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All the latest about Coronavirus and NDIS

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It’s a worrying, uncertain time at the moment. And while we know everyone is juggling so much we just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that we are still here and we want to do whatever we can to try and help everyone get through this incredibly challenging time.

So here’s what we have been doing.

First of all, we have joined people with disability, their families, organisations, advocates, researchers and experts in health and disability in calling on the government to urgently develop a targeted plan to make sure people with disability are safe and get the help they need in the coming weeks and months. (You can read that statement our website.)

And all this work is starting to see some results. Yesterday Disability Ministers from all around the country met for the first time since the pandemic was declared.

The Ministers heard about all the planning that is currently underway by the National Disability Insurance Agency, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the Department of Health.

They agreed the priorities would be:

  • Making sure people with disability have access to critical health services such as Telehealth and personal protective equipment
  • Making sure NDIS participants get the services they need by increasing flexibility in the ways NDIS funds can be used
  • Putting plans in place to make sure there are enough workers to support people
  • Putting plans in place to make sure there are enough services for people

(We’ve got a summary of what they talked about on our website. If you want to read the official statement you can find it on the Disability Reform Council webpage But be warned – it is full of bureaucratic gobbledegook! )

We can also tell you that the Minister for the NDIS Stuart Robert and the Minister for Social Services Anne Ruston have been speaking to organisations that represent people with disability over the last few days to talk about what needs to be done – and that includes us here at Every Australian Counts. We were able to tell Minister Robert, the NDIA and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission about the things that we have been hearing from you over the last few weeks.

We are obviously really glad planning is underway. But there is no time to waste. The situation is urgent. So we will keep the pressure on to act fast. And if we need your help to do that we will let you know – so stay tuned.

Getting Your Questions Answered

At this really uncertain time good clear information about what is happening with the NDIS is absolutely critical.

We know everyone has heaps of questions - and up until now the information has been a bit slow in coming.

But over the last couple of days the NDIS website has been updated with lots more info – we strongly encourage everyone to check it out. And keep checking back because things are changing fast – you need to make sure you get the very latest.
We are also talking to the NDIA about the questions you are asking us and sharing answers when we get them.

But because we know sometimes the info on the NDIS website can be a bit hard to understand (!) we have also set up a dedicated Coronavirus page on the Every Australian Counts website. It includes not only info about the NDIS but other helpful tools and resources to help you get through the coming weeks and months.

At the moment it is just a page but over the next week we will add new features to help make sure you have what you need in one spot.

But we also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter because that is where we are able to share news and info much more quickly.

We are dropping everything else

Because of the challenges we are all facing, we have hit pause on everything else we usually do.

We have postponed all our upcoming Make It Work forums including the online forum which was to begin next week.

We have done that because we just need to focus on making sure people get what they need during this really difficult time.

But we promise you when this is through we will get straight back to work on all the issues that matter most to us – getting the NDIS working the way it should.

One last thing…

This is a worrying time for everyone. We are a community of people with disability and their families and those who support them. We know many people in this incredible community are particularly vulnerable and that can be scary.

But we also know something else about this community. That when we all work together we are powerful.

We came together to fight for the NDIS – and won. Now we all need to come together to help us get through this challenge. This is one group of people who know how to get things done.

So while we all have to keep our physical distance from each other, we will find other ways to come closer together to look out for one another. It’s the only way we are going to make it through.
And just remember - it may feel like it at times but you are not alone.

 



Source:
Kirsten and the Every Australian Counts team, 2020, Every Australian Counts (https://everyaustraliancounts.com.au/about/)

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