Maryanne Diamond (General Manager, Media, Communications and Engagement, NDIS): The NDIS is a new way of delivering supports to people with disabilities, their families and carers, irrespective of where they live in Australia. You need to be under the age of 65 at the time you acquire the disability and join the Scheme, a permanent resident of Australia or holder of a permanent visa to live in Australia, and you need to be living in Australia. It is an insurance-based scheme which means that every Australian can be comforted by the fact that if they acquire a disability or a loved one does, that they will receive the kind of supports they need for the rest of their lives.
Lee-Anne (mother of Oliver, 2½ years): There is such a relief as parents of a child with an additional need, to know that their disability needs will always be met within the NDIS system.
Maryanne Diamond: The NDIS was developed because there was huge differences in each state about what services were available, who they were available to, and whether there was enough resources to meet the need. Really, it was crisis-driven. The NDIS is a significant change. The individual is at the centre of their own choice and control about what supports they require, and who provides them to them.
Michelle and David (parents of Ella, 7 years and Penny, 4 years): The NDIS is a more personal plan. It caters more to the individual child.
Lisa (mother of Maddy, 11 years and Thomas, 5 years): Best thing about the NDIS is that comfort as a parent, knowing that monetary part is taken care of and knowing that the service doesn’t stop; it’s there next year.
Lee-Anne: I think one of the most positive things about the NDIS is that it is a system that grows with your child. As your child’s needs change, the NDIS program will change accordingly.
Lisa: It’s really comforting knowing we get to December and we do a new plan. It’s actually quite exciting to sit there and think of your child’s goals for the next year and where you want them to be, and you’ve got someone to talk to about that.
Maryanne Diamond: I’m excited as a parent that my son will have the opportunity to be empowered and to be able to take control of his own life, set his goals and aspirations, and determine the supports he requires to achieve that.
Michelle: We’re very happy with our current plan. It is everything that we expected and that we feel is necessary for our daughter at this point.