NDIS and Me banner. DSWA logo and text 'keeping you up to date with the NDIS in WA' on the left and head and shoulders photo of a smiling man with Down syndrome at an airfield wearing a cap with wording 'Skipper' on and a yellow, uninflated life jacket.

NDIS in WA Latest News

While Minister Dawson has said that he wants to renegotiate the bilateral agreement, and the federal government has indicated willingness to come back to the negotiating table, we are still in the dark about what a new agreement might look like. This is disappointing and has led to ongoing confusion and uncertainty for people, especially as the 1st of July – the date of scheme rollout – has come and gone. In the meantime, rollout is happening according to the bilateral agreement signed by the previous government, and as of 1st July new areas are rolling into the NDIS in WA.

Here is the link to official information about rollout: http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/wa-ndis/wa-ndis/ndis-full-scheme-roll-out/

People who already have a (federal) NDIS plan, or who have begun the process to get one, for the meantime at least will stay with that scheme.

If you are in an area covered by the federal NDIS (Perth Hills, Bayswater/Bassendean and Wheatbelt) and you are just starting your application process, then officially you should apply to the NDIS in WA. Here is the information most relevant to you: http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/wa-ndis/wa-ndis/ndis-full-scheme-roll-out/perth-hills

We will keep you updated with any new developments through social media.

DSC absorbed into Department of Communities

Head and shoulders photograph of Grahame Searle, Director of the Department of Communities

In a big shake up of departments by the new state government, the Disability Services Commission is one of a number of departments that have been merged into larger ‘mega-departments’. DSC is now part of the Department of Communities. The previous Director General has resigned; however, until the legislation is changed, DSC will still operate with its own board. Here is a link to the Department of Communities website with an introduction by Interim Director General, Grahame Searle: https://www.communities.wa.gov.au/about/overview/

Self-management policy and guidelines

A concern for many people in WA has been the disparity between self-management in the WA scheme compared with the greater flexibility and higher hourly rates for support staff offered by the federal NDIS. WA Individualised Services (WAiS) carried out a community consultation on self-management and developed a report with recommendations. DSC has accepted the recommendations and has produced a new Self-Management Policy and Guidelines, which came into effect on 1 July. The policy and guidelines apply not only to people in WA NDIS areas, but also to anyone self-managing in the ‘old’ areas still to roll out. For now, people in federal NDIS areas will continue with their existing rules.

One of the key changes under the new policy is that people self-managing can now receive funding to pay their support staff using the same price guide as providers. However, unlike the federal scheme where you would get the same hourly rate as a provider, WA NDIS has a ‘price range’ and the new rules state that individual self-managers will be paid at the lower end of the scale to reflect lower overheads than a service provider. This is arguably still not equitable with the federal scheme, but it is early days so we have yet to see what people are getting in their plans. You can also now ask for some funding to cover your admin costs for self-managing which is good to see. Again, we don’t know yet what kind of amount will be approved for admin.

Self-management Guide: http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/news/news-dsc/news-20171/updated-self-management-guide/

Self-management Policy: http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/news/news-dsc/news-20171/new-self-management-of-funded-supports-policy/

WAiS Self-management Policy Consultation report: http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/Global/Publications/WA%20NDIS/Self-Management%20Policy%20Consultation%20PL%20PDF.pdf

Self-management (Easy Read)

http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/Global/Publications/WA%20NDIS/Policies/Self-management-policy-easy-read.pdf

DSWA soon to be providing NDIS funded supports and services!

DSWA is currently registering to provide services that can be purchased using your NDIS or WA NDIS funding. We aren’t looking to become a provider of all kinds of services, but to offer and expand the supports where we have expertise. Until now, we’ve been limited by lack of resources, but the NDIS provides an opportunity for us to be a choice for people with NDIS funded plans.

The areas we are registering for are:

  • Daily Living – Support with daily life tasks to enable individuals to live as autonomously as possible.
  • Wellbeing – Person is engaged in valued roles through participation in community, vocational and/or educational activities, and/or employment.

We will be building our services and supports from a peer group perspective and seeing beyond the traditional limited pathways and opportunities currently available to people with Down syndrome. The Daily Living area also offers parents/carers the chance to access some training to help their family member.

We will keep you posted regarding progress with registration and as we develop services. If you have any queries about this, or ideas, let us know.

DSWA’s ILC Project

With our funding grant under the WA Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Program (ILC), work is now well under way at DSWA to develop both pre-planning and self-management resources. The main resources will be in Plain English and we are also producing Easy English versions.

The project also includes workshops on planning and self-management. Most people said they wanted the workshops on Saturday afternoons, so we’ve put together a schedule for the next few months in various areas. We will let you know details such as times and venues closer to the date, but do please RSVP and put the dates in your diary now.

Once we have done a couple of workshops, we will also offer some Skype sessions for people who can’t come to the face-to-face workshops.

Location Topic Date
Perth Hills area Planning 12-Aug-17
Bayswater/Bassendean Planning 19-Aug-17
Lower Southwest Self-management 26-Aug-17
Wheatbelt NDIS areas Planning 2-Sep-17
Cockburn/Kwinana Self-management 9-Sep-17
Perth Hills area Self-management 16-Sep-17
Rockingham Planning 21-Oct-17
Bayswater/Bassendean Self-management 28-Oct-17
Mandurah Planning 4-Nov-17
Wheatbelt NDIS area Self-management 11-Nov-17

We will also be glad to discuss other aspects and issues while we are in the LSW area.

DSWA Local Support Groups

We are very happy to let you know that our funding to run the Local Support Groups has been extended until June 2018. It’s been great to see groups meeting regularly in some areas, and to meet with some of you. If you are interested in linking up with a group near you, give us a call on 9368 4002 or email admin@dsawa.asn.au

Links to social media relating to the NDIS in WA

Image description: NDIS and Me Facebook Group banner. Logos of state and territory Down syndrome associations on the left and head and shoulders photo of a smiling man with Down syndrome at an airfield wearing a cap with wording 'Skipper' on and a yellow, uninflated life jacket.

NDIS and Me – a closed* Facebook group with over 500 members, for Australians with Down syndrome and their families. The group, which is run by DSWA, aims to help its members to get ready and get the best outcomes they can from the NDIS. There is discussion about what is happening in all states so this can be a useful way of sharing questions and experiences within the national and local Down syndrome community. We will post this eNews to NDIS and Me and to the DSWA Support Network group. http://www.facebook.com/groups/NDISandMe/

WA NDIS – this open Facebook page is run by DSC and states that it is “Your official source of information about the WA NDIS”. https://www.facebook.com/TheWANDIS/

NDIS in WA Peer Support – a closed* Facebook group, with over 1400 members, for people with disability and families living in WA in either NDIS or WA NDIS areas (but you can also join if you are in other areas in WA). A useful group for information and discussion. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ndisinwa/

*You need to request to join closed groups. The admins will check that you are eligible before allowing you in.

NoDisadvantage – an open Facebook page with over 700 followers, run by disabled people and family members that says: We want the WA State Government to guarantee that West Australians with disability will not be worse off than other Australians under a WA NDIS. This is useful for the latest information about what is happening, lively and critical discussion and analysis of events, policy, scheme design as well as information on advocacy and activist events for the #NoDisadvantage Campaign. https://www.facebook.com/nodisadvantage/

Image description: Profile picture of NoDisadvantage campaign. A purple filled square with white text saying 'A guarantee of no disadvantage for West Australians with a disability', followed by #nodisadvantage in mix of white and blue text.

 

Other useful social media
There are lots of Facebook groups and pages on the NDIS and WA NDIS. If there are any that you find useful, please let us know.
As with all online content, please be aware that information may not be correct, so please do check before making any decisions or taking any action based on the information.