Autism Spectrum Australia

Anniversaries and NDIS

  • Posted: 03/07/2014
  • Author: Thomas Kuzma
  • Comments: Loading.. .


Greetings readers, fancy seeing you here! Welcome back to Aspire. What’s been on the ropes this week? I got a Wii U and Mario Kart 8, binge watched Breaking Bad and struggled to get past the first level in Abe’s Exodus with my friend Rae.  I also celebrated the anniversary of meeting Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg by watching The World’s End.

I’m not the only one who is celebrating an anniversary this week. This anniversary is unlike mine, which contained a movie about a pub crawl and science fiction.The one I am talking about is the first anniversary of the NDIS. The National Disability Insurance Scheme has helped out many people with disabilities over the past year. As we come to the first anniversary, the question on our minds is should we be celebrating or taking stock? Let’s find out.

A Professional Opinion

With the great amount of courage and exuberance I decided to talk to grand master John Kelly about NDIS and its role in the world of autism. Here is what he had to say

“As we pass the first anniversary of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) there is a great deal to consider in regards to this scheme’s success and evolution. There have been obvious glitches and this is to be expected with a new system but I am still confident that the NDIS represents the best opportunity to implement a consistent National approach that will give people with a disability greater choice and control in the support they receive. The NDIS has established a new way of providing individualised funding that is based on the level and frequency of support that is considered reasonable and necessary. Reasonable and necessary takes into account support that enables people to reach their goals and aspirations in a range of areas; including education, employment, social participation, independence and health and wellbeing.

“The main focus is to increase the social and economic participation of people receiving support. We are strong supporters of the NDIS because we believe that families and individuals with autism will have greater access to the supports they require to lead active lives. The approach adopted by NDIS mirrors the work we do at Aspect as all our services are geared towards providing the best opportunity for people with autism to engage and participate in everyday life.

“Early information from the trial sites indicate that 6,434 people have registered and are eligible to receive support, out of this group 5,414 people have an approved plan and $177.8 million of support has already been committed with an average annual package per person valued at $34,000. We have heard anecdotally that people with autism are one of the largest groups registering for support and NDIS planners are working to increase their knowledge about diagnosis and support that will be most useful and effective in allowing people to engage within their community. We are actively involved in the Hunter launch site and enjoy a positive and collaborative relationship with the local NDIS office.

“Staff have visited our programs and sought information on the range and types of support that are most useful for people with autism. It is fair to say that over the first twelve months mistakes have been made and for every positive story there has been a counter negative story experienced by families and individuals seeking support.

“However, we must all keep in mind that the trial sites have been established as a way of informing practice for the ongoing roll-out of the scheme. Individual experiences and learnings from each trial site will be used to inform the ongoing development of the scheme and improve processes and decisions.”

My Two Cents

If you asked me about NDIS and disability support pensions a few years ago, I would have said I don’t need it: give it someone in a direr situation than me. Today I think much differently. Anyone with a disability, whether they are autistic, deaf, dyslexic or have any other disability, needs to have more support through systems like the NDIS. There has to be money for medication, therapy, equipment and/or carers.

There are things we all live on that we need to purchase, things that help us function throughout our day. To deny someone basic resources is inhumane. To take money away from someone who may need it for medication, even if it might be for a small period of time, would be to deny them a resource they need.

However, what we need to remember is that this program has provided Australia with a lot more for those who are disabled. It has bettered the lives of many people who are struggling to make ends meet and helped support plenty of non for profit organisations so that they can provide a service to the people.

In Conclusion

Now, I know what you’re thinking, what a serious topic from such a funny guy. Don’t fret; I will be back flipping back into your funny bone faster than the Power Rangers. Don’t worry, I won’t be wearing spandex.

Every story needs to start somewhere. NDIS’s story began last year and as it has recently turned one, we can see some changes have been made in its current short lifespan. I am sure in time it will grow into a fantastic resource for anyone that has a disability.


Until next week folks, enjoy your Cornettos like David Attenborough likes making documentaries about gorillas! (last week’s riddle)

Today’s riddle? I thought you would never ask!

I am Gems, plants, clothes and jelly

They say I am poisionous, living and envy

I can be seen wherever you go

Even viewable from space, crazy, I know



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Anniversaries and NDIS