Griffith at the centre of NDIS discussion

Professor Lesley Chenoweth

Griffith University will be hosting a one day symposium on the National DisabilityInsurance Scheme and possible issues around its implementation.

The event, on Monday 3 February, will bring together people with disabilities, theirfamilies and carers, economists, government policy planners, academics and disabilityresearchers to share knowledge and experiences around the core elements of the NDIS.

The symposium will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.Gradual implementation of the NDIS around Australia began in 2013. From July 2016, thescheme will be progressively rolled out in Queensland with completion due by July 2019.

A key focus of the Griffith symposium will be major issues already emerging from theimplementation of the NDIS and how the scheme might be improved.

Massive reform

“This is a massive reform and something the disability community has be campaigning onfor decades, but there is no doubt this is a difficult and expensive reform as well, so thereis pressure on all aspects of the sector to get it right,” said Professor LesleyChenoweth.

“Changing the ways in which people with disability and families obtain the supports theyneed brings with it all sorts of benefits and pressures and some of those include areassessment of service delivery models,” she said.

“We want to make sure the disability community has an informed voice at the table in thedevelopment of those services and that the professionals have the required skills todeliver.”

Griffith will begin delivering courses in disability studies at the Logan campus for futureworkers in the disability sector in February. It is expected the NDIS will require thousandsof trained workers for the 2016 implementation.

Griffith has been researching issues affecting people with disabilities for more than 25years and program convenor Dr Donna McDonald believes the university andQueensland may be uniquely placed to make the best of the NDIS.

“Sometimes there are benefits in coming last and Queensland may be able to benefitfrom the experience of others by avoiding some of their mistakes and pitfalls,” said DrMcDonald.

“We want to help the State create the best and most cost-effective system to assistpeople with disabilities reach their potential and provide a greater contribution to thenational economy. The NDIS goes well beyond provision of care; it will also cover issuesof access and acceptance by the greater community,” she said.

“It’s a very exciting time, as long as we get it right.”

What: The Griffith University NDIS symposium
When: Monday 3 February, 9am
Where: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre