ACTCOSS warmly celebrates the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Canberra today. “The NDIS is the culmination of many years of hard work and advocacy by people living with disability and the wider disability advocacy movement and is arguably the single most important progressive reform in Australian social policy in many decades,” ACTCOSS Director Susan Helyar said.
“The NDIS is based on fairness, equality, and citizen entitlement to needed supports. The scheme changes fundamentally the way that people living with disability receive necessary supports and advances the principles of control and choice for people living with disability by putting individuals at the centre of decision making. Once the NDIS is fully implemented accessing services will no longer be a process of individuals waiting for and fitting in to service vacancies, but rather of formulating plans around individual people’s goals and the aspirations that they hold.”
During the two year transition period 5000 people living with disability in the Canberra community will gradually transition onto the scheme. This transition process will need proper government and institutional support to ensure its success and the long-term future of the scheme. ACTCOSS is encouraged to see the ACT Government and the Federal Government support the NDIS to launch and beyond the planned two year transition period.
The NDIS will help to address the systemic disadvantage and discrimination that people living with disability have historically faced in our community. Consequently it will also help Australia to realise our commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“There are still battles to be fought in ensuring control and choice for people living with disability,” Ms Helyar notes. “The NDIS is just one part of the wider National Disability Strategy and we should not confuse the realisation of the NDIS with the realisation of the wider objectives of the National Disability Strategy. ACTCOSS is mindful of the way that the reforms to the welfare system currently the subject of an inquiry headed by Patrick McClure have the potential to severely and negatively impact people living with disability.
“But today is not about battles to be fought but about battles won. Today is about celebration and recognising the achievements of people living with disability and the wider disability advocacy movement. The NDIS is a social institution which the entire Australian community can be proud of and ACTCOSS is delighted to welcome its launch in Canberra today.”
For more information or comment please contact
Susan Helyar, Director, on 0448 791 987.