On 16 September 2015 Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and NSW Premier Mike Baird announced that the NDIS will be rolling out across NSW and Victoria between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018.
From 1 July 2016, people living in Hunter New England, Southern NSW, Central Coast, Northern Sydney, South Western Sydney, Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains will be able to access the NDIS.
From 1 July 2017, the NDIS will be in place across the rest of NSW, and people living in Northern NSW, Mid North Coast, Sydney, South Eastern Sydney, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Murrumbidgee, Western NSW and Far West NSW will be able to access the NDIS.
This is huge news, and means that more than 200,000 Victorians and NSW residents with a disability will start getting NDIS packages from mid-2016. Yay!
But while this is undoubtedly a terrific and historic announcement, we understand that a lot of people with disability in NSW are still not totally sure what all this means for them, and it can be a bit scary. What should you be doing now to get ready for the transition?
1. Don’t panic!
The NDIS is enjoying approval rates above 95% in the existing rollout sites, so its overwhelmingly likely that it is going to be okay when your turn comes around. Change is always scary, and the NDIS is a massive change, but we truly believe it is going to significantly enrich the lives of people with disability in the next rollout areas.
And don’t forget, your current supports will continue until you have your NDIS plan.
So don’t panic, and read on to equip yourself with a sense of the next steps.
2. Equip yourself with knowledge about what is going to happen.
There are so many great resources out there that can demystify the NDIS and give you a sense of what is going to happen.
Join the NDIS grassroots Facebook page to get support from and ask questions of your peers.
3. Check the basics…
Check when you can access the NDIS through their postcode finder tool.
Check you are eligible for an NDIS package.
4. Start to think about your goals.
To be successful in the planning process, the advice is to be prepared. If you are able to walk into your planning session with the NDIA planner in 2016/17 with a good sense of your goals, and a sense of what it will cost to achieve those goals, you have the best chances of walking out with a plan that really hits the spot.
So start now to think about what your goals are; what do you want to achieve? Do you want to be more independent, gain and maintain employment, participate more easily in the community?
For example, a goal of an individual might be to increase independent living skills, and in particular, cook a meal for their family once a week. The job then is to think about what supports are necessary to achieve that goal; that might include attending a local cooking class, engaging a support worker to come in and assist with the cooking, and even engaging an OT to look at adaptions in the kitchen.
This can be daunting, so start small with the things you currently enjoy and want to keep, and use that as the base to think about the sorts of things you would like to add.
Some resources that can help:
- For people who are interesting in accessing Fighting Chance’s programs post-NDIS, come in and chat to us! We can explain how our programs support people to achieve their vocational goals and can give you all the information you need about our programs to take to your planning session with the NDIA. Email Laura to arrange a time to come in for a chat.
- Listen to Fighting Chance’s webinar with supports planner Pieta Manning, who gives an amazing overview of how the planning process works. If you are keen to talk to Pieta, you can contact her through her Facebook page.
- Fighting Chance will be holding pre-planning and training sessions with Pieta between now and July 2016, to help get you NDIS ready. Register to get involved in a FREE session by emailing Laura.
- Contact the good people at My Choice Matters for help working out your goals.
This is such an exciting time and we look forward to supporting you with all the tools you need to successfully transition to NDIS!