By Aaron Cordy
IT IS a mob tax that prays upon the community’s most vulnerable. Price hikes when someone mentions the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), are so common to anyone in the field that it seems like it is an accepted norm that people with disabilities are potential cash cows to be milked with no consequence for those charging the exuberant rates.
NDIS is a complex scheme with good intentions at the heart of the matter, but it is greatly flawed on many fronts, which has allowed the less reputable to pray upon our most vulnerable. So bad was the situation that the Albanese Government launched an independent review of the NDIS system with its findings being released last December. They heard directly from more than 10,000 Australians, worked with disability organisations to reach out and listened to more than 1,000 people with disability and their families, recorded more than 2,000 personal stories, and received almost 4,000 submissions.
Is this going to be enough to change a vital system for the health and well-being of our most vulnerable that appears to be failing or abused on so many fronts?
For Paige Hayden, getting her daughter Grace, who has Autism and Disturbance and Oppositional Defiance Disorder, on an NDIS plan has been a minefield she was not entirely ready for. It took until her third year on NDIS that she finally got Grace into Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathologists.
“At the moment I’m just in the dark and trying to find a way. If it wasn’t for Nikki [Nikki Solway of Disability Care Connect] saying, ‘You need to ask about this or ask about that. If you can get letters for this and that or you need to go get appointments or whatnot,’ I wouldn’t know what to do,” said Paige.
Paige has been relatively lucky in her dealings with the NDIS system, though she might not feel that way at times. Many disabled people and their carers have faced the same uphill battle of finding the right course of action but have not had the level of care from their NDIS provider.
Only time will tell if the proposed reforms make a difference for those who need the service.
“It is important that Australians understand changes are not going to happen overnight and any reforms adopted by the Albanese Government will be developed with the disability community to ensure a better NDIS,” said Federal Minister for NDIS, Bill Shorten.
Keep an eye out in the coming weeks as we delve deeper into NDIS.