Breaking Down the NDIS Review: 5 Key Takeaways

December 7, 2023

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) released its NDIS Review on Thursday, 7 December 2023. 

The Review comes nearly a year after preliminary inquiries began in October 2022, with 26 recommendations and 139 action items to be implemented over the next 5 years.

Sitting at 330 pages, the long-awaited report provides extensive insight into providing disability support. The panel spoke to more than 1000 people with disability and heard from over 10,000 people to take a person-centred approach to the review.

Bill Shorten, Minister for the NDIS and Government Services, said the Review aimed to “restore trust, ensure sustainability and give participants a better experience and more control, by making the NDIS more about people and less about bureaucracy through greater equity, transparency and consistency.”

We won’t go into too much detail, but we will break down the Review into 5 key takeaways.

1. Legislative reforms

To ensure all Australians with a disability—particularly the ones not registered with the NDIS—the Review recommended key legislative reforms. These will provide a fairer, more inclusive approach to access supports.

Applying to the NDIS will be more accessible, and any assessments required for applications will be arranged and paid for by the NDIS. Support and advice will also be readily available.

Budgets will also be made more accessible, with assessments to ensure that participants’ needs are met within the scope of their budget. In addition to that, the NDIS will work with participants to create a plan to ensure supports and budgets are documented and reassessed as needs change.

2. Improved supports

The NDIS seeks to focus on providing a more inclusive approach to disability support.

This means offering more connected supports for:

  • Individual supports: these would include daily personal activities, home modifications, and assistive technology.
  • Targeted foundational supports: these would look at community supports, early support for children with disability, and targeted supports for adolescents.
  • General foundational supports: this would look like support with navigating the system and offering information and advice to individuals, families, and communities.
  • Mainstream services and community supports: this would include public education, health, employment, housing, justice, and transport.

Focus on children with disability

In particular, the Review called for better support for children with disability and their families.

This would involve early identification and support for children and access to support services, such as speech pathologists or occupational therapists.

Focus on psychosocial disability and mental health

The Review found that people with psychosocial disability continue to experience lower community participation and employment than other participants in the NDIS.

To improve on this, early intervention pathways and coordinated approaches will be offered to support those with psychosocial needs.

3. Improved navigation

During the consultative period, many people with disability expressed their concerns that finding their way around the NDIS was a little challenging—despite the availability of support coordinators, plan managers, Liaison Officers, and partners in the community.

The Review suggested using navigators to plug in the gaps in understanding the NDIS and its processes/services.

There would be two types of navigators:

  • General navigators: they would help people with disability connect with mainstream and foundational supports. They would also help participants find and coordinate services.
  • Specialised navigators: they would help people with more complex needs who need more support connect with the appropriate supports.

4. Fairer housing and living

The Review calls for a fairer, more consistent approach to housing and living supports. The aim is to ensure participants with similar needs and circumstances should receive similar funding.

Participants would need to undergo an assessment to determine their support needs. To promote participants' right to exercise their choice and control and choose a living arrangement that suits their needs and budget.

5. Registration requirements

The NDIS Review found that it is difficult to assess the quality and safety of providers, particularly unregistered ones.

As such, all disability service providers will now be required to register with the NDIS to continue to provide supports to people with disability.

The compliance requirements for each provider will be determined by the risk and complexity of supports they provide.

Summary of review

  • People with disability will have improved access to NDIS services and budget supports
  • Children with disability and those with psychosocial disability will have more targeted supports
  • Navigators will be available to further support participants in understanding the NDIS
  • Housing and living supports will be fairer and more flexible
  • All disability service providers will be required to register with the NDIS to ensure the delivery of safe and quality supports
Aalia Hussein
Instructional Designer and Writer
Imaginative and inventive, Aalia is etrainu’s resident writer. She has a passion for weaving words together and storytelling. She’s in charge of etrainu’s content, creating engaging and immersive experiences across learning and marketing.
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