A new world of choice under NDIS

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People living with disabilities in Dubbo will soon be in control of their own funding and empowered to achieve their life's goals, when the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) launches in the region on July 1.

Challenge Disability Services will be hosting a National Disability Insurance Scheme and Person Centred Planning information session on April 4, to ensure their clients and the community are fully prepared for the changes. According to Challenge Disability Services Senior Manager Maxine Smith, the NDIS will open up the world of people with disabilities living in the Dubbo area.

“The person-centredness of the NDIS allows each individual to achieve goals that they have chosen for themselves,” Maxine said.

“The goal can be as small as wanting the independence of going down the street or doing their washing when the person wants, or as big as getting a job or travelling overseas.

“Individuals can also choose how to manage their NDIS funding. They can elect for their money to stay with the national agency, they can tailor a plan through a provider like Challenge, or they can choose to self-manage.”

Before the NDIS, Challenge Disability Services was restricted to servicing people with disabilities from the ages of 18 to 65 but is now able to support clients from birth until retirement at 65.

“The NDIS reopens funding avenues that had previously slowed down,” Maxine said.

“It has opened a whole world of opportunity so that a person can travel a journey with Challenge if they wish to and they can also access other organisations at the same time or just pick and choose as they go.

“That is the beauty of the NDIS; it is about the person feeling empowered and in control to go on their journey, utilising the organisations that suit them. They also don't have to choose disability providers; they can look at mainstream providers and access funding for them if they are a better fit for their personal goals.

“The NDIS just opens up that person's world. They can have a multitude of providers in their life if they wish to, or just the one. We encourage the community to start having a look around at the agencies and the services that will be available to them from July 1.”

Challenge Disability Services has one aim when it comes to the NDIS: ensuring their clients and their communities are prepared for the changes.

“The NDIS meetings can be quite daunting; it is very easy to forget the services you regularly utilise and the language used is very technical,” Maxine said.

“By having a pre-plan prepared by Challenge Disability Services, clients can go into these meetings with an understanding of the terminology involved as well as a clear idea of the organisations they currently use, the services they want to use, and their personal goals.

“Challenge Disability Services can support people living with disabilities to ensure they feel empowered, understand the language, and are fully prepared for the NDIS.”

NDIS information session attendees can expect to get a clearer understanding of how current funding will transfer to the new system, as well as how to ensure they continue to receive the services they want and require.

“Providing clients and their carers with information about their entitlements under the NDIS and explaining how the process works, empowers them to feel confident in taking the next step and control of their lives,” Maxine said.

“These information sessions and the pre-plans are so important: they take away the scariness of the NDIS meetings, and allow participants to understand the questions they are being asked and the answer they need to give.”

Challenge Disability Services have been involved with the NDIS since February 2013, and now have significant expertise in how best to provide support to clients, having already overseen the roll-out of the scheme in other service areas.

“People with disabilities along with their families, carers and other support people are encouraged to come along to the information session armed with their questions: all questions are good questions, and we look forward to answering them,” Maxine said.

“I will simplify the process by explaining what the NDIS and the NDIA involve, how current services will be converted to the new system, the importance of pre-planning, as well as discuss some of the language that is used.”

The Challenge Disability Services National Disability Insurance Scheme and Person Centred Planning information session will be held at The Macquarie Inn, Dubbo, from 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Tuesday 4th April 2017. Finger food will follow; RSVP by March 31 to belle.moerkerk@challengecommunity.org.au or phone 0408 674 541.

Author: Katrina Warmoll

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About Challenge Community Services

60 years ago we were a small band of parents and friends seeking support services for our children with disabilities. Today, Challenge has grown to be one of the largest community support services in New South Wales. We provide support to over 2500 people from Albury to Lismore, Sydney, Dubbo, Tamworth and beyond. With over 600 staff, 85 of which have a disability, we strive to comply with and exceed all standards required under State and Federal Acts.
In the spirit of Reconciliation, Challenge Community Services acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their connection to land, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures and customs, and to Elders both past and present.
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