Our Thoughts

News and

Media Coverage

How to write broad, outcome-focused goal statements to negotiate the NDIS Plan that’s right for you
September 20, 2022

The way you phrase your NDIS goals can have an impact on the amount and types of funding you can potentially attach to them. This article will support you to write goal statements to help you with your NDIS funding negotiations.

The experience of many NDIS participants tells us that an NDIS Plan can contain 2 short-term goals, and 4-5 medium to long-term goals. One way to consider a short-term goal is that it is something you would like to work towards achieving within your current NDIS Plan period. Short-term goals can also be seen as stepping-stones towards the medium to long-term goals that are more likely to be achieved in future plans.

 

What is the purpose of a goal statement?

A goal statement is your chance to express what you want to achieve, and links to the disability related supports that you may require, supported by your NDIS plan. All NDIS funding that you request in your plan must relate to your NDIS goals. When you are deciding whether to request a Plan Variation or a Plan Reassessment at the end of your plan period, it can be helpful to review and evaluate your goals: are they stable? Did you attain or partially attain the goal? Is it no longer relevant? Do you need to continue with the same goal for the next plan period because you haven’t quite got there yet?

Goal statements should be:

  • Broad (imagine a broad goal as a line with hooks that you can hang specific funding requests from)
  • Outcome-focused (you will be reviewing it at the end of the plan period)
  • Big picture and connected to your “ordinary life.”

 

What is your “ordinary life”?

According to the NDIS:

“An ordinary life is a life where you have the same opportunities as people without a disability. An ordinary life is one that is typical or usual for everyone in modern day Australia. It’s a life where you can pursue your potential and participate in society on an equal basis with others.”

NDIS funding is designed to help you achieve an ordinary life. Whilst everyone’s life looks different, some common areas where NDIS funding can support you in your ordinary life include relationships, accessing and participating in the community, independence and having choice and control in your daily life, education and employment. In short: it’s the things that many Australians take for granted.

 

Let’s look at some example goal statements. 

‘I would like to learn how to use cutlery independently.’

This statement is too narrow. Whilst it is a valid aspiration – why do you want to learn how to use cutlery independently? How will the skill of using cutlery contribute to your ordinary life? What different NDIS-funded supports can you think of that will specifically help you to achieve this goal?

Better might be:

‘I would like to learn how to use cutlery independently so that I can feed myself at a restaurant and go out to dinner with my friends – becoming more of a part of my community.’

Now we have a goal that links to your ordinary life – you want to go out to restaurants with friends and be part of the community – and has plenty of hooks from which to hang funded supports such as occupational therapy for increasing fine motor skills and assessing your need for modified cutlery and building your skills at mealtime, or travel training to access the community.

You could even cut the whole goal statement down to:

‘I would like to reduce my social isolation and increase my participation in the community.’

Because, truly, what’s important to you is enjoying the “ordinary life” experience of a restaurant with friends – using cutlery independently is just a mechanism to get there.

 

Here is another set of examples:

‘I would like to learn how to use an Uber or taxi on my own.’

✕ Broad
✓ Outcome focused
✕ Big picture and connected to your “ordinary life”

‘I would like the necessary support to build my confidence and independence to access and navigate my community so that I can try new activities, make new friends and build my peer network.’

✓ Broad
✓ Outcome focused
✓ Big picture and connected to your “ordinary life”

This goal encapsulates access (could be transport and travel training, OT/physio for mobility), community participation (a support worker for new community-based activities perhaps?) and relationships/friendships (support could be for communication).

 

And finally, to close, a medium to long-term goal example which sets a specific time-frame for achievement in the future, but has plenty of opportunities for support in the present.

‘I would like to learn how to increase my independence with activities of daily living in my home, so that I can increase my skills and confidence, as I work towards moving out of home before I turn 25.’

 

Hopefully, these examples have been helpful in demonstrating how a broad, outcome-focused goal statement which relates to your ordinary life can get you the best plan outcomes!

 

Webinar: Navigating the new NDIS access process

In this webinar, Fighting Chance’s Senior Support Coordinator, Alex Browne, deep dives into the new NDIS access process.  Alex covers the following: Why do people access the NDIS?  NDIS eligibility criteria What changes were implemented in 2023 and why?  What does the...

Webinar: What is Psychosocial Disability and how can the NDIS help?

In this webinar, Fighting Chance’s Senior Support Coordinator, Alex Browne, deep dives into psychosocial disability, a term used to describe a disability that may arise from a mental health issue. Alex guides attendees through everything from NDIS eligibility...

Webinar: Guardianship in the NDIS space explained

In this webinar, Fighting Chance’s Senior Support Coordinator, Alex Browne, explores the different types of guardianship, the financial management considerations, and the process to apply for guardianship within the context of the NDIS. - Different types of...

Webinar: Understanding Positive Behaviour Support, Restrictive Practices and the relationship between them.

Watch this webinar to explore the value of Positive Behaviour Support and how it impacts the need for regulated restrictive practices. - What is a restrictive practice (RP) under the NDIS rules.- What does it mean when a RP is recommended as part of your behaviour...

Webinar: A practical guide to assistive technology and the NDIS

In this webinar, Fighting Chance's Senior Support Coordinator, Alex Browne, deep dives into the equipment, technology and devices (assistive technology) that help you, or your person, do things you can’t do because of your disability. She covers the following: - What...

Applying to the NDIS for the first time: the Fighting Chance NDIS access checklist

Are you an adult or a teenager applying to the NDIS for the first time? NDIS funding for the supports you need to live your life with choice and control and achieve your goals can be life-changing. However, accessing the NDIS can be a lengthy process. If you choose to...

Webinar: How to apply for the NDIS as a teen or adult

In this webinar, Fighting Chance's Senior Support Coordinator, Alex Browne, takes a look at accessing (or applying to) the National Disability Insurance Scheme for the first time, including: the eligibility criteria for accessing the NDIS, including disability...

Webinar: A guide to home and living supports

If you are an NDIS participant and want to live more independently, either now, or in the future NDIS home and living supports may be appropriate to help you achieve that goal. It's not always straightforward, though, to get the right funding, at the right time. In...

Webinar: Evidence and the NDIA; clinical reports and NDIS language

In this webinar, we'll guide you through all things evidence. Relevant to everyone with an NDIS plan, we break down:  What does the NDIA mean when they ask for evidence? What is the NDIA looking for in clinical reports? Examples of how evidence can be translated into...

Webinar: All you need to know about behaviour support plans

A guide to understanding, accessing and implementing a behaviour support plan under the NDIS. In this webinar, Senior Support Coordinator Alex Browne and Henry Ellen, Behaviour Support Practitioner, deep dive into: What is behaviour support? Who is behaviour support...