News/Announcements

Action Must Be Taken to Stop Bullying of Students with Disability

Stephanie Gotlib

Unfortunately, bullying of students with disability, including abuse and violence at school is not a new, unusual or unknown experience, writes Children and Young People with Disability Australia CEO Stephanie Gotlib.

Many in our community were rightly sickened by the footage which emerged recently of a young boy with disability being violently assaulted by peers outside a secondary school in Melbourne.

Defining moment for National Disability ­Insurance Scheme

Rob De Luca isn’t ready to speak with you yet.

The young, newly installed chief executive in charge of the $22 billion National Disability ­Insurance Scheme was adamant he didn’t want a public email when he took over the reins in August last year.

He uses a made-up first name, keeping the address off the books because he doesn’t want ­direct emails from “normal mums and dads, agency staff and participants”, according to one disgruntled staff member.

NDIS's 'very cold' attitude leaves parents of disabled boys outraged

The parents of two boys with disabilities say they were shocked with how the NDIS responded to their request for funding for basic equipment.

Hobart couple Michael and Jasna Baric are full-time carers for their sons Joshua and Lucas, who have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The condition means the boys' muscles are progressively degenerating and becoming weaker.

"The disease is degenerative; it won't get any better," Ms Baric said.

'They'll physically lose their ability to walk and use their body.

Community rallies behind Aussie family to give them new hope

THEY were going to have to give up their young son for the safety of the other children — but the generosity of strangers has given this family new hope.

Ally Foster

Living with severe autism

ONE Australian family were on the brink of making the most heartbreaking decision of their lives but an outpouring of generosity from hundreds of strangers has given them new hope.

Liz and Sean Whelan were faced with every parents worst nightmare: being forced to give up one of their children for the safety of the rest.

Mild autism cases are not the NDIS’s core concern

The Australian (editorial)

The following are the (unAustralian) views of The Australian newspaper's editorial staff. A4 rejects these views.

The National Disability Insurance Agency has made a prudent call in deciding that some autism sufferers will no longer qualify automatically for assistance under its $22 billion scheme. On Saturday, Rick Morton reported that officials are endeavouring to rein in costs by paring back the number of people with autism receiving funding packages. Among National Disability Insurance Scheme participants, 29 per cent have autism. Autism is the single biggest condition listed among the 30,000 children aged 14 and under. Of these, almost half are regarded as high-functioning with a “low level of disability”. However fraught, now is the time to resolve eligibility issues before the NDIS reaches full rollout in 2020, when it is set to serve 475,000 people.

NDIS bid to restrict access by rewriting rules on autism

A radical plan to alter the definition of autism will be the cornerstone of a push to restrict access to the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme, which could see thousands of people with substantial support needs removed from the system entirely.

The agency in charge says the proposed redesign will dismantle the idea of an autism “spectrum” — an idea coming back in vogue globally — and place people into specific “subtypes” based on individual characteristics.

Autism advocates blast proposed 'cutbacks' to NDIS access

David Wroe

Autism groups have expressed shock and disappointment at reports the agency administering the National Disability Insurance Scheme is looking to cut the number of autistic people who are virtually guaranteed of qualifying for support.

Advocates said they believed the National Disability Insurance Agency was working on plans to rein in costs by changing the qualification criteria so that many people would have to be individually assessed to determine their need for support.

NDIS mistakenly posts changes restricting access for autistic children

Guidelines were incorrectly altered to remove direct eligibility for all but most severe autism

The NDIS changes were posted by mistake and the scheme reverted to the old eligibility criteria. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

The Turnbull government has accidentally published details of changes that would deny a huge number of autistic children direct access to the national disability insurance scheme, causing “outrage” among autism groups.

Autism to face cutbacks in NDIS as secret plan revealed

Rick Morton

A secret plan to restrict the access of autistic people to the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme would prevent them from qualifying “automatically” for taxpayer-funded support as part of a sweeping overhaul to rein in costs.

The Weekend Australian has confirmed bureaucrats have been working on a strategy since late last year to pare back the number of people with autism receiving funding packages.

'It just gets debilitating': The NDIS families desperate for a better scheme

Dan Conifer

Sonya Ludlow is a strong woman. When you're bringing up seven children, resilience and thick skin are almost compulsory.

But the Adelaide mother was left feeling "absolutely awful" after a review of her seven-year-old son Samuel's funding National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan.

"[The NDIS representative] more or less said, 'by my sixth child I should know how to be a parent and how to look after my children'," Mrs Ludlow said.

Autistic adults need more help: expert

There is concern older Australians on the autism spectrum are being let down by mental health professionals who lack awareness of the developmental condition.

Researchers are calling for urgent training of psychiatrists on the diagnosis and management of autism in adults, who are at greater risk of suicide.

Older Australians on the autism spectrum are being let down by a gap in mental health services for autistic adults, a gathering of psychiatrists has been told.

NDIS legal bill hitting $10m a year

The agency running the ­$22 billion National Disability ­Insurance Scheme is spending up to $10 million a year on barristers and legal services in a bid to arrest the dramatic rise in the number of people successfully appealing for more money in their support packages or trying to get into the scheme.

The agency has been explicit in its fears over the future of the scheme, saying the risk to its ­financial stability is “extreme” from unfavourable court and tribunal decisions that have the ­potential to “vastly increase the scope of both access and reasonable and necessary supports”.

This is what parents of autistic children want you to know

THE majority of Australians have heard of autism but less than a third actually feel confident interacting with and supporting autistic people and their families.

Ally Foster

“IF YOU’VE met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”

This well-known quote by Dr Stephen Shore, internationally renowned for his research surrounding autism, shows that living with the condition can mean different things to different people.

Australian Autism Research Council established by Autism CRC

We are pleased to announce we are establishing an Australian Autism Research Council to review and determine national priorities for autism research and address areas of need for the autistic and autism communities

Our vision is that the priorities established by the Australian Autism Research Council will guide the future focus of research activities and research funding by government as well as research and development undertaken by non-government organisations and other industry members who provide programs and services for the autism community.

a report into the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) handling of reviews of decisions

Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe today released a report into the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) handling of reviews of decisions under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. The report discusses systemic issues highlighted by complaints and stakeholder feedback including significant backlogs, delays in decision making and poor communication practices.

'Set up to fail': Canberra's NDIS drop out rate soars as calls grow for overhaul

ACT MLA Michael Pettersson at the first day of the inquiry on Friday. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Sherryn Groch

Canberrans are leaving the National Disability Insurance Scheme at the highest rate in the country, as services and advocates in the ACT call for an overhaul of the scheme's internal bureaucracy.

Between September and December 2017, 139 people joined the scheme in the ACT but 101 others left. Figures provided by the National Disability Insurance Agency, which runs the scheme, confirmed 381 Canberrans had exited the NDIS since 2013.

NDIS access criteria in chaos

Media Release

Today, the NDIS fell into chaos: it removed its access/eligibility criteria from its website.

Yesterday, the Government excluded most autistic children from direct eligibility to early intervention from the NDIS. At this stage, more than half of the young (under 7 years old) NDIS participants have a primary diagnosis of autism. But the NDIS quietly restricted direct eligibility for autistic children to those with Level 3 Severity. There are three severity levels: only a few of the most severely affect children are rated as Level 3. As a result of this change, most autistic children will now struggle to access the NDIS.

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