Three community organisations have welcomed the launch of a new partnership with the Queensland Government to identify and engage more people with disability who may be eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
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 invaluable insights from the perspective of a person with lived experience of disability.
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.
QDN Chief Executive Officer Paige Armstrong congratulated the state government on the partnership, which will ensure Queenslanders who are eligible for the NDIS are supported into the scheme.
“Queenslanders with disability have been telling us how overwhelming it can be to apply for the NDIS for the first time,” Ms Armstrong says.
“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 says 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.
QDN, QCOSS, ADA Australia through ATSIDNQ look forward to working with local communities, organisations, leaders and partners to help more Queenslanders access the NDIS.
Paige Armstrong, QDN CEO (07) 3252 8566
Mark Henley, QCOSS CEO (07) 3004 6903
Geoff Rowe, ADA Australia CEO 0474 774 273
QDN is an organisation of, for, and with people with disability with over 2000 members and supporters, providing information, feedback and views from the lived experience of people with disability.
QCOSS is Queensland’s peak body for the social service sector. For 60 years, we have been a leading force for social change. We believe that every person in Queensland – regardless of where they come from, who they pray to, their gender, who they love, how or where they live – deserves to live a life of equality, opportunity and wellbeing.
ADA Australia is a not-for-profit, independent, community-based advocacy and education service with more than 25 years’ experience in supporting and improving the wellbeing of older people and people with disability. ADA hosts the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Qld (ATSIDNQ).