Australians with disabilities have the same rights as other Australians.
Disability means an impairment which impacts on a persons capacity to live a full life. It can include:
- Sensory, like vision or hearing
- Physical, like paraplegic or quadriplegic, or other musculoskeletal Condition
- Cognitive, like acquired brain injury or intellectual disability
- Mental health, like schizophrenia or depression
20% of Australians have a disability
13% of Australians are primary carers
People with disabilities are the most disadvantaged group in Australia, women with disabilities less likely to be in paid employment than men with disabilities, experiencing more violence than other women, with indigenous and women from other cultures more highly affected because of compounding disadvantage.
What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme?
It is the greatest social change in Australia since the introduction of Medicare
A scheme to ensure that all Australians have the supports they need to enable them to participate as equal citizens
It is to provide funding for supports forall those who have a disability now, between the ages of 0 to 65. (After 65 the Funding will come from the age sector, but the services must be the same.)
It is an insurance scheme for those who acquire a disability through accident or illness which is not covered by other insurance like TAC or WorkCover. A child with cerebral palsy or Down syndrome, an adult who contracts MS or Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or who falls off the ladder while cleaning the guttering.
It is not for health provision, like hospitals or doctors which will continue to be covered by Medicare.
Individualised to suit each participant, it will include everything that a person needs, subject to a reasonableness test.
Current status of NDIS – Australia wide:
Tricia Malowney – October, 2014
Tricia Malowney is the NDIS Strategy Consultant at Outlook Employment and provides strategic advice regarding National Disability Insurance Scheme to ensure better outcomes for Australians with disabilities. She is a systemic advocate in the area of political activism, access to health and justice for people with disabilities and has had experience in governance and policy development in the not for profit and government sector.