Monday, 21 May 2018

But don't worry because NDIS will be here to save the day

The NDIS is being rolled out in our area in September, 2018. The promise of a new land, a new landscape of disability funding is being touted. But until then, everything has come to a grinding halt. Any applications for equipment that we had in the works, such as Nicholas' stability suit, has stalled; paperwork 'lost' in the bureaucratic nightmare.

But don't worry because NDIS will be here to save the day.

My anxiety is building slowly for the NDIS rollout. Trying to stay positive is a hard act as I read articles about fellow Phelan-McDermid suffers like Jonathan Gladstone who has had his funding cut by 25% on his second-round NDIS application, people such as Micheline Lee who have documented their struggles with the 'NDIS system' and the NDIA flip-flopping over their definition of what a disability entails. My anxiety levels are building.

I agree that we need to move to a more centralised method of funding. The funding landscape at the moment is a patchwork of services. Equipment funding through SWEP, individual respite through a variety of other providers such as Alfred Health Services and Windamere and other one-off services through both state and federal departments.

The NDIS will, from a governments point of view, streamline the allocation of funds.  NDIS will theoretically give the power back to the family or person with the disability, but only if they can navigate the application and management process of the funding. Both my husband and I are university educated and we are finding the process complex and onerous; we feel for those families who might have English as a second language as they will automatically be disadvantaged by this process.

I guess this is where my anxiety kicks in. It might be because "us" as a family will have to manage my son's disability funding like a small business. Having separate banking accounts and strategies to manage funds in and out of his NDIS account. Perhaps it is the foreboding administrative pressure that we will endure that is kicking my anxiety into gear. Reflecting on how Centrelink has wrecked people's lives with false claims of debt, we worry about not "getting it right" and getting either short-changed or accused of misusing funds. At least with the current system, we know that once we get access to the equipment or service there is no question that it is needed.

So we are waiting and attending NDIS information sessions in a quest to find out as much as possible about the "system" so that we can get the most out of it.


Barbour, L., Borys, S. and Branley, A. (2018). This is Jonathan, one of the thousands worse off under NDIS. [online] ABC News. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2018].

Lee, M. (2017). The NDIS promised choice and control. [online] The Monthly. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2018].

1 comment:

Dianne said...

Very well put Margaret,even as an ECIS professional transitioning to working with NDIS clients, it is a indeed a minefield! It is so complicated as you say, and I really feel for our non English speaking clients.Reading the NDIS grassroots Facebook page is a real eye-opener into people's real life experiences with the NDIS. The best recommendation is to be prepared, so I hope you find the information sessions useful and informative. Good luck!