People with disabilities in Dubbo who previously received no assistance might find they are much better off under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, a regional provider has said.
Challenge Disability Services senior manager Maxine Smith said the Western Region rollout, which started officially on Saturday, would provide new hope for some who had missed out under previous schemes.
Challenge has sites in Dubbo, Orange, Bathurst, Mudgee and Trangie and in those regions it has held seven NDIS forums and supported 20 families and people with a disability with pre-plans to help them prepare for NDIS meetings.
“We have met with many people over the last three years who have received no funding, and have had to pay for help from their own wallets, many already under financial strain,” Ms Smith said.
“Under the NDIS they may be deemed as eligible and receive paid supports that could be life-changing for them and their families.”
According to the NDIS March Quarterly Report, so far 78,000 Australians have benefited from the NDIS, with 14,357 new participants receiving an NDIS plan between January 1 and March 31, 2017. By 2020, it is expected that the NDIS will be delivered to 460,000 Australians living with a disability.
With Western NSW among the last areas to rollout, Ms Smith said she hoped it would be the smoothest of all, with feedback workshops held after previous rollouts leading to a better experience.
“Challenge Disability Services has participated in two of these workshops, including the national one, providing feedback on what has gone right and wrong in previous roll outs, and how they can be improved,” Ms Smith said.
“We have already seen a response from the NDIS from our feedback, with their recent announcement of more face-to- face meetings with participants.
“The NDIS needs to provide more time for pre-planning and explanation on how meetings and conversations with participants is reflected in their NDIS plan. We are hopeful that this roll out will be smoother and have minimal effect on participants and their families.”
Ms Smith said the NDIS would also created extra jobs in the disability sector and provide a boost to the economy of up to $23 billion.