A pathway through complexity

How do we make sure the NDIS will work for people with intellectual disability and complex behaviour support needs? Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) has released a report on our Roundtable about this challenging but important question.

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Photo: Michael Sullivan, former CID Chair, with NDIA Chair Helen Nugent at the Roundtable

The Roundtable occurred in December 2017 and was opened by CID Vice Chairperson Michael Sullivan who said:

“We need to talk about people with complex needs and the NDIS. People with complex needs are a minority within a minority. But they have the same rights as everyone else in NSW. They have the same wants, the same feelings. The same right to a good ordinary life.”

At the Roundtable, advocates, parents and professionals experienced in complex support needs talked with leaders of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and other Commonwealth and NSW government agencies about how to improve the NDIS for people with complex behaviour support needs.

CID has released its report from the Roundtable, A pathway through complexity, which is available in conventional English and Easy Read.

Our key recommendations

In the Roundtable report, CID has spelt out key areas for action with recommendations. Some of our most important and urgent recommendations are:

  • The participant planning pathway should be markedly improved – especially by better supporting people with intellectual disability and their families to be full partners in the pathway, and ensuring that planners have expertise in complex needs.

  • The NDIA should put in place crisis provider and provider of last resort arrangements.

  • The NDIA and governments should develop the supply of workers and service providers who have the values and skills needed to work with people with complex behaviour support needs.

  • ‘Demarcation issues’ must be fixed – the division of roles between the NDIS and mainstream agencies like justice, health and child protection must be clear and workable for people with disability.

CID welcomes that the NDIA is already acting on the development of a specific participant planning pathway for people with complex support needs. However, a new pathway will not be effective unless other issues are sorted out as well.

Finally, Roundtable participants emphasised the importance of ongoing advocacy for people with intellectual disability. This is often vital for ensuring people with complex support needs get treated fairly by the NDIS, disability providers and mainstream services.

CID hopes that the Roundtable and its report are further examples of how valuable systemic advocacy can be. We continue to look to the NSW government to maintain its funding of CID and other advocacy organisations, not just for the next two years but onward into the future.

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Published 23 April 2018


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