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Candid interview with NDIA CEO: Independent assessments and more

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) CEO Martin Hoffman has opened up about where the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is heading in an exclusive interview with Summer Foundation Policy Manager and disability advocate, Dr George Taleporos.

In the candid 45-minute interview for the latest episode of the Summer Foundation’s Reasonable and Necessary Podcast series, Mr Hoffman says: “[The NDIS] is trying to do 2 things – at the one hand, something really big, half a million participants, a lot of money, but right across Australia.”

“We’re [also] trying to do something……. which is about each individual participant, each individual person getting supports for them to live their best possible life.”

He reveals that the assessment process that is currently being examined in a national pilot might be very different from the process that will be put in place after legislation gets through Parliament. 

Dr Taleporos, who participated in the assessment pilot, emphasises the need for assessors who know and understand the person they are assessing and who have the appropriate background and experience.

He says, “[The independent assessor] didn’t know me from a bar of soap and the complexity of my needs are very hard to capture by a stranger who hasn’t had the history of knowing me… There is a real benefit in having practitioners involved who know the person who can give the agency a clear understanding of what a person’s needs are.”

Mr Hoffman responds by stressing the importance of a consistent and independent process and says the NDIA is considering the questions and options put forward by the sector.

He also states that, “the way we have done it for the pilot… Won’t be the way we do it in the future. We need to think about ways to have checks and safeguards that information is accurate, is giving a fair picture of the person, of their needs, of their capabilities and then we go and use it to make a decision.”

The Summer Foundation and other disability organisations are keen to work with the NDIA and contribute to consultation on all proposed changes to the NDIS. We are eagerly anticipating the release of the findings from the independent assessment pilot.

The interview is a must see for anyone who wants to better understand what’s in store for the future of the NDIS. It also includes insights into upcoming NDIA board appointments.

The Future for the NDIS interview can be accessed on the Summer Foundation’s ‘Reasonable and Necessary: Making Sense of the NDIS’ podcast series web page at: summerfoundation.org.au/resources/reasonable-and-necessary-podcast-series/

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