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Able and Deadly: unlocking the NDIS

Able and Deadly: unlocking the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a major social reform which gives people the power to choose for themselves who supports them. While this is a positive change, the evidence shows some vulnerable groups haven’t been able to access the services to which they are entitled.

 

Baptist Care SA’s Able and Deadly program provides NDIS education to the community and helps ‘hard to reach cohorts’, including homeless and/or Aboriginal people access its services. It is one of just two programs like it in the country, and works with up to 50 people at a time.

 

The need is great; one quarter of people with disabilities live beneath the poverty line[1] and a staggering 45% of Indigenous people are living with impairments or long term health issues[2].

 

Deb Francis is a Kaurna-Narungga woman with over 25 years of experience in Aboriginal engagement, recruitment and cultural awareness training.

 

 ‘Mainstream policies do not work for the ‘hard to reach cohort’ and this is proven by the limited participation rates,’ Deb explains.

 

To empower people and increase engagement,  the team created a culturally appropriate, and more flexible, case management framework that can be used by others, particularly when working with ‘hard to reach’ groups.

 

Additionally, to educate people about their choices and the control they have over them, a booklet is being developed to help them to identify their needs and goals. Participants will be able to take this tool into pre-planning meetings, helping to ensure that their voices are heard.

 

All program activities are approved following cultural advice from the Able and Deadly Advisory Group; comprised of senior Aboriginal community services leaders and community members with lived experiences of having a disability.

 

For more information, contact the Able & Deadly team on 0437 975 410 or 0438 679 460.

 

[1] ACOSS 2013 Poverty and Disadvantage Report
[2] ABS The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2014-15, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4714.0