DISABILITY usually means a narrowing of choices, but from 1 July this year, people with a disability in the Northern Tablelands will have a widening of their choice of services under the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The transition into the NDIS was discussed today at a Provider Readiness Forum in Armidale, opened by NSW Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka.
Accompanying the Minister, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the scheme was “incredibly positive” for the thousands of people in the electorate with disabilities.
“For the first time, it puts them in charge of their future in terms of where, when and how they access the services they are entitled to,” Mr Marshall said.
“This forum is being held to help disability providers prepare for a new era of ‘comparison shopping’ for services. It’s important that people get prepared for these changes.”
Minister Ajaka today also announced that an extra $3 million will be made available by the NSW Government to help the disabled and their families prepare for the NDIS by prolonging the My Choice Matters program through to June 2018.
The NSW Consumer Development Fund, My Choice Matters, was created in 2012 to help people prepare for the NDIS through workshops, resources and e-learning tools, like My Learning Matters.
“As the saying goes, information is power. My Choice Matters is about empowering people with disability with information, and giving them the confidence to make the most of the opportunities created by the NDIS,” Mr Ajaka said.
The NDIS will replace the current disability support scheme, allowing about 140,000 disabled people in NSW to choose how they access support services – including about 50,000 people who do not currently receive disability support.