Making sure the NDIS is rolled out fairly and equitably with direct input from people with disability is a priority for our Disability Commissioner Alastair McEwen over the next five years.
Over six months Mr McEwen consulted with more than 1000 people in capital cities and regional centres across Australia to identify areas he will focus on during his term in office. He also received 85 written submissions.
“I strongly believe that nothing will change unless people with disability are actively involved and represented in decision-making processes that affect them,” he said.
His six priority areas?
- Criminal Justice
The Commissioner has released a collection of videos, stories and infographics to summarise what he heard from people with disabilities, their families and communities. All videos are in Auslan and subtitled.
You can check out the full collection here.
In his NDIS video Mr McEwen said the scheme was one of the “biggest and most promising social reforms to ever take place in Australia” but people had told him there are some real challenges that are affecting the successful roll out of the NDIS for people with disability.
A serious issue is the need to make it clearer what roles the NDIS, housing, health and education systems each play in supporting people with disability. This would help to avoid confusion and stop people falling through service gaps.
“People are excited about the grassroots and peer support movement creating strong networks of people with disability that the NDIS has sparked,” the Commissioner said.
“But people also agree that there needs to be better engagement with people with disability by the NDIA, better information and support to navigate the NDIS, certainty and consistency about who is eligible and what supports the NDIS will provide and policy and practice to ensure the NDIS meets the needs of the most vulnerable people with disability.
“We will know that the NDIS is achieving positive change when all people with disability, regardless of age, residency status, cultural, Indigenous and/or linguistic background, criminal history and/or where they live, have access to the supports they need and can live life the way they choose to live.”
Mr McEwen and the Human Rights Commissioner will release a more detailed roadmap on how he will tackle these priorities later this year.