new "expected funded support levels" without consultation - breaking the promise again

Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2019 16:12:10 +1100
From: Bob Buckley (A4 Convenor) <convenor@a4.org.au>
To: RUNDLE, Vicki <Vicki.RUNDLE@ndis.gov.au>
Subject: new "expected funded support levels" without consultation - breaking the promise again
CC: De Luca, Roberts <Roberts.DeLuca@ndis.gov.au>, Dr Helen Nugent OA <chair@ndis.gov.au>

Hi Vicki

I notice that the new NDIS website says (on the page https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/how-review-planning-decision):

Now the operational guidelines give more direction about the expected funded support levels in the following areas:

  • personal care supports
  • recreational supports
  • supports for sustaining informal support
  • supports for early childhood; and
  • household tasks.

However, a search for "expected funded support levels" "operational guidelines" site:ndis.gov.au yields just one page, the page I cited above. There is no more information for participants and others about "expected funded support levels" available on the NDIS website.

I notice that the page also says "The NDIA met with peak associations and individuals to help create the expected levels." This is false. The NDIS did not meet with a peak association representing the autistic community in Australia about expected funded support levels. Autism/ASD is the biggest distinct primary disability in the NDIS. It is unacceptable that the NDIS made yet another major change without consulting us, yet again breaking the Ministerial promise to consult us.

--
Bob Buckley
Convenor, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
website: http://a4.org.au/

A4 is the national grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people, their families, carers and associates. A4 is internet based so that Australians anywhere can participate.

“The first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one.” Jeff Daniels as Will McEvoy in The Newsroom.


Response

In a subsequent telephone call, an NDIS official said having the material on the website was "a mistake"; they will remove it.

This is not what A4 wanted. A4 would prefer that the NDIS engage properly with autism/ASD stakeholders & representatives and agree how planning and fund allocation should work. A4 does not think the NDIS should keep how it works secret. The NDIS should replace its current participant planning process that delivers inadequate plans for autistic participants with processes that are agreed with the ASD community. NDIS planning must have completed ASD training (that is agreed with the ASD community) before they undertake planning for autistic participants.

The NDIS official also suggested that because A4 has met with a few officials, we should not be complaining about stakeholder engagement. In our view, just meeting then having no discernible outcome is not actually "stakeholder engagement"; it is "box ticking". It is time-wasting and offensive.