I grew up in an era when my peers with disabilities were educated in a different ‘special’ school. In our regional high school with over 800 students, we had two pupils with a visible disability. Even children with dyslexia were taken out of their classes and bussed to a different site for extra lessons to support their literacy. People with disabilities were excluded from mainstream services and therefore marginalised, creating a sense of difference, of ‘otherness’, between those of us that are temporarily able-bodied, and people with disabilities. No-one benefits from this model – not people with disabilities, not their families and carers, and certainly not society as a whole.
New NDIS Worker Screening
As of 1 July the NDIS Commission is introducing a national NDIS worker screening database. The database will keep records of any person who has applied for an NDIS Worker Screening Check. Providers will have access to a limited set of information about an employee to ensure the person is cleared to work with people with disabilities. Workers will be able to provide supports in any state or territory. The database will not provide information about the person’s criminal history and details relating to the outcome of the screening application.
ILC Ready follows the successful NDIS Transition program we ran in 2017-18 to help organisations respond to the opportunities and challenges of the NDIS. CBB supported them by providing targeted support and coaching as they transitioned from block funding to individual customers.
The focus of ILC Ready is on Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grants to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities. The learning from the program will include idea creation, outcomes models, project planning and grant writing, so these skills can be transferred to other areas of your work.
The third quarter 2018-19 NDIS report was published this month, you can access the reports here. Please note that this data is now 10 weeks old. SA data starts on page 207 of the report.
Our key takeaways from the latest quarterly report are summarised below:
- Nationally, the NDIS roll-out is over half way complete (59.1%). The rollout is progressing at approximately the same pace as last quarter (32,486 TQ vs 32,910 LQ). Assuming the current rate of on-boarding to NDIS continues (10,828 per month), it will take until August 2020 to reach full scheme; eight months behind schedule.
- In South Australia we’re now over 85% to full NDIS rollout. An extra 2,663 people in SA became active participants during the quarter. There are now a total of 27,487 SA NDIS participants with approved plans (including ECEI). Assuming that the current rate of on-boarding to NDIS continues (887 per month) it will take until July 2019 to reach full scheme.
Increased NDIS payments
The Federal Government has announced price increases for NDIS services on 30 March to come into effect on 1 July 2019. The price increases will inject more than $840 million into the NDIS market and we hope this will provide some relief for providers who struggle to deliver financially sustainable, quality services under the current pricing arrangements.
A new grant program for NDIS transition support launched in late March. NDIS Transition Assistance Funding is available under the Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program, a Commonwealth program administered by EY (Ernst&Young). A NDIS Transition Assistance fund of $5.6m will be distributed through grants of between $5000 to $20,000 for new and existing providers to spend on consulting support.
A new grant program has been launched for existing or potential NDIS providers to purchase tailored business supports. The Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program – Transition Assistance Funding Grant program provides one off grants to NDIS providers from $5,000 up to $20,000 (ex GST). This is a national program with a total grant value of $5.6m, so we expect there will be in the region of 280 – 1,120 grants awarded.
How to improve the working relationship between NDIA and disability service providers?
National Disability Services (NDS), the peak body for non-government disability service organisations released its annual State of the Disability Sector Report in November 2018. Part of the report is an annual market survey conducted by the Centre for Social Impact, in collaboration with NDS’ Centre for Applied Disability Research. In excess of 600 disability service providers responded to the survey representing providers of all shapes and sizes, and with 90% currently providing services under the NDIS.
Organisations can suffer serious financial damage if clients fail to keep scheduled services or cancel scheduled services at the last minute. NDIS cancellations are often beyond the control of the client and the service provider. Ill health, hospitalisation, poor weather, lack of transportation or difficulty getting out of bed can make it impossible for clients to attend a pre-booked NDIS support session. Most people have probably forgotten appointments in their lives and sometimes an appointment is simply inconvenient.
The National Disability Services (NDS) ‘State of the Sector’ report highlighted that the number one priority for NDIS providers in relation to improving their business capability in 2019, is ‘Information, communications and tech strategy’, ranking ahead of ‘costing and pricing’ and ‘HR strategy and workforce planning’.
Over the last months, CBB has facilitated a review of some of the many Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/database products on the market that purport to be NDIS-ready, to assist NDIS providers to understand which products should be on their radar.
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