Many National Disability Insurance Scheme recipients with complex and challenging support needs are not seeing the benefits the NDIS is meant to deliver, Victoria’s Public Advocate says.
A new report from the Office of the Public Advocate said a poor quality of services under the NDIS was impacting on the human rights of people with disability, and significantly compromising their ability to achieve chosen life goals.
Public Advocate Dr Colleen Pearce said for many, the choice and control promised by the NDIS was an illusion.
“Without strong advocacy, many are not getting access to the scheme. When they do, the planning, services and accommodation provided are often inadequate or unsuitable,” Pearce said.
“These challenges can have detrimental, sometimes devastating, consequences for the person.
“In many instances, delayed or inadequate supports and poor quality services lead to avoidable detention, including in prison, and other human rights infringements.”
This report made 15 recommendations to improve NDIS, to ensure the scheme delivered the intended transformational benefits for all people with disability.
This includes making sure providers hire staff who have specialised experience, skill and expertise to meet the needs of participants, and helping support coordinators struggling to navigate thin markets and support people with complex needs.
It also said the National Disability Insurance Agency should commission crisis and respite accommodation for NDIS participants who need accommodation at short notice.
“These issues will potentially escalate in scale and impact with the full NDIS rollout unless significant and effective actions are taken immediately,” Pearce said.
Editor: The report observes ...
The people in the complex cohort have multiple, significant disabilities which, along with past experience of trauma, have a compounding impact on their functional capacity and support needs. It is notable that autism diagnoses or traits feature strongly.