The NDIA’s acknowledgment and plan to address issues occurred during the rollout.
In early March 2018, the NDIA published the NDIS Pathways Review in response to resounding feedback that the Scheme was falling short of expectations. The review looked at the interactions participants, families, carers and providers have with the Scheme and where there have been gaps.
Some of the concerns participants had recorded were about:
- Phone meetings
- NDIS representatives having a limited understanding about specific disabilities
- Inaccessible communications
- Inconsistent experiences
- Lack of knowledge of the participant history across multiple staff
- Not receiving appropriate information
More specifically, participants indicated their need for greater support and more information regarding other government services available and greater insight as to how the Agency was using their information to develop their plans.
Participant Pathways. At this stage only the General and Supported Pathway has been altered and approved. As below. The pathway for people with complex needs and the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) pathways are still under review.
The new General & Supported Participant Pathways will include:
- Face-to-face engagement during the planning process, unless the participant elects otherwise. The goal is that plans should be created and approved during the planning meeting.
- Participants will now be given a consistent point of contact in the LAC. They will be given the email address and phone number of this contact.
- A stronger focus on the broader systems of support for people with disabilities. Informal and mainstream supports will now be discussed in more depth in the planning meeting.
- Transparent communication during the planning process. So that participants understand what is happening, what will be required of them and where their information is going.
- Communication that is clear and available in accessible formats. The Agency is planning to do away with jargon. Participants will receive a copy of their plan in their preferred format, and their LAC contact will be available to explain each support.
The Agency has also conceded that a one-size-fits all approach is not appropriate. Further work is being undertaken to develop specific pathways for children under six, people with complex needs people with psychosocial disabilities, people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, people living in remote or very remote communities, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
The new pathways will be trialled and tested in select regions over the coming months before being rolled out across the country. Stay tuned for more information as this transpires and how this may impact you.