Podcast of The NDIS – One Year On: Spotlight NDIS

17, July, 2017

17 July 2017

To mark the first anniversary of the national roll-out of the NDIS, Pro Bono Australia’s Wendy Williams looks back at the highs and lows of the last 12 months, and whether the scheme is on track to deliver on it’s promise in a podcast entitled The NDIS – One Year On.

The episode, produced by Wendy Williams and Rachel McFadden, features:

  • Maryanne Diamond, the General Manager of Community Linkages and Engagement at the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
  • Minister for Social Services Christian Porter
  • El Gibbs,writer and disability advocate
  • Natasha Hudson, founder of Coforte Consulting, assisting organisations affected by the NDIS
  • Fran Connelley, founder of FC Marketing and The NFP Accelerator Toolkit and author of How to Thrive Under the NDIS
  • Ken Baker, the Chief Executive at National Disability Services.


List to the podcast The NDIS – One Year On.

*Information sourced from Pro Bono Australia.

NDIS Price Guide 2017 – 18 Released: Spotlight NDIS

17, July, 2017

NDIS logo

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released the prices for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funded supports for the 2017-18 financial year.

As has been the case in previous years, service values in participant plans will be adjusted automatically in the system to match the new prices.

This adjustment will be made in the coming weeks. The indexation of participant plans will be backdated to 1 July 2017.

Key changes to maximum prices include:

  • 4.5% increase for daily activity and community participation supports
  • 1.9% increase for capacity building supports
  • 2.1% increase for capital-related supports
  • No change for therapy services.


For further details, see the NDIS website news or access the 2017-2018 Price Guide for NDIS service providers in the Pricing and Payments section.

Outcome of NDIS 2017 Price Review: Spotlight NDIS

28, June, 2017

28 June 2017

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has recently conducted their annual review of price controls for services and supports. Based on a range of sources, including 82 submissions that were made to this review, the NDIA has approved changes to pricing in the following areas of support, which will take effect from 1 July 2017.

  • 4.5% increase for ‘Daily activity and community participation’ supports (4.5 per cent)
  • 2.1% increase for Capital-related supports
  • 1.94% increase for Capacity building

SBS News has reported (Concerns NDIS pricing could hit quality, 12 June 2017) on concerns expressed by National Disability Services (NDS) that these increases are not adequate.

In addition to the increases that will take effect on 1 July, the NDIA has commissioned an independent pricing review, to be undertaken by McKinsey & Company, in order to address the wide range of issues that were raised during the 2017 Price Review, and to gain a deeper understanding of the key dimensions of pricing for the Scheme.

The CEO of the NDIA, David Bowen, has sent a letter to service providers detailing the outcomes of this Price Review, which can be read here.

Breakthru Workshops: Spotlight NDIS

28, June, 2017

28 June 2017

breakthru_logoA leader in their field, Break Thru have been offering specialist employment, community participation and training programs for over 23 years. Workshop details can be found via the links below:

Drawing on their extensive experience in the delivery of NDIS services in transition sites, Breakthru has designed two workshops – Bringing A Plan to Life, and Coordination of Support, to provide guidance to local businesses looking to successfully engage with NDIS participants, and to assist other service providers in understanding the opportunities and challenges associated with the implementation of NDIS.

Productivity Commission Releases Position Paper on NDIS Costs: Spotlight NDIS

14, June, 2017

14 June 2017

On Tuesday 14 June, the Productivity Commission (the Commission) released its position paper on National Disability Insurance Scheme Costs. The Commission invites written submissions in response to its position paper. Further information on how to provide a submission is included on the study website.

The final report will be prepared after further submissions have been received. To view the position paper and participate by making a submission on the position paper, visit the Productivity Commission’s webpage on the study.

Submissions on the position paper are due by Wednesday 12 July 2017.


NDIA Announces Independent Pricing Review: Spotlight NDIS

14, June, 2017

13 June 2017

NDIS logo


Image of David Bowen, NDIA CEOThe National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), CEO David Bowen has released the outcomes of their annual pricing review, and announced their decision to undertake an Independent Pricing Review in a letter to providers.

Bowen revealed that two opposing views had been expressed during the review, namely that ‘some providers argued that existing prices do not allow adequate recovery of their costs, impeding their ability to make a return and acting as a barrier to market growth. On the other hand, some participants argued that providers are overpricing supports in some categories’ (Bowen 2017).

Bowen also stated that ‘given the wide range of other issues raised in the FY2017-18 Price Review; the Participant and Provider workshops; and the Productivity Commission submissions, the NDIA is immediately implementing an Independent Pricing Review which will be undertaken by McKinsey & Company’.

The terms of reference for the Independent Pricing Review were included in Bowen’s letter and information about how to engage with the review will be forthcoming.

For full details, please read David Bowen’s letter to providers.

NDIA Commits to a New Integrated End-to-End Approach to the NDIS: Spotlight NDIS

13, June, 2017

13 June 2017


The Participant and Pathway Review was the result of the NDIA’s recognition that the NDIS processes and systems during the transition to the full scheme in July 2016 were not of consistently highs standards.  It has involved consultation with participants, providers, peak disability bodies and other stakeholders from all States and Territories to determine what improvements are required and how they may be achieved.

The aim is to implement a new integrated end-to-end approach that will include:

  • a greater outcomes-focus throughout a participant’s life
  • more active involvement with communities
  • more face-to-face communications
  • fewer participant transfers
  • an easier to navigate portal
  • a more responsive call centre experience
  • significantly improved interactions with providers and disability organisations.


In this statement, NDIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Bowen warns that this new integrated approach will first be tested thoroughly, with staff retrained, systems implemented and communications improved significantly. All of this will take some time.

He also reassures participants that there is no policy directive to cut the amounts of supports in plan packages.

For further information, read the full Participant and Pathway Review Statement.

NDIS Interpreter Process Update

6, June, 2017

6 June 2017

Amparo Advocacy logoSWITC (Support with Interpreting, Translating and Communication) is a fee free interpreting and translation service open to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) that are funded by Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and providing services to people with disability.

Whilst SWITC is primarily for the Department’s clients, AMPARO Advocacy has been advised by the Department that NDIS participants and their providers in areas of the state that have transitioned, can still access SWITC until 30 June 2019.

*Information provided by AMPARO Advocacy.

NDIS Glossary of Terms Now Available in Easy English: Spotlight NDIS

6, June, 2017

6 June 2017

NDIS logo

There are a range new terms and phrases that will be important for you to know as you work with the NDIS. The NDIS Glossary is now available in Easy English to help you learn about important terms and key phases.

For further information, visit the NDIS Fact Sheets and Publications webpage or download the Glossary of Terms Easy English.

Choice, Control and the NDIS: Spotlight NDIS

5, June, 2017

5 June 2017

Choice, Control and the NDIS report imageThe report from a research project, funded by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne, has been released, entitled Choice, Control and the NDIS: Service users’ perspectives on having choice and control in the new National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The study explores the experiences among people living with disabilities, and family members providing care and support to people with disabilities, in the NDIS Barwon trial site has been recently released.

The authors found three key issued emerged from the study:

  1. Choice and control
  2. Complexity and efficiency
  3. Equity.


Some issues noted include:

  • Participants’ expectations and experiences of the NDIS appeared to be strongly influenced by their circumstances.
  • A reliance on professional opinions, and inconsistent measures of what was ‘reasonable and necessary’ was fuelling concerns among some participants.
  • Potential for choice and control in accessing services was closely tied with being able to access and assess varied information and this clearly disadvantaged some participants.
  • Potential for choice and control in designing care packages and accessing services was also linked to capacities for self-managing funds.
  • Generally, participants described complex service systems, challenges accessing and understanding a volume of information and difficulties navigating administrative requirements.


For further detail, read Choice, Control and the NDIS: Service users’ perspectives on having choice and control in the new National Disability Insurance Scheme