Service providers say NDIS creates more choice

Service providers believe the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will create greater choice for people.

A number of service providers within the disability sector were at the Ceduna Memorial Hall last Wednesday as part of the NDIS community information expos which have been running throughout the state, allowing community members the chance to learn more about the new program.

Life Without Barriers was present at the expo, enlightening community members about its disability support accommodation services, how it provides community outreach support, engages people through cultural assistance, facilitates community activities and how it assists with daily living.

Life Without Barriers country disability services program manager Anya Fiedler said it was good event to get feedback from the community.

“We thoroughly enjoyed being part of the expo, providing information about the variety of services that Life Without Barriers provides in the community,” she said.

“There certainly are a lot of stories in the region and various experiences that people have with family members or themselves with disabilities.

“Life Without Barriers provides support to a number of Ceduna residents who have disabilities and we work closely with those people, focusing on what their needs, goals and aspirations are.”

Complete Personnel Ceduna project officer Kayleen Patterson said the expo was a chance to let people know about their ‘Local Connections, Local Belonging’ project.

The project is about exploring the experience of disability in small communities and building the capacity of local service providers to provide a more inclusive experience for people with disability, their family and carers.

“The expo was a positive experience, we were able to let people know about our project and get feedback from people,” she said.

“The feedback we’ve had and engagement with the community has been positive and people are participating in our online survey which tells us people in Ceduna want to have their say about the services here.

“A lot of the information has been helpful and while we are waiting to collate all the data, they are telling us the same sorts of things, with people giving feedback about services here and how they find them.”

Both said the main benefit of the NDIS would be the greater choice it allowed.

“The NDIS puts more control into the hands of people with disabilities and their families, it means people can choose which provider they go with and don’t have somebody else saying they have made that choice for them,” Ms Fiedler said.

“In a place like Ceduna it is a little different as there isn’t the amount of options that somebody would have in the city, but if the organisation is not meeting an individual’s needs or not providing the level of support the family require then they can change service providers.

“This puts more control back in the person’s hands.”

“It offers people choice in their day-to-day lives,” Ms Patterson said.

Ms Fiedler said this choice now has an impact on how organisations within the sector provided support to people with disabilities, however she said Life Without Barriers would continue to maintain its “person-centered approach”.

“We have different methods such as verbal and written consultations to ensure we are providing quality service and a level of support that people are looking for.”

Complete Personnel’s project is expected to improve service access for people with disability in Ceduna, funded by the first round of Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) National Readiness Grants by the National Disability Insurance Agency and was the first project funded in remote Australia.

While not all people with disability will be eligible for a NDIS plan, the ILC grants program promotes activities for all people with disability.