With recent announcements about the roll out of the NDIS, we thought it might be a good idea to have a quick chat to Tracey Millan , Manager of our Early Intervention and Disability Services
Q: Now that the Government have announced the NDIS rollout plan for Victoria when will Windermere’s consumer base be impacted?
A: The majority of our consumers are in the South East Victorian region which includes the Cities of Greater Dandenong and Casey and the Shires of Cardinia and Baw Baw.
From the information released so far it seems that it could take eligible consumers up to 12 months to enter the NDIS program because of the phased roll out - Baw Baw Shire is scheduled for 1 October 2017 and Greater Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia are 1 September. But the areas around our service region will transition earlier and we will be able to offer NDIS funded services to consumers living in those areas as the plan rolls out.
For those consumers who currently participate in State or Federal programs, it’s important to understand that those programs will continue until you start your NDIS plan.
Q: Does this mean that Windermere does not need to change until 2017?
A: No, we’ll be ready long before our programs officially transition to the NDIS. Actually, for a number of years now, Windermere has already been providing individually funded services to consumers funded under existing Individual Support Package or DSS funded programs. So we already have well developed systems to support consumers who choose to purchase support using their individualised funding. Obviously we continue to review and improve these services and systems to ensure we can effectively support the increasing numbers of consumers who will receive individual funding.
We also have consumers who had already transitioned into NDIS (as arranged by NDIA) before moving into our area. Because we are already a registered Disability Service Provider in Victoria, we have also submitted an application to the NDIA to become a registered provider of NDIS supports which means we will be able to offer services under the NDIS framework should any consumers choose us after they have transitioned.
Q: So how is Windermere preparing for the transition and how will it communicate these plans to its consumers?
We are in regular contact with the NDIA and peak bodies such as National Disability Services and Early Childhood Intervention Australia. As more information becomes available we will definitely share this with our consumers via this newsletter, on our website and through information sessions when appropriate.
We have also formed a project team to ensure our readiness including being able to provide advice and assistance for anyone who has concerns about how a move to the NDIS might affect them. As I mentioned previously, we already have experience providing some fee for service options for consumers with access to individualised funding through ISP or DSS programs so we’re sure that will assist us to ensure a smooth transition.
Finally, we have two Consumer Consultative Committee’s - co-ordinated by the Disability team at Narre Warren and the team at Warragul - that work with consumer groups to ensure our services and systems meet the needs of you, our consumer.
Q: When can we next expect to hear about the change – and who should I ask if I have a question?
More information is due to be released by the NDIS before the end the year. If you have questions about the roll-out timeline or scheme design, just ask your worker (or visit the NDIS website www.ndis.gov.au) however at this stage there is still a lot of NDIS detail that has not yet been released. We will include additional information as it becomes available through our newsletter and our website www.windermere.org.au.