Planning for success: Developing an NDIS plan
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is currently rolling out across Australia. With the NDIS in place, Australians living with disabilities below the age of 65 will be entitled to support designed to promote social development, connectivity, confidence and general wellbeing.
Participants entering the NDIS for the first time will take part in a planning discussion with a member of the operation. The purpose of this meeting is to identify challenges facing the participant and build a comprehensive support plan that will help them thrive. Every person living with a disability has unique needs, so it’s vital that a plan is custom-built to their situation and they have choice and control over it.
Preparing for your planning discussion
It pays to prepare for your planning discussion to ensure that you’re able to clearly communicate your needs – or the needs of your nominee – and that nothing gets missed. Covering all of your bases will help you get the best outcome from your NDIS plan.
Things you may want to consider before your planning discussion include:
- Your community and mainstream supports. You’ll likely be asked about your personal details as well as the community you have around you. Understanding what kind of support you already receive will help to identify weaknesses that the NDIS can assist with, and empower those in your life to continue helping you.
- How you manage everyday activities. The nature of your daily tasks, as well as your comfort performing them, will help determine the best option for support. If you’re unsure what’s important to mention, spend a day noting what you’ve done and how you’ve felt about it to get an idea.
- Your goals. The NDIS’ key focus is helping people with disabilities to achieve to their maximum potential. For this reason, your goals will affect which supports are funded by the NDIS.
All of these things will be considered in assigning your funding and building a plan for lifelong success.
Setting goals for the NDIS
Goals are one of the most important parts of your NDIS plan. This is because for a support to be funded, it needs to be linked to an outcome described in your plan.
You might not be sure what you want from the future, and that’s okay – your plan will first focus on your short-term goals, giving you time to consider what’s ahead. Discussing goals with your friends, family and carers is a great idea and can help you understand your own feelings.
It can also help to start by thinking about what’s important to you. Maybe you like to attend certain group activities like book club, or feel you want to improve how you communicate. From that, you can determine what your goal should be. Using the book club example, a relevant goal might be to go to more community events like it. Based on that, you and your planner can identify what supports you need to achieve that goal, such as transport from a care worker.
Other goals you might consider include:
- Staying safe in your home,
- Increasing your confidence in the community,
- Improving your independence.
Managing your NDIS plan
Another key question in your planning conversation will regard the management and budgeting of your NDIS plan. You’ll have the option to put the execution of your plan in the hands of a registered plan management provider, the NDIS, a trusted person or yourself.
Self-managing your plan gives you complete control over the funds provided to you. You will be responsible for requesting and paying the invoices related to supports you have received through your plan. You’ll also get to choose your own support providers, including those not registered in the NDIS.
It’s important to know that you’ll still be required to use any funding to assist your journey to achieving your goals, and you’ll need to inform the NDIS of how your supports and budgeting are helping.
Choosing to self-manage can be a great idea if you feel confident to take on more responsibility, as taking control can help you feel empowered.
Even if you aren’t self-managing your plan, you’ll always have the control to choose which supports you receive and who provides them.
For assistive technologies designed to help you achieve your goals, work with Tunstall. We’re committed to finding the right solution for our clients, one that supports their independence and gives them the confidence to live life to the fullest. Discover how we can help you develop a tailored NDIS support plan.