I had the privilege this week to represent Tulgeen at the annual National Disability Services CEO Meeting held in Melbourne this week. National Disability Services is our industry’s peak body. An intense agenda with many speakers including politicians, departmental representatives and industry leaders reflected on the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and included the good the bad and the ugly! To quote Ken Baker, Chief Executive NDS “the NDIS is the right destination, but the current operating environment is impeding the development of a vibrant and diverse and sustainable sector”. There were many success stories shared to lift the general mood of the conference from one of frustration to one of hope.
What was made very clear to me is that when working well the NDIS definitely provides improved choices and opportunities for people with disability and their families if all parties work together in a spirit of collaboration.
Conference attendees were given a lot of opportunity to voice concerns from providers, advocate perspectives. Though issues like under funding, portal problems and poor communication between departments remain significant ‘bumps in the road’ it was important to hear that the issues are across all States and no issues were ‘unique’ to the Bega Valley. All parties are working hard to improve the systems and communications to enhance the experience of both clients, advocates and providers.
There was also a lot of information about the commencement of the BuyAbility campaign led by our peak body National Disability Services. In 2017 there will be a national launch of this strategy to encourage both public and private sector businesses to harness the social and economic benefits of purchasing goods and services from Australian Disability Enterprises. This initiative will support the ongoing need to maintain opportunities for people with disability or other social disadvantage to continue to participate in supported employment.
The NDIS journey is all about building relationships, Tulgeen with you our clients and customers, with Commonwealth and Local Governments, Local Area Coordinators, NDIS planners and other Service Providers. The take home message for me is that we must all work together to achieve the best outcomes for clients, families and providers.
TDS in collaboration with our clients, advocates and new customers continue to rise to the challenge, and we are here to support you as much as possible through the processes. Let us know what you need and we will do the best to support you. The following link will take you to the ‘State of the Disability Sector Report 2016’ launched at this conference, it is an interesting read. https://www.nds.org.au/images/news/sods2016/State_of_the_Disability_Sector_report_2016.pdf
Jen Russell, CEO – 8 December 2016