opinions on a National Disability Insurance Scheme

There is growing support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (see http://www.natdis.com.au/). A paper on the full proposal can be downloaded from http://www.natdis.com.au/NDIS.pdf.

What do A4 members think about this proposal?

  • Will a National Disability Insurance Scheme work for people with autism spectrum disorders and their families?
  • How will people with ASD benefit?
  • Should A4 and its members support this proposal?
    • If so, how?
    • If not, is there something else we should do?

A4 welcomes comments on this proposal as it relates to people with ASD.


National Disability Insurance Scheme

Given the ever increasing demand and poor service most often given
> through the public system it sounds like this could be something that
> we should support. I have for some time thought that private health
> insurance companies should be mandated by government to help pay for
> services especially ASD early intervention services. Private health
> insurers often deem some types of early intervention (ABA etc)
> as 'educational' to allow them to not have to pay. In the US there
> are an ever increasing number of states who have forced private
> health insurers to help pay for these services. This national
> Disability Insurance Scheme could be a way around the difficulties,
> however, we should ensure that such things as recommended ASD early
> interventon services will be covered by such an insurance scheme or
> we will be back to square one. Hence, representation of our needs
> with regard to this issue should be inclusive of the different
> perspectives which exist in our ASD community. >

what a NDIS covers

Several quick items that might help understand the proposal and its context. As I understand it ...

  • the material around the NDIS specifically mentions early intervention (EI) ... though I suggest A4 should emphasise that we expect the scheme to fund the full 1000 hours per year that national and international experts advise that children with ASD need
  • such a scheme would collect longterm data and even if it did not provide effective EI to start with: I believe such data would lead in the longer term to funding more effective services ... market forces would push it strongly in that direction.
  • the NDIS would address needs across the whole of life. For example, it should provide a case manager to help a person with ASD navigate what state and federal governments acknowledge are complex service systems ... hopefully this would minimise the need for individual advocacy support and the like.
  • it is important that A4 continues to push for private health insurance to cover preferences in private provisions of clinical treatments for ASD (which we have to distinguish from education) ... I suggest this is separate from and in addition to the NDIS scheme

Is this what A4 members want the organisation to say? What else would members like said on their behalf?

NDIS is fundamentally flawed

I am not a parent of someone with Asperger's or autism, though I have quadriplegia, and worked many years in guardianship jurisdictions where issues for people with such conditions were frequently heard. I convene the Towards Good Lives network which is offering a substantial critique of NDIS (http://towardsgoodlives.com). We believe that under the present terms of reference for the Productivity Commission's terms of reference for a feasibility study many people with the conditions for whom you advocate, will not be eligible. Crucial issues, like examination of the reasons for the 'broken' service system; what constitutes quality service; what needs are we talking about, are not included in the terms of reference. Our proposed amendments (http://towardsgoodlives.com/articles/amendments/amendments-to-terms-of-r...) to the terms have not met with any response from the Minister or bill Shorten, so the 'community consultations' to commence shortly, will exclude issues vital to people with disabilities and their families. If you are likewise concerned we urge you to take action by contacting the Minister now. Details can be found on our site herehttp://towardsgoodlives.com/articles/take-action/how-to-take-action