In 2011, in response to the Productivity Commission’s recommendation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Price Waterhouse Coopers drew together a team of experts with extensive experience in the disability sector to prepare a report, Disability expectations: Investing in a better life, a stronger Australia. This report included a recommendation of four guiding principles to underpin the development of disability support in Australia. With the current landscape of disability support in Australia changing, these principles provide insight into the felt needs and gaps in service provision and the way forward under the NDIS.
1. Fairness: People with a disability have equal rights
- While the recognition of equal rights among peoples of all races, colours and creeds is now near universally established, those with a disability still struggle on the margins of recognition.
- By being among the first countries to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), Australia has recognised that equal rights extend to people with a disability.
2. Facilitation: Supports are needed to allow people with a disability to exercise their rights.
- People with a disability have been denied access, hidden and ignored. They and their families are arguably the most disadvantaged of all Australians across much of our society.
- If people with a disability are to exercise their human rights, they need a range of facilitators to help them negotiate this ‘inaccessible’ able-bodied world.
3. Choice: Individuals with a disability should have choice in prescribing their access needs.
- A critical component of the NDIS framework is the dismantling of rationed, block-funded Government purchasing of a narrowly defined suite of services.
- Individuals with a disability will have the purchasing power to choose what their supports look like.
4. Inclusion: Cultural, systemic and environmental obstacles to access and participation for people with a disability should be removed.
- A potential limiting factor for successful change relates to the current obstacles to allowing people with a disability access to mainstream services.
- Australian Governments and community need to work together to systematically facilitate access to mainstream services for all people.
Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding for eligible people with a disability is now designed as individualised support. This is an insurance scheme that is flexible and suited to a whole of life approach to enable people to achieve their goals and live life the way they choose. Everyone is different and the NDIS supports service providers like Wesley Mission to work in an individualised way and be part of the scheme. With the NDIS Wesley Mission is focused on finding new ways to provide support, building on experience and learning for the lived experience.
The New South Wales Younger People in Residential Aged Care Program (YPIRAC) was introduced in 2007 as a joint initiative of the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments to provide accommodation and support to younger people with a disability living in, or at risk of entering, residential aged care. The program aims to:
- help some younger people with a disability to move out of residential aged care into suitable alternative accommodation
- divert entry for some younger people who are 'at risk' of inappropriately entering a residential aged care facility
- enhance the delivery of disability services to some younger people with a disability who continue to live in a residential aged care facility.