How disability support services are preparing for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Queensland.

This is the focus of the fourth Griffith University-led NDIS symposium where people withdisabilities, their families and carers, service providers, government personnel,academics and disability researchers, will come together to share knowledge andexperiences around the core elements of the NDIS.

From 1 July 2016, the NDIS scheme — a generational reform which aims to deliver a national system of disability support focussed on the individual needs of people with disability – will be progressively rolled out in Queensland with completion due by 30 June 2019.

The event, on April 20 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, follows the success of the university’s previous three Symposia in 2014 and is themed ‘What does good support look like? Beyond qualifications and pay rates’.

Dr Margaret Ward from the university’s School of Human Services and Social Work will be discussing research which has compared the issues for support workers within both traditional and user-directed services, in meeting the goals of the NDIS.

“We surveyed a range of Queensland service providers including a small cohort which has already been succeeding in using the new process which allows for individuals to design and direct their own support service.

“I was delighted to find that all participants within the study, both traditional and user-directed, are committed to the principals of the NDIS and agree that a process of user-directed service can be adopted by most services if they address some basic challenges, such as having a focus on the person and having a good match between them and the support worker.”
Additionally at the symposium, Griffith’s Dr Donna McDonald will be discussing what new service users think of user direction, while Dr Michael Kendrick will talk about the future of disability support and the relationship between people with disability, their families and the staff that they employ.

“We really hope that the symposium will assist people with disability and their families to understand the process of user-direction and use this to guide their decision making,” says organiser and Head of Logan campus, Professor Lesley Chenoweth.

“Griffith has built a great reputation over the past year in engaging with the NDIS issues at a deeper level. This particular symposium will see everyone from researchers and suppliers to the Minister for the Disabled and families, coming to the table to move things forward on these crucial questions. The more people think about the NDIS and how it canbest work, the better the outcomes will be for people with disability and their families in the future.”

What: The NDIS symposium, hosted by Griffith University in partnership with the Community Resource Unit and Queenslanders to Disability Network.
When: Monday 20 April, 830am-4pm
Where: Boulevarde Level, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank (enter from Grey Street, South Brisbane).
For more information, see
Media are invited to attend with interviews available on request.