Kelly Vincent – Vision Australia Interview on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

On Wednesday 26 October, Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent was interviewed on radio station Vision Australia to discuss Dignity for Disability’s views on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Here is the transcript and audio from that interview.

Pam Green: Time now to welcome to 5RPH, Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly

Vincent. Hi Kelly.

Kelly Vincent: Hi Pam.

Pam Green: Well there’s a lot going on around the National Disability Insurance Scheme, or the NDIS, again Kelly. I know you made a statement last week in relation to the composition of the NDIS Board – can you tell us what Dignity for Disability’s position is on this?

Kelly Vincent: Certainly. Well now that there’s going to be something of a renewal of the board, we think it’s a really opportune time to actually get some specific positions in there on that board for people with disabilities particularly people receiving services through the NDIS. Frankly it’s an absolute outrage that this hasn’t already happened, given that the NDIS is all about servicing people with disabilities, it is vital that there be positions for us on that board so that we can have our feedback and opinions about the scheme taken very seriously. But it’s also really important that it’s just not tokenistic positions and that there are a variety of people with disabilities from different backgrounds on the board as well.

Pam Green: And your office has been inundated with calls this week about people up for reviews of their child’s or young person’s plan this week. What’s going on with that?

Kelly Vincent: Well because of delays caused by the Myplace portal fiasco when the portal was changed over, which I know we have talked about before Pam and the pressure on the NDIS to move 35 new 0-14 year old participants onto the scheme every weekday in this final quarter of the year. There certainly have been some delays with reviews and this has of course led to significant anxiety and service gaps for families especially for children and young people and access to therapies and supports. So there certainly have been delays that aren’t acceptable but we’re hopeful that they will be rectified.

Pam Green: I understand there was a resolution of sorts brokered by your office last week – what does this mean for South Australians that are current participants in the NDIS that have been anxious about losing services?

Kelly Vincent: Well Pam, my office spoke to the national director of the National Disability Insurance Agency, Jo Wickes last night and an official communication will be provided to all participants and providers tomorrow, as I understand it – once official communication is approved. But for now I can provide you with the following information which is to ensure that the initial transition period will not impact upon existing plans and support. The agency is going to extend plans automatically, so if you are eligible and you have a plan that plan will be extended automatically during this period so you don’t need to worry about delays to review and this will occur for any who’s plan has already expired, or is about to expire or will expire before November 30 of this year. So plans will now be extended for at least 3 months and this will be confirmed at a later point. But some people shouldn’t be surprised by the extension if it’s by 6 months. This will ensure that there is no interruption in services and that providers will be able to claim and be paid for the services that they provide. Also to ensure that participants in the scheme continue to have their funding available as well. So extensions of plans will occur so people don’t need to worry about their plan if it has already expired or is coming up to expire, there is a procedure in place to manage that.

Pam Green: As always thanks for your time today Kelly

Kelly Vincent: Thank you Pam. I’ll let you know more as I know more.