Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability - Independent adviser to the WA Minister for Disability Services - Keeping government informed

National Disability Insurance Scheme in Western Australia

Discussion Paper: Western Australian Disability Services Sector

Why is the WA disability services sector so important to the NDIS in WA?

The Western Australian (WA) disability services sector, inclusive of organisations, employees, and volunteers, is experiencing rapid growth and change as it adapts to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Funding for services will be through an individually funded insurance model requiring service providers to move away from block funding. The WA disability services sector remains an important contributor to the success of NDIS. As such, the capacity of the sector to deliver an individual’s choice of supports in line with their goals and needs is important. How the WA disability services sector evolves will directly impact on the ability of the Scheme to improve the lives of people with disability and their families in WA.

How has support under the NDIS worked within the WA disability services sector?

In WA we have seen the approaches of both the National Disability Insurance Agency trial in the Perth Hills and the WA NDIS trial in the Lower South West and Cockburn/Kwinana. This has given the WA disability services sector a unique comparative experience.

Both trials are consistent in terms of eligibility, determination of reasonable and necessary supports, portability of services and application of the State’s quality assurance system.

What has been learned about the impact of the NDIS on the WA disability sector support during the trials?

We now have two years of experience with the two NDIS trials. Feedback from the disability services sector shows some consistent experiences across NDIS sites throughout Australia. This includes that the planning approval process can take too long and be inconsistent, provider representatives not being able to advocate on behalf of individuals, and the need to make organisational changes to operate within the new NDIS environment. Other feedback indicates experiences with NDIS that are unique to the WA disability services sector, such as:

  • Concern with the pricing being inadequate and inflexible and therefore restricting the capacity of organisations to support choice around individualised support (such as weekend and public holiday support, regional and remote servicing).
  • Difficulty implementing organisational change in the move from block funded services to individualised funding.
  • Difficulty in attracting, retaining and training the workforce required to meet the additional needs brought about through the NDIS.
  • Confusion about the processes and navigation portals because of the multiple trial sites having different operational models.
  • Communication and navigation of the NDIS operational processes and support being limited due to the time difference with Western Australia, and
  • Concern about inadequate mainstream services and infrastructure, which can restrict the ability of the NDIS funded supports to achieve individual outcomes.

Given the unique comparative experiences the WA disability services sector has, it is very important to seek feedback and learn how to establish the best model of NDIS for WA.

What do you think?

  1. What currently works well in the WA disability services sector?
  2. How can the NDIS better support the sector to support people with disability and families?
  3. What are some of the other issues unique to the WA disability services sector which should be considered?
  4. What areas of improvement could you suggest?
  5. Do you have any other comments or concerns about the WA disability services sector?

You may provide feedback by completing a short survey here.

If you require the discussion paper in an alternative format or would like an alternative way to provide feedback please contact the Secretariat:

Telephone: 1800 857 354
Post: NDIS in WA
c/o PO Box 494
West Perth WA 6872

This discussion paper is available in Word, PDF and Easy Read for download.

Feedback on this discussion topic is due by Friday 16 September 2016.