The announcement this week of the signing of the bilateral agreement between NSW and the Commonwealth in relation to the NDIS is welcome news for people with disability and their allies.
The NDIS will be rolled out across NSW by July 2017, providing certainty to people with disability as they plan their lives, and earlier access to new opportunities, and greater choice and control. However, if the rollout is to successfully improve lives, appropriate supports and services need to be in place, staffed by a workforce with local knowledge and a commitment to choice and control for people with disability.
It is also critical to have a clear understanding of how the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Framework will operate in each area. Organisations will be funded under the ILC to provide both people with disability and the wider community information and resources about the NDIS and facilitate a more inclusion community. The ILC is a critical component of the NDIS, yet the recently released Framework provides little detail about how it will work, and existing organisations have no certainty about their role in the NDIS world.
Of course, the NSW Government also need to play its part in progressing the Disability Inclusion Plan, ensuring that whole-of-government action is taken to make NSW more accessible of and inclusion to people with disability. Though ground-breaking, the NDIS rollout is just one step in transforming lives.