The NDIS – a path forward for people with disabilities in Australia

The disability sector is in a period of significant reform with the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS presents with opportunities to change and improve the way services and supports are provided to people with disabilities. The NDIS is a quasi-market, defined by competition principles where consumers have purchasing power exercising choice among suppliers, mixed with the public administration principles of accountability for the expenditure of public funds and equitable provision of resources.

NDIS challenges and change

The roll out of the NDIS thus far has been challenging and widely criticised for issues such as insufficient pricing, significant IT problems, constantly changing processes and poor communication. Unsolved issues such as building an adequate workforce, creating an appropriate NDIS for rural, remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and housing supply loom. NDIS is complex and much remains to be seen before we have a scheme that encapsulates the moral imperative of rights, choice and control that drove this scheme into being.  National Disability Services (NDS) the peak body for the sector advocates on behalf of members to improve the design and implementation of the NDIS as it rolls-out across the country.

About National Disability Services (NDS): the peak body for the sector

NDS, the industry peak for the disability services sector support over 1,300 member organisations around Australia. As a membership organisation they provide specialist support and industry assistance to NGOs in the key areas of quality, governance, workforce development and risk management.

The 4 key ways NDS supports the sector are:

  1. Information and advice including: email news updates, analysis of key NDIS practice and policy issues,  sector data on business confidence, workforce trends access to sector support consultants.

  2. Advocacy and representation including:  policy influence, access to decision-makers, NDS elections and committees. NDS provides access to research through its Centre for Applied Disability Research and leads a number of public campaigns to raise awareness of critical issues. 

  3. Networking and professional development: NDS run hundreds of meetings, conferences, seminars and forums across the country each year that connect the sector in sharing best-practice

Business support and resources: to facilitate transformation of the sector in delivering sustainable and high quality services. These include marketing tools and training, we provide advice around the use of software, we develop toolkits for organisations to evaluate their performance and measure outcomes of their service-users.