The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can make and has made significant and positive changes to the lives of many people with disabilities and their families.
But it hasn’t been without its issues and some people have struggled to access services and benefit from the new system in the way they were supposed to.
‘Too many people are missing out on the benefits the NDIS can deliver,’ said Every Australian Counts spokesperson Kirsten Deane.
‘The system is bureaucratic and too hard for people and providers to navigate. People are missing out and falling through the cracks.’
To help people with disabilities, their families and carers be heard, Make it Work forums are being held by the Every Australian Counts coalition across Australia over the next three months including in regional areas. This Friday September 7 a forum is being held in Ballina and people with disabilities, families and carers are encouraged to come along and discuss what is and isn’t working with the NDIS in this region.
The forums will see local people with disabilities, families, carers, and disability service providers participate in a Q&A-style panel to discuss what is working with the NDIS in the local region and where the scheme is falling down.
‘The first half of the session will look at problems with the NDIS while the second half will look at solutions,’ said Kirsten, who is also facilitating the Ballina session.
Recognising that each region is facing different challenges, the forums are looking to come up with the top five fixes for each region.
‘Last week in Melbourne people came up with 28 ideas for improvements in 30 minutes,’ said Kirsten.
‘We’ve invited all local MPs to the event so they can hear from their local community about what’s working with the NDIS and what isn’t – and what needs to be done to fix it.’
Following the forum Every Australian Counts then provides both federal and state local MPs with a summary of issues and solutions that were discussed at the forum so that they can take these messages back to Canberra.
‘People with disability and their families fought hard for the introduction of the NDIS. We all want it work. These problems have to be fixed so people can finally get the support they so desperately need,’ said Kirsten.
The forum is taking place on Friday, September 7 at the Ballina Surf Club, 65 Lighthouse Parade, East Ballina from 11am till 1pm.