Prospective participants in the impending south-west rollout of the new National Disability Insurance Scheme who were not sure of their options should get a good advocate.
That was the advice that Kylie, an NDIS participant at Geelong where the scheme was piloted in 2013, gave to a Warrnambool forum this month.
Kylie, who requested her surname not be published, urged prospective NDIS participants and their advocates to research the choice of services they could access under the scheme.
The NDIS is due to be rolled out in the Western District, which includes the south-west, from October 1.
Kylie said NDIS gave eligible people the opportunity to say what services they wanted.
“It’s about what is best for the consumer,” she said.
Kylie said she understood south-west disability service organisations would apply to NDIS for their existing clients to join the scheme.
She said that prior to NDIS’s introduction, she had been getting mental health support that had been very expensive for her.
She said the services that NDIS initially provided to her had not met her needs and involved a weekly one hour meeting with a peer support worker.
However after her care plan was reviewed, she received a lot more peer support and more access to activities that got her better engaged in the community.
The activities included joining art and photography classes and day trips that had increased her self-confidence.
She said she had found services suitable for her by approaching disability services organisations and finding out what they could offer her.
“I asked what were the mission and values of the organisation and how much choice and control would I have in my NDIS package,” Kylie said.
The NDIS is being rolled out across Australia by the federal government to provide people with a permanent and significant disability with supports to live an ordinary life.