Once you’ve gone through the workbook, the next step is to meet with an NDIS planner. In some states they will be called a local area co-coordinator. They will get in touch to work out with you the best way to meet, where to meet, and who you would like to be at the meeting. It’s a good idea to bring a friend, family member, carer or support worker along with you to any NDIS meeting.
There is no standard time or schedule for the planning process. You may need only one meeting or more, depending on your situation. Remember, the NDIS is about giving you choice and control.
The first meeting will lay the foundations for your plan – you can take stock of your current situation, what your goals are, and how you may reach them. The planner will work with you to fully develop your plan including supports, funding and timelines.
You then decide what works best for you in managing your plan. You can you manage it yourself, get assistance from another person or use the NDIS Agency (NDIA). Whatever gives you more choice and greater flexibility and ease. It’s about meeting your unique needs. So you decide how you want to put your plan into action.
One way to control your plan is known as self-management. Once your plan has been agreed you take full charge of some or all of the arrangements that have been included as your reasonable and necessary supports.
Some people with disability in Australia already self-manage their support plans. They like the flexibility, choice and control that comes with being directly responsible for being directly in charge of their own lives. The NDIA will help and advise you if you decide to self-manage. There are also peers support groups and non-government organisations that can support and advise you.
It’s important to recognise that self-management is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’. Although there is relatively little ‘Red Tape’ to worry about you will have responsibilities to administer your plan and its support arrangements. It need not be too onerous but there is work to do and self-management will take up some of your time.
Give self-management some thought. Speak with other people with disability who have tried self-management or ask an NDIS planner to tell you more about it.
Reviewing your plan
Your NDIS plan is not a one-off event. You set your own review timetable so if your circumstances change, you can adjust your plan. Remember – the NDIS is about a lifelong commitment to meeting your needs now and in the future.