AFDO developed “Disability Loop” to be the “go-to” place for NDIS news, information, resources and events.
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Welcome to Disability Loop eNews for Winter 2020. We hope you are keeping well and connected with friends, family, and good support. Here you will find recent news about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and helpful NDIS-related resources either from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) or from other organisations.
New SDA Rule allows people to choose who they live with
An update to the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Rule came out this month with an amendment to a key section.
The SDA Rule now allows people to share an SDA property with people not eligible for SDA (or NDIS). This means people can live with their partner, children, or friends, regardless of whether or not they have a disability.
These changes to Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) rules mean that couples will be able to share a bedroom where they choose to do so, and children will be able to share a room with their parents or siblings. You can find more information atmore choice and flexibility for SDA.
These documents currently have unindexed price limits based on price limits for 2019–20. The NDIA will soon publish the updated price limits that apply from 1st July 2020, as these depend on the outcome of the Fair Work Commission decision on minimum wage rates.
Disability in the Bush A new web-based app has been launched to empower people with disability in remote Indigenous communities to understand the NDIS and make their own decisions.
The Disability in the Bush app uses plain language and culturally relevant information, plus video stories of people with disability in remote communities.
The app explains who is eligible for the NDIS and what supports they can access. It is available in English, Arrernte, and Pitjantjatjara.
This free app was created by Interplay and Ninti One, and funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency. You can visit Disability in the Bush at:
Priority supermarket home delivery
We wanted to remind you, home delivery as a priority service is available for anyone with an NDIS package. This means, an NDIS participant can purchase grocery items online and can have them delivered to their home. If you are an NDIS participant, you should have received an email or a text with an NDIS delivery code. You can use this code online to receive priority delivery from your supermarket. More information can be found on the NDIS website at Priority Home Delivery Services.
NDIS Coronavirus information in different languages
You can find information about changes to how the NDIS works during the COVID-19 pandemic in a number of different languages atNDIS information in 12 languages.
Purchasing low-cost Technology during COVID-19
The NDIA has made various changes to their policies relating to purchasing technology to help participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. This temporary flexible approach for low-cost assistive technology (AT) items have been made so participants can continue to receive NDIS funded supports and services during the COVID-19 restrictions.
Participants should work with their existing providers to discuss the best way to receive services and supports while maintaining physical distancing – this may include:
using available technology
developing exercise programs that you can do at home, or
borrowing equipment and keeping in touch over the phone.
One important thing to note is that NDIS funding cannot be used for smart phones, smart watches or tablets with mobile connections (e.g. 3G or 4G connection).
These arrangements will be in place until September 2020 and will be reviewed in July 2020.
Update to Urgent Assistive Technology Repairs
To make sure participants can access urgent repairs for their Assistive Technology (AT) supports even when they don’t have funding in their plan, the NDIA National Call Centre can now provide authorisation for funds over the phone.
Repairs and maintenance of AT is included in a participant’s NDIS budget where they are funded for AT supports. If there is no funding available for an urgent repair, the NDIS National Call Centre can provide an authorisation number over the phone to ensure participants can access the support they need and providers are paid appropriately.
Repairing AT damaged in a natural disaster will be classified as an urgent repair. This extends to hiring a replacement item where needed (e.g. the AT is destroyed or significantly damaged) until a more permanent solution is available.
Online access to the Access-Request and Supporting Evidence Forms
To better support people with disabilities to apply to the NDIS while maintaining physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDIA have made their Access Request Form (ARF) and Supporting Evidence Form available for download at NDIS how to apply information.
Potential participants can also continue to apply to access the NDIS by:
Contacting higher risk participants to ensure supports continue
The NDIA is contacting NDIS participants who, because of their health care needs or other circumstances, may be at greater risk of not accessing their usual support services during COVID-19. About 10% of their calls have been unsuccessful in reaching people and so they have been following up with participants via other communication methods.
The NDIA will try to always contact the participant in the first instance. However, a number of participants have identified an alternative preferred contact such as a family member, nominee, advocate, guardian, Support Coordinator, or other person. If the NDIA is unable to contact you after multiple attempts, they will try to contact you via email or letter, depending on your preferred communication method.
NDIS Information Packs
The NDIA are developing information packs for NDIS participants, families, and carers to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These packs take information that is often available in different places and pulls that information together into a single resource. There are specific information packs focusing on key topics and for different situations. The packs are available on the Information Packs page of the NDIS website.
The first of these packs to be made available was Early Childhood Early Intervention for children aged 0 to 6 years old. In the pack is useful information about:
the planning process
using your supports
low cost assistive technology
childcare and school
Since then, additional information packs have been added to the NDIS website which include:
Protecting yourself and the NDIS
Low cost Assistive Technology (AT)
Applying for the NDIS
Mental health and well-being
Every Australian Counts message about NDIS and CoronaVirus
AFDO is one of four organisations that make up the National Disability and Carer Alliance (the Alliance) which is the organisation behind Every Australian Counts. Below, we share a message from our Every Australian Counts Campaign Director, Kirsten Deane on the NDIS and CoronaVirus.
"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 sometimes the info on the NDIS website can be a bit hard to understand. So we’ve been putting your questions together and sending them to the NDIA for answers.
We held a huge online Zoom forum with Scott McNaughton from the NDIA a few weeks ago. That was followed by an interview with the man at the top – NDIA CEO, Martin Hoffman. There were a lot of big announcements on things like iPads and devices, grocery delivery fees, access to PPE, and much, much more. You can check out their answers on our website.
We have introduced a special section on our website to cover all things NDIS and Coronavirus. There is NDIS and Coronavirus FAQ page and a Resource page where we have pulled together plenty of great resources and tools from all around the web.
And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our emails for quick explainers on NDIS changes as soon as they come out."
Updates from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission have updates, alerts, frequently asked questions, and lots more information on their website. They also have provider alerts and communications to make sure NDIS providers deliver safe supports and services to NDIS participants. You can find all this information and more resources on COVID-19 on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website.
10 steps to excellent NDIS therapy reports - Videos
VALID has adapted their “10 steps to excellent NDIS therapy reports guide” into 10 Easy Read videos. The Easy Read videos were developed by the VALID Inclusion Point team.
In addition to helping allied health professionals, the videos can also be used as an information source for NDIS participants, families, Local Area Coordinators, and Support Coordinators when they are requesting therapy reports, or to determine whether a report is of a high standard. You can watch the videos and access the documents on the 10 steps to excellent NDIS therapy reports on the VALID website.
NDIS Disability Accommodation Webinar
In May, MyCareSpace held a webinar titled Disability Accommodation and the NDIS where the two panellists started to really shed some light on this complex and often misunderstood topic. You can now view the recorded Disability Accommodation and the NDIS webinar at your convenience at any time.
Useful NDIS related links
Are you finding it difficult to find information on the NDIS website? Here are some links related to the NDIS website that you may find useful.