hard to swallow campaign

Ellen has a swallowing problem called dysphagia. This means she can be at risk of choking or even dying when she swallows.

Ellen’s mum Margaret knows how much better it was for Ellen and the family when these specialist therapeutic supports were funded. Ellen needs these supports in her NDIS package but the NDIS won’t fund them.

This has left Ellen’s mum, Margaret with no other option than to take the NDIS to court.


The issue

There is a dangerous gap in funding for swallowing therapy.

The NDIS has the funds for the specialist swallowing therapy that Ellen needs. But the NDIS is now saying it is not responsible.

The NDIS says the health system should fund swallowing therapy. The problem is that the health system does not have the skills to do so, nor does it have the funds – all the NSW disability funding went to the NDIS.

The NDIS has got it wrong and this is dangerous for people with disability.

The impact 

Many people find it hard to swallow as a result of their disability. This makes it difficult for them to get adequate nutrition and puts them at risk of pneumonia, choking and even death. If a person cannot safely eat a meal, then their whole life is disrupted.

The solution 

Assessment of a swallowing problem and developing an eating and drinking plan is a team effort with input often required from a range of professionals. This must be funded by the NDIS. It is disability support.

We are asking new Australian Families and Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher to please resolve this problem and confirm that the NDIS will fund this vital swallowing therapy.


How you can help

  • Please phone Minister Paul Fletcher on 02 6277 7560

  • Please email Minister Paul Fletcher at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please tell Minister Fletcher these NDIS funding cuts for swallowing therapy are putting people like Ellen at risk of choking and even death and ask him to confirm that the NDIS will fund this vital swallowing therapy.

More ways you can help

  • Sign our petition and ask your friends and family to sign.

  • Put up posters in your area to raise awareness. Order posters and leaflets by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or download our poster now.

  • Contact our Advocacy team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let us know if you would like to help on our Hard to Swallow campaign.

  • Share our campaign on: Facebook, Twitter or your preferred social media.

  • Sign up to our email updates.

  • Read our blog to find out more about the NDIS and swallowing disorders.

  • Read the Sydney Morning Herald article about this important issue Choking risk for people with disabilities denied NDIS funding, 18 September 2018.

 

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