New partnership to connect more Queenslanders to the NDIS

A new partnership with the Queensland Government has been launched to identify and engage more people with disability who may be eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).


The partnership is between Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia (ADA Australia) and the Queensland Government and will target people with disability who are yet to apply for the NDIS, particularly those living in rural and remote regions in Queensland.


The Targeted Outreach Program was launched in Maryborough this week with Minister for Disability Services, Coralee O’Rourke MP, state Member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders MP and the program’s ‘local champion’, Mark Farrell, who will provide insights from the perspective of a person with lived experience of disability.


QDN Chief Executive Officer Paige Armstrong said, “Queenslanders with disability have been telling us how overwhelming it can be to apply for the NDIS for the first time.


“The partners will work with local community groups, organisations and leaders to identify, reach out and support vulnerable and ‘hard to reach’ people who may need additional assistance to access the scheme.”


Individuals identified by the partnership will then be connected to the Queensland Government’s new Assessment and Referral Team for further support in their NDIS journey.


QCOSS CEO Mark Henley says the partnership will harness the success of QCOSS’ place-based approach, supporting people where they live and building the capacity of local communities.


“We want to build on the strength of local community organisations and voluntary groups who are already working with people who may be eligible, but may need more support with their transition to the NDIS,” Mr Henley said.


“When people have a voice in their communities, we see outcomes that benefit everyone. The NDIS helps communities to grow and thrive through increased social and economic participation, as well as workforce growth.”


ADA Australia CEO Geoff Rowe said this work is important in addressing some of the key barriers people have raised, particularly around cultural and location responsiveness.


“This approach shows the government is listening and the NDIS is taking steps to improve access for everyone in Queensland, including people with disability from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds,” Mr Rowe said.


13 February 2020.