Griffith at the centre of NDIS discussion

Professor Lesley Chenoweth

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

The event, on Monday 3 February, will bring together people with disabilities, their families and carers, economists, government policy planners, academics and disability researchers 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, the scheme 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 the implementation 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 on for decades, but there is no doubt this is a difficult and expensive reform as well, so there is pressure on all aspects of the sector to get it right,” said Professor Lesley Chenoweth.

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

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

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

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

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

“We want to help the State create the best and most cost-effective system to assist people with disabilities reach their potential and provide a greater contribution to the national economy. The NDIS goes well beyond provision of care; it will also cover issues of 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