The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has made a positive difference in the lives of more than 55,000 Queenslanders with disability. However, there are many more eligible Queenslanders who have not yet applied for the NDIS, particularly those in regional, rural and remote regions in Queensland, and for many people experiencing additional complex challenges such as homelessness, release from correctional facilities and juvenile justice. We also know that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from Culturally and Linguistically diverse backgrounds and children in Special Schools are not accessing the NDIS.
The Targeted Outreach Project is specifically targeting people with disability who traditionally fall through the gaps in our service system, to help them access the NDIS. This program is a partnership between Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia (ADA Australia) who host the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network Queensland (ATSIDNQ), and the Queensland Government (funded through the Australian Government).
The program will help people with disability better understand the supports the NDIS can provide them. It will give them access to free and practical individual support to apply for and join the NDIS through the regional Assessment and Referral Teams (ART). Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors have small, multi-disciplinary ART who provide intensive case management to support people with disability transition to the NDIS access process, from start to finish.
As key partners in the program, QCOSS will engage with and promote the program to our networks, who will help us identify people with disability who have not yet accessed the NDIS. Local organisations know their communities best, as they are already working hard to support vulnerable people. QCOSS will work with local organisations, who already have the knowledge and understanding of people within their communities, to identify people with disability who may be harder to reach, or who have additional challenges accessing NDIS requirements.
The project is currently being delivered online and over the phone.
The project’s Phase 1 regions included Fraser Coast, North Burnett, South Burnett, Gympie, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay. As Commonwealth funding is time limited, from 23 April 2021 QDN and ART will no longer be accepting referrals from these regions. The teams will be moving into new regions to help others get on the NDIS.
Phase 2 regions include Townsville, Bundaberg, South and Central Queensland.
Phase 3 of this work continues and will stretch across the regions of Cairns, Mackay and Mount Isa and the broader North Queensland region. The team will continue to rollout to other locations across Queensland during 2021 and 2022.
If you know someone who:
- may be eligible for supports through the NDIS?
- might be vulnerable, isolated and needing support – especially in the current environment of COVID-19?
- needs extra help with getting their paperwork together for an NDIS Access Request?
- has applied to the NDIS and had their access request denied, but thinks the decision is wrong
- needs a functional assessment for their NDIS access request, but may not have the money to do this?