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.

DSWA Local Support Groups

A Kimberley landscape with red rocky range behind and Boab tree in foreground. Rockingham foreshore at sunset with jetty and moored boats.

Over the last couple of years, DSWA has helped establish some new support groups in both metro and country areas, as well as running NDIS information sessions at some of the groups we were already running.

Interested in running a group?
Over the next six months, we will be looking at establishing some new groups, especially in areas where the WA NDIS is rolling out first. This includes the Rockingham area and the Kimberley. In some areas where the population is sparse, such as the Kimberley, the group may be an online one, depending on where people live and how they want to keep in touch and get information. We are interested in hearing from people in these areas who might be interested in setting up and coordinating a group. There is some funding to cover costs and we can provide information, help to set up and ongoing information and support. Call or email Julie Ireland at DSWA education@dsawa.asn.au to find out more.

Meetings of existing groups
If you belong to one of the existing DSWA groups, we will be sending details about the next meeting soon. If you want to be included in a group then contact Julie at education@dsawa.asn.au

We currently have groups in the Hills, Cockburn/Kwinana, Lower South West, Bunbury, Albany, Kalgoorlie, Perth (3) as well as New parent, Playgroup, and Aim High groups.

WA NDIS Information Sessions (run by DSC)

Information Sessions – Metro
All the WA NDIS Information Sessions in the metro area are booked out.

Information Sessions – Regional

Kununurra will host two WA NDIS information sessions next week. On Thursday 9 March from 5-6.30pm there’s a session for people with disability, their families and carers. A general information session will follow on Friday 10 March from 8.45-10.15am. Both sessions will be held in the Argyle Room of the Kimberley Grande. Call 9193 7497 for more information.

There will be two WA NDIS information sessions held in Broome on Wednesday 8 March. There’s a general session from 3-4.30pm and a dedicated session for people with disability, their families and carers from 5-6.30pm. Both sessions are being held at the Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre. For more information, call 9193 7497

DSWA and ILC Funding

Information, Linkages and Capacity (ILC) is a part of the NDIS that many people don’t know much about, but it’s an important aspect of how the NDIS will change people’s lives in the community. Here’s a bit of background: ILC recognises that people with disability getting individual plans is only one part of a bigger picture. Individual plans and funding for supports is important, but not everyone with a disability will be eligible and those plans don’t cover things like health, education, employment and other important parts of people’s lives. ILC recognises that all people with disability, whether or not they have a funded plan, should have access to information, find services and help to develop their skills and capacity. ILC also recognises that mainstream services and the community also need to be developed if the NDIS is to transform lives.

The NDIS developed a framework for how the ILC would work. DSWA contributed to the consultation on how this was developed. WA NDIS is now developing a state-based ILC framework.

NDIS and WA NDIS recently opened up a grant round for organisations to access some ILC funding. The aims of ILC are very closely linked with the work DSWA and other state Down syndrome organisations have always done, so it is an opportunity for us to seek some ILC funding to progress our work in the community. DSWA has lodged three detailed expressions of interest for producing and delivering WA NDIS related information, planning information, and self-management information for people with Down syndrome and their families. Down Syndrome Australia is also working with the state associations to apply for some federal ILC funding. We’ll let you know how we go!

WA NDIS Latest News

The last couple of weeks have seen the WA NDIS in the media again, with articles in The West, and on the radio; both the ABC and 6PR have had interviews with politicians and other prominent figures, such as former NDIA Chairman Bruce Bonyhady and DSC Director General Ron Chalmers, debating the government’s decision to run a state-based scheme, and taking talkback comments from listeners.

Evaluation Report Released
The state government conducted an evaluation of the two schemes being trialed in WA, and has said that it based its decision primarily upon this evaluation. Since the signing of the bilateral agreement committing WA to a state-run disability scheme, many people have been calling for the report on the evaluation of the NDIS and WA NDIS trial sites to be made public; however, we have had to wait until both the state and federal ministers allowed it to be released.

On March 2, it was released, posted on the DSC website and announced on the WA NDIS Facebook page. You can read it here: http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/wa-ndis/wa-ndis/evaluation/

Graphic of the cover of the Report by Stantons International on the WA NDIS Trials Evaluation. Cover has two images. Larger image is of a male therapist and young woman with disability, both smiling at each other, at a table covered with baking ingredients and equipment. Smaller image is a Kimberley gorge landscape.

How will the WA NDIS work?

 WA NDIS Policies and Fact Sheets
Are you wondering how the WA NDIS will operate? DSC has published its policies at http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/wa-ndis/wa-ndis/operational-policies/

And you can find a range of Fact Sheets here: http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/wa-ndis/wa-ndis/fact-sheets-and-publications/

These include information on the various WA NDIS areas as well as guides to self-managing, eligibility, the appeals process and much more.

How to comment or complain
If you want to give feedback about the NDIS in WA, you can use this email address WANDIS@dsc.wa.gov.au or find other methods at http://www.disability.wa.gov.au/wa-ndis/wa-ndis/consumer-feedback/

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 you find 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.