
There are still some challenges that need to be addressed, such as the high costs of some disability-related products and services, and the fact that not all service providers are NDIS-approved. However, the NDIA is always working to improve the Scheme and make it more accessible for all Australians with a disability.
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