The Australian Government is proposing changes to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) legislation with the goal to make processes easier and better for NDIS participants. The proposed changes are informed by the outcomes of the 2019 independent review of NDIS legislation, which was conducted by David Tune AO PSM. The Government is engaging in a public consultation to gather feedback about the legislation reforms.
The proposed Bill
The proposed Bill will make amendments to the NDIS Act and Rules, giving effect to 14 of the Tune recommendations, in whole or in part. A key recommendation is the introduction of a Participant Service Guarantee to set standards for how long NDIS processes (e.g. approving or amending an NDIS Plan) will take and how the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will work with those living with a disability. Read more via the Department of Social Services’ Engage website.
Public consultation process – open until midnight, 7 October 2021
The Government is accepting feedback and submissions regarding the legislation reforms until midnight, 7 October 2021. Click here to learn how you can register for one of the public consultation briefing sessions and here for how you can make a submission.
Rare Voices Australia (RVA) has written to the Minister for the NDIS and key Opposition spokespeople to express concern that the length of the consultation period is inadequate for such a significant consultation. We have requested that the consultation period be extended and will inform you of the outcome of this request.
RVA will lodge a submission and we encourage those living with a rare disease who are NDIS participants, or whose community members are NDIS participants, to lodge a submission. This will ensure that the voices of people living with a rare disease, as well as their families and carers, are heard.
RVA Partner organisations that are looking to lodge a submission into this public consultation are encouraged to reach out to RVA for mentorship support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why this consultation is important for people living with a rare disease
There is clear cross over between many rare diseases and disability. Aspects of the National Strategic Action Plan for Rare Diseases (the Action Plan) specifically address the NDIS and the arbitrary and unhelpful line that is often drawn between medical issues and disability. In particular, the Action Plan highlights the need for coordinated and integrated care (see Appendix 1).
Since 2012, RVA has consistently highlighted the impact of disability on the lives of people living with a rare disease. In 2019, RVA commissioned the McKell Institute to deliver a white paper, Disability & Rare Disease: Towards Person Centred Care for Australians with Rare Diseases, which informed the Action Plan.