close the Gap

WILL THEY BE LEFT BEHIND BY THE NDIS?

In all the brouhaha over the so called “leadership challenge that wasn’t” and Prime Minister Gillard’s announcement of her new Cabinet line up, a big and important news story has gone largely ignored.

Last week, the Australian Parliament passed the National Disability Insurance Scheme legislation. It’s now L.A.W. Law.

That is undeniably good news for thousands of people across the country even though in its first phase it will remain experimental. The NDIS will change the daily lives and future prospects of thousands of people with a disability in this country. In the trial period – 20,000 people with disability, along with ...

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16 Comments

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    The Huntress

    Having spent some time in the Kimberley and working with Indigenous people in healthcare I can see the difficulties there will be in implementing these measures. Ms. Reimer is absolutely correct in her assertion that training Indigenous carers from their own communities to convey this message would be ideal. It would also be low cost and effective. This would be a wonderfully appropriate role for Aboriginal Health Workers, the absolute diamonds of rural and remote healthcare.

    We can work towards closing the gap, but we need to listen to the communities with needs to discover what they perceive their needs to be. It is not for the government to presume what a communities needs are. Genuine engagement to understand this will help improve trust in the authorities, deliver results that are tangible to the community, prevent wastage of resources and result in a happier, healthier community. I will be watching the NDIS rollout with interest.

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    Annie Also

    Perfectly said, The Huntress. Agree!
    (I too will be watching the NDIS rollout with …’personal’ …interest. I am curious to see if there will be any ‘carrots and sticks’ or a group left behind or falling through cracks or the power of ‘breaching’ if compliance is not met etc….If is sounds too good to be true usually it is not real. Skeptical? Sure am.)

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    deb

    thanks Monica

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    deb

    BTW,slightly off NDIS but – at my P&C meeting last night I was passed a brilliant disability information resource produced by the ACT P&C council with a small govt grant. We all wondered why govt’s can’t do this? It was simple, clear and packed with useful info. Not just names and ph numbers but what each group/agency does and how. And it fit in one hand. It needs copying for every state/region, and probably on online, updatable version.

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    Sandra

    Wow. What an informative piece. A perspective I had not considered despite my other concerns about this scheme. The first being the whole scheme had been cooked up by people who have the time to be in talks about disability and caring. Those who are really at the crux of this matter will not only have trouble accessing and even understanding this system, but they have had no opportunity for informational input regarding the formation of the scheme. Such as Aboriginal or other low socio-economic groups. Irony at its best.

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    Monica

    Thanks Sandra and Deb and Annie and The Huntress. It really is a very important issue. Thanks for engaging with it. Monica

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    Benison O'Reilly

    Important article. I know a little about a limited area of disability: autism in the Indigenous community is underdiagnosed and way undertreated. There are initiatives to produce culturally sensitive information and education programs for Indigenous families affected by autism but obviously much more needs to be done.

  • Reply March 27, 2013

    ro.watson

    I remember learning about theoretical NDIS schemes in law school~ the main benefit being for all those injured or disabled who could not make a common law claim for personal injuries because there was “no fault”. From what I can gather the scheme is in pilot form, and has bipartisan support, and waits for funding in the next budget. In the light of this article it will be interesting to see, what, if any, monies are appropriated for community education in the pilot areas~ and beyond?

  • Reply March 27, 2013

    Rhoda

    I despair sometimes at how long it will take to get real help for our indigneous people living in remote areas. They live on the periphery of our lives. Many don’t have the dignity of a proper education.

    In practical terms how will, for instance an Aboriginal child with a disability, be provided with support – if asked for. What sort of support will it be? Practical help or just advice? How far will this support reach – into the camps?

    And what is happening with these children now. In 1968 when Fred Hollows visited one of the outback camps he said, “It was like something out of the medical history books,” he said, “eye diseases of a kind and degree that hadn’t been seen in western society for generations. The neglect this implied, the suffering and wasted quality of human life were appalling.”

    And that was only eye disease I wonder if much has changed since and if public benevolent foundations like his would do a better job of it then our various lumbering governments have been doing for the the last century.

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Liz

    June Reimer is right on the mark and if such experienced and well placed Aboriginal women have serious concerns regarding the NDIS providing real benefits for Aboriginal people with disabilities, their families and carers, then June should be supported in her advocacy efforts to change this system. Another important dimension to this human rights issue, is Aboriginal people with intellectual disability and cognitive impairment cycling in and out of the criminal justice system – police, courts and prison.

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  • Reply April 18, 2013

    michelleb

    and the NDIS scheme has recently been rebranded as Disability Care- another example of a barrier, potentially making it harder for Aboriginal people from a lived experience and cultural perspective to be drawn to or relate their own experience to a scheme with a word in it that is not easliy understood, to a system that suggests it will be helpful. Not near enough regard for our First Peoples current and historical experiences.

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