NDIS – The National Disability Insurance Scheme
For parents of children who are blind or vision impaired, navigating the educational arena, social security systems and various disability support agencies connected to your child’s support needs may seem confusing enough without the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (known as NDIS). The NDIS does however represent a landmark change in disability funding within Australia. It presents the opportunity for you to ensure that your child’s support needs are more fully funded with greater self-determination and choice. Its aim is to ensure that people with disabilities receive the necessary and essential funding to provide services to meet their specific needs, access to adaptive equipment, and increased participation in the wider community. It may also present parents and carers with increased support. The intention of the scheme is to address perceived gaps in disability funding and ensure that funds are directed where they are most needed.
Under the ‘education’ umbrella, Statewide Vision Resource Centre and your Visiting Teachers will not become NDIS providers. However, SVRC staff and Visiting Teachers (Vision) may be able to assist you to:
- Understand how the NDIS will affect your child’s support and funding
- Find out when the NDIS is coming to your area
- Help you to work out if your child is likely to be eligible
- Direct you to useful resources to grow your understanding about the NDIS
- Alert you to networks and community forums you may wish to attend
- Talk to you about your child’s possible short term and long term goals
- Find out about local NDIS service coordination providers
The following information aims to give an overview of the NDIS and answer some frequently asked questions about the scheme. The NDIS is in its infancy and therefore may be subject to change; it should be noted that SVRC has made every effort to ensure that the information is true and correct at the time of publication the information presented here has been compiled in consultation with SVRC staff, SVRC families, Disability service providers, Visiting Teachers, the NDIA and disability consumer organisations. For more information, please reference the NDIS resource link on this page and look for NDIS updates in the SVRC Bulletin published fortnightly.
Resources and Links
The following resources have been compiled by SVRC staff to assist you to understand more about the NDIS and how your child can become a participant in the scheme. It may be useful for you to visit these resources and even begin the thinking around your child’s participant statement even if it is some time until the scheme is rolled out to your locality.
They have a weekly e-bulletin which comes out every Monday. It’s Victoria specific but it provides information and resources which are relevant in a national context. It’s very easy to quickly navigate through so that time poor parents don’t waste their time going through information which is not of value.
This operates out of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO). It is designed specifically for people with disability and their families to provide information about the NDIS. Everything is written in plain English and is designed in line with the W3C web accessibility guidelines. They also have a newsletter you can subscribe to from the front page of the website.
Some parents find this web site challenging, as while it is extremely comprehensive, it can be difficult to navigate, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. The good news is that the Disability Loop website and newsletter will always post up to date information about any new information or resource or report that is posted on the NDIS website.
This website is worth regularly checking out. DSS funds many disability advocacy organisations and various projects and programs which are useful to children and families with disability. They fund a number of programs which will eventually transition to the NDIS, so it’s worth always checking out their website for any news and timeframes or resources.
They are a Victorian state-wide advocacy service for children and young people aged up to 25 years. They run a range of events and outreach services and programs, including an NDIS engagement service. They have a very active Facebook page.
They are the national peak body representing children with disability. They mainly do policy and systemic advocacy work.
Lastly, but most importantly, you can subscribe to the SVRC’s fortnightly bulletin, where you will find regular updates regarding the NDIS, specific to the interests of children with vision impairment, as well as a range of other useful information for parents and educators. It is available on our home page or you can view past editions or subscribe at: