NOFASD Australia strongly supports the development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and recognises that a nationalised disability care scheme is long overdue.
We particularly welcome the scope of the scheme in covering a breadth of disabilities that exist in the Australian community and a wide range of support needs. In particular, the inclusion of intellectual and cognitive disabilities is of major importance to individuals and families living with FASD.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was enacted under legislation by the Federal Parliament on 28 March 2013. The NDIS was launched on 1 July 2013.
The NDIS will be rolled out using a phased approach. From 1 July 2013, the NDIS began in Tasmania for young people aged 15-24, in South Australia for children aged 0-14, and in the Barwon area of Victoria and the Hunter area in NSW for people up to age 65. From 1 July 2014, the NDIS commenced across the ACT the Barkly region of Northern Territory and in the Perth Hills area of Western Australia. Roll out of the full scheme in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory will commence progressively from July 2016.
Under the NDIS, a diagnosis is not a prerequisite for access to the scheme, a pleasing development given the difficulties in obtaining an FASD diagnosis in Australia. However, we reserve judgement of the effectiveness of the scheme for individuals with FASD until members of the NOFASD Australia Community have had the opportunity to access the scheme.
A particular concern is that knowledge and understanding about FASD within mainstream services needs to vastly improve in order for the Scheme to be effective for people living with FASD. Those responsible for assessments, Local Area Coordinators, and mainstream service providers, need to have a much better understanding of FASD in order to ensure that the support needs of individuals and families living with FASD are fully recognised and addressed.
NOFASD Australia made submissions on the draft NDIS Bill and the NDIS Rules. We now watch with keen interest to see whether the needs of individuals and families living with FASD are better serviced under the new NDIS.
We are interested to hear your experiences in trying to access supports under the NDIS. Please Contact Us with any feedback.
For more information or to find out whether you are eligible to access the scheme, visit the NDIS.