Q1. How is the NDIS different to the current system?

The current system provides funding to organisations who then provide services to people with disability. The NDIS now gives control of the funding directly to the person with disability, who can then access the services they choose.

Q2. What is the difference between the NDIS and the NDIA and why is the NDIS called an ‘insurance’ scheme?

The NDIS is the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and the NDIA is the National Disability Insurance Agency that implements the NDIS.

It’s an insurance scheme because every Australian contributes to it in a way that enables us to provide for everyone and anyone who is born with or who acquires a disability. This works to help improve whole-of-life outcomes by building skills, capacity and, most importantly, independence.

Q3. What support is available for someone who is blind or has low vision?

Support available under the NDIS is designed to enable you to connect with your community, gain employment and live an ordinary life.

The support must relate to your disability and help you achieve your goals and needs. It may include things like: travel (to get to employment or school, or access the community); support around the home (gardening, learning how to cook meals independently); or improved daily activities, which may include training and therapy on orientation and mobility, or occupational therapy. You may also be able to access assistive technology, such as magnifiers, long mobility canes, or CCTVs.

You may be entitled to have Support Coordination in your NDIS plan to build your independence. Vision Australia provides Support Coordination to NDIS participants across Australia, and we will support you to understand your NDIS plan. We can assist by helping you manage services from different providers, and get started in the NDIS.

Q4. How do people access NDIS?

If you already receive support from a State or Territory disability service, you will receive a phone call or an email when you’re able to access the NDIS. Alternatively, feel free to call the NDIA and request access information and an Access Request Form.

If you don’t currently receive support, call the NDIS and request an Access Request Form, or speak to a Vision Australia representative who can provide you with additional information and support.

Q5. What is an NDIS plan?

An NDIS Plan sets out the individual support services for a participant in the scheme. It is based on the results of your planning meeting, and should reflect your goals and the support you need to achieve them.

After the planning process is complete, you will be provided with an NDIS plan, which outlines the support and funding available to you for the time of your plan (typically one year). You may use this funding to buy services directly or through the support service you choose.

Q6. With the individual NDIS planning process, what is goal setting and why is it important?

When you have completed your Access Request Form, a meeting will be scheduled with an NDIA or LAC planner. You can request this to be in person or by phone. In this meeting, you will discuss the support you currently receive, your goals and your needs, and the support you need to meet these goals.

Goal setting is important because it will determine the types of support included in your plan. For instance, if your goal is to independently travel to your community activities, the planner will work with you to identify the support you need to achieve this. It may mean you receive funding for transport, orientation and mobility, along with some assistive technology to help navigate your way around the community. It’s important to remember that every individual plan will be different, even where goals are similar.

Q7. How should people get ready for the NDIS?

Find out when the NDIS is coming to your area (www.ndis.gov.au). There is also an access checklist to see if you’re eligible. Then take some time to think and prepare: feel free to use our planning guide, or talk to one of our NDIS experts for some advice.

Make sure to think about your goals, what you want to achieve, and what sort of life you want to lead.

Q8. How is the NDIS rolling out nationally and what happens if I am in an area where the NDIS is not yet available?

If you are in an area where the NDIS is not yet available, remember that you may submit an Access Request Form six months prior to the roll out reaching your area. You’ll then be at the top of the queue to access support through the NDIS once you have an approved plan.

In the meantime, you can continue to access services from organisations such as Vision Australia.

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