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Opinion: Why a personal approach makes all the difference

2 min read

The NDIS is the biggest overhaul to the disability system in 30 years, and with budget shortfalls, significant changes required, and the NSW July rollout coming up, tension is rising.

A focus needs to remain on how the NDIS will impact the quality of life for the individuals it is meant to serve.  While the basic mechanics of the NDIS is all about the individual, we need to ensure those with disabilities have a voice in deciding how they live their life.

 A change is needed

The system, as it is now, is dysfunctional, which can be heartbreaking when you know the people affected. For instance, under the current system, there are long, unnecessary delays in order to access urgent health services, causing undue stress to the people we support, their carers and families. Under the NDIS, health requirements would ideally be factored into the individual’s support plan, enabling access to practitioners who could respond in a timely fashion and eliminating the anxiety experienced by families over the care their loved one is receiving.

 A Person Centred approach is critical

Flexibility and listening to clients must now be embraced by disability service providers. The industry must practice Person Centred Planning (PCP), which puts the individual at the centre of their life, giving them the power to make decisions about their care and life in general.  The benefits of a Person Centred approach are seen in the quality of life that people with disabilities enjoy, the increase in community involvement, and peace of mind for families.

The structure of disability service providers will be shaken up by the NDIS and this can be a confronting issue to deal with. Right now there is not a lot of differentiation between providers, but with a more individualised funding approach, providers have the opportunity to innovate and adopt a more Person Centred approach to care.

This is actually something Windgap has been doing for a long time, and something we really pride ourselves on. Through the development of unique programs such as Making Airwaves and Life After Work, we have endeavoured to deliver on some of the unique suggestions of our clients.

In fact, Making Airwaves, a program centred on giving a voice to those that traditionally have been given less opportunity to speak, was the product of listening to a service participant who had a real interest for the radio world. It took some hard work and some additional resources, but to know we are giving our clients something they really want is a great feeling.

The NDIS presents an incredible opportunity for the industry to put the needs of people with disability first, rather than working out how to deal with a patchwork system that is clearly broken. It’s been a long time coming so let’s hope this becomes the reality.

 About Windgap Foundation

Windgap Foundation was established more than 60 years ago by a group of parents who had been denied schooling for their children. In this time it has supported thousands of people with intellectual disability to reach their full potential with programs such as supported employment, supported accommodation, training, community access and community participation.

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Serhat is a highly energetic senior executive with extensive General Management and Finance experience both locally and internationally. Highly developed strategic, commercial management and leadership skills, with strong professional services industry experience gained in the IT, Healthcare, and Disability sectors.


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