New era for people with disability in the ACT

Canfan 1 July 2014

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was officially launched in the ACT today, ushering in a new era for people with disabilities, their families and carers.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Minister for Disability Joy Burch said the NDIS would transform the lives of more than 5,000 Canberrans who will gradually move into the new scheme over the next two years.

“Today is an historic day for the ACT and marks a significant change in the way that people with disabilities, their families, and carers access services that they need in the way that they feel is best for them,” the Chief Minister said.

“The ACT Government has worked hard to get to this point and have learnt some valuable lessons from other trial sites.

“Together with the Commonwealth Government we are investing $21.8 million preparing people and service providers for the upcoming changes, as we move to a much more person-centred approach to disability services.

“The next few years will see an unprecedented level of investment in disability services in the ACT, and I look forward to working with the sector and the National Disability Insurance Agency to ensure the NDIS delivers for the people of Canberra.”

Ms Burch said the NDIS would be gradually implemented to ensure people get the attention and level of service they deserve.

“The ACT and Commonwealth Governments have agreed on a plan to have people enter the Scheme according to their age, or school year for school-age children,” Ms Burch said.

“This plan will help transition more than 5,000 eligible Canberrans into the NDIS over a two-year period. We want the Scheme to be sustainable and equitable, and by gradually transitioning people into the NDIS we can make sure that happens.

“I do want to reassure Canberrans that until they have an approved plan with the National Disability Insurance Agency, they will continue to receive support consistent with their current arrangements.

“If people are currently using a disability service, the Agency will contact them when it is time to start a planning conversation. Most disability organisations have already provided the Agency with information about their clients to ensure a smooth transition into the NDIS, and to avoid people having to tell their story again when they first meet with the Agency.

“People not currently accessing disability services can contact the Agency, who will let them know what to expect.”

The National Disability Insurance Agency is now open at two locations – 212 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, and the One Human Services Gateway, 153 Emu Bank, Belconnen.

To be eligible for the NDIS in the ACT you must be an ACT resident, under the age of 65 and have a permanent disability (including psychosocial disability) which impacts on your ability to undertake regular daily activities.

For further information on the NDIS contact 1800 800 110.

(Media Release Katy Gallagher and Joy Burch)

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