For many years the disability sector has been broken.
When you consider that one in five Australians are either born with or acquire a disability this is a minority group that needs and deserves to be supported.
Yet we’ve had a system that has ostensibly failed people, evidenced in all outcomes whether it be employment, education, health or housing.
When you look at all the outcomes for people with a disability in Australia, they have been woeful in comparison to any comparative OECD country.
This situation motivated change which has come in the form of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The NDIS is touted as the biggest social policy reform in Australia since Medicare.
It’s worth $22 billion and is expected to cover 440,000 Australians.
The principal underpinning the scheme is that more people with a disability will have greater choice and control over their services.
It used to be that the government would give funds to a provider and a person with a disability would come and ask, “what can you give me?” and they were told what they could have.
Under the NDIS, the government is now in effect giving the money to the individual and they are going out to market to say, “where do I want to spend my money”.
In essence what the NDIS is trying to do is transfer the purchasing power from the government and service providers, to put control back in the hands of people with disabilities.