QAI made a submission to the Department of Social Services regarding the proposed changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and the introduction of the Participant Service Guarantee.
QAI supports the underlying intention behind many of the proposed reforms. The move towards improving participant outcomes, reducing ‘red tape’, and increasing the flexibility of the scheme is extremely welcome. Overall, many of the changes are positive. However, the drafting could be improved to ensure consistency in practice and certain changes represent a missed opportunity to realise the transparency and accountability that supposedly underpin the Participant Service Guarantee.
Increasing the discretionary powers of the National Disability Insurance Agency, whilst facilitating greater flexibility on the one hand, begins to erode the choice and control of participants on the other. This must remain at the heart of the scheme if the NDIS is to remain true to its original purpose; to support the independence of people with disability and ensure their full inclusion within society.