The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) has been sending vision-impaired people letters in either print or PDF, when they obviously can’t always read those.
NDIS said they’ll fix this issue ASAP, but Blind Citizens Australia actually already called them out on this years ago.
They should’ve already been sending letters in Braille so that people could actually access them. And honestly, I’m not surprised. Disability sectors from all around the country have been calling out NDIS for being incompetent AF, and that’s on top of fuck ups like these.
Now of course, the intentions of NDIS aren’t necessarily the problem. We need quality disability support, that actively engages and includes its participants in the help that they need. However, NDIS hasn’t been doing a great job of actually implementing that. In fact, one journalist even reported that the WA leader in the disability sector called it a “clusterfuck” and the “worst rollout of a social program I have ever seen in my life.” Mega Yikes.
The University of Sydney published a report called Mind The Gap in 2018 that revealed people with psychosocial disabilities are struggling to access the scheme. NDIS is supposed to cover around 64,000 people with psychosocial disabilities, which is way below the government estimated amount of people who need it – roughly 240,000 people.
Flinders University also released a damning report showing that a third of participants felt that they weren’t better off under the new system. As reported by ABC, National Disability Services chief executive Ken Baker said that considering the amount of funding NDIS had received, it should be more accessible.
Criticisms by participants have said that NDIS hasn’t been approving services that they really need.
A QLD family caring for Aaron (their quadriplegic son w cerebral palsy) have been DENIED NDIS funding for a wheelchair ramp & bathroom modifications to enable him to access his home & his aging parents to bathe him. #NDIS #Auspol #QLDPOL@ScottMorrisonMP @AlboMP pic.twitter.com/8c2G0T8y6N
— 💧Carly Woodstock (@stopthefrack) 29 June 2019
This point has been echoed all around the health sector. A psychologist, who didn’t want to be identified as she works for an NDIS provider, says she refused to get NDIS registered because she “felt like they have no idea what they’re doing.”
“Different service providers ask for different things, so there’s just no consistency. They’ve made the approval process really difficult,” she said.
Bri, a 20-year old participant of the plan, also felt they were not up to scratch.
“Even though I’m vision-impaired, I get sent letters with normal sized print which is really difficult to read. The NDIS plan is a good idea, but I don’t think it’s executed very well. There doesn’t seem to be much communication between them or their representatives and the clients.”
Another participant said NDIS denied her daughter hearing aids.
My tech-obsessed 6yo is being upgraded to @CochlearAsiaPac Nucleus 7 and couldn’t be more excited. It’s like Xmas 😊
“I’m the bionicest of bionic! I have ALL THE BEST TECHNOLOGY 🎉
— Belinda Barnet (@manjusrii) 1 July 2019
Obvs, we don’t expect NDIS to be perfect. But we sure as hell expected it to be better than this. Hopefully, actually sending letters to vision-impaired people in an accessible way is the first step to a much more accessible and better planned scheme, cause right now it’s not looking great.
Image Source: ndis.gov.au