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: Regional and Remote Communities

Why is support for regional and remote communities such an important part of the NDIS in WA?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) aims to assist all eligible people with disability to access reasonable and necessary supports to achieve their goals. Across Western Australia, the circumstances and needs of people with disability may differ significantly. This may impact on the ability of individuals to plan, choose and access support how, when and where they need it. It is critical to understand the way regional and remote communities access services and support in order to design an NDIS that can respond to the needs of different communities. This may mean the Scheme operates differently in regional and remote communities compared to metropolitan Perth.

How has support worked under the NDIS in regional and remote communities?

Over the past three years the NDIS has evolved through various trials around the country. The diverse needs of those in regional and remote communities have been supported within the WA NDIS Lower South West trial, and also through the National Disability Insurance Agency trial in the Barkly Tablelands region of the Northern Territory. Some strategies adopted to support regional and remote communities have included:

  • Working with local expertise, including Aboriginal health workers and community workers.
  • Fostering the development of alternative models of disability support and care, and
  • Establishing diverse modes of communication to better support planning for those with diverse backgrounds or from hard to reach areas.
While some experiences of NDIS remain consistent across all communities, a range of needs and issues unique to regional and remote communities exist.

What has been learnt about regional and remote support during the trial?

We now have two years of feedback from individuals, families, carers, service providers and local communities about their experience with the NDIS.
What we have heard from regional and remote communities is that:

  • A lack of support options can restrict an individual’s choice and control,
  • There is a lack of understanding about NDIS because of the limited capacity to access information,
  • Planning needs to allow for specific cultural and communication needs, for example for people who have Culturally and Linguistically Diverse or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, people with psychosocial disability, or people with complex communication needs, and
  • NDIS services need to build on the successful strategies already developed to deliver supports and services in regional and remote areas.
The unique circumstances of individuals, families, carers, service providers and local communities in regional and remote areas mean it is essential to get feedback and learn how NDIS can better meet their needs.

What do you think?

  1. What currently works well in regional and remote communities?
  2. How can individuals have more choices?
  3. What are other issues unique to people with disability in regional and remote communities?
  4. What areas of improvement could you suggest?
  5. Do you have any other comments or concerns about regional and remote support?

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.