People with disability in hospital and aged care now able to move home with support from the NDIS.

The Summer Foundation welcomes the decisions made on Friday by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council for the NDIS to fund a range of disability-related health supports.

This means that the NDIS will now fund essential supports that were previously falling between the cracks of the NDIS and Health system interface.

When these supports were not being funded by the NDIS or health systems, people with disability were stuck in hospital and aged care as the only locations where these supports could be accessed.

The change will deliver a significant difference to the lives of NDIS participants with complex health and disability support needs. It will enable many younger people stuck in aged care or hospitals to return back to their communities.

The Council decided that the NDIS will fund disability-related health supports where the supports result from the NDIS participant’s disability and are a regular part of their daily life. Some examples include respiratory and continence supports, supports to manage epilepsy, pressure wounds, swallowing difficulties, and podiatry.

The Council also agreed to a Hospital Discharge Delay Action Plan that will address NDIS-related issues to promote timely discharge of NDIS participants from public hospitals. People with disabilities who are stuck in hospital are at risk of being forced into aged care facilities because of the lack of timely housing and support options.

The Summer Foundation’s CEO, Luke Bo’sher, commended the Council and the NDIA for these decisions.

“The decision to fund disability-related health supports under the NDIS will go a long way towards addressing major gaps that people with high and complex disabilities are experiencing when trying to access essential supports,” Mr Bo’sher said. “This will enable many more people to maintain their health and live in the community.

“We know that 50 young people with disabilities are admitted into aged care every week. These improvements to the NDIS will help people with disabilities to avoid being forced into aged care facilities because their disability-related health needs will finally be addressed by the NDIS.”

An initiative announced today will help Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) providers understand their obligations in delivering high quality services to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants.

The Specialist Disability Accommodation Quality and Safeguards Education Initiative will see the Summer Foundation develop education resources and deliver training to registered SDA providers.

The initiative will also develop resources to support SDA-funded participants to understand their responsibilities as their own SDA provider, which is an option under the National Disability Insurance Agency’s SDA Framework.

The NDIS is transforming the lives of people with disability, including their housing choices. SDA funding under the NDIS is a radical new approach to ensure that people with disability have housing options that suit their needs. SDA payments to participants help the housing market deliver high quality SDA housing.

But there are important ongoing obligations to being an SDA provider. These are set out by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, which will provide safeguards against poor practices by SDA providers, ensuring NDIS participants can enjoy their right to well managed housing and choice and control in their lives.

The initiative will help SDA providers to build their knowledge of the commission’s requirements and obligations and educate SDA provider organisations about the importance of consumer choice in the provision of SDA. The initiative will feature the voices of NDIS participants to illustrate quality and best practice.

The Summer Foundation has developed strong expertise in the developing SDA market, and looks forward to working with NDIS participants and key industry stakeholders to deliver this important education initiative.

The funding for this initiative is part of the national Support for NDIS Providers Program, and is one of 10 grants announced today by the Minister for the NDIS, Stuart Robert, as part of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s new four-year $17.6 million investment in building capacity among NDIS providers.

Joint Statement from the Summer Foundation and Youngcare

Announcements today about reforms to the Specialist Disability Accommodation Framework for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) have been welcomed by the Summer Foundation and Youngcare.

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The Australian Government has announced a review of the NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) framework.

This is an important opportunity to tell the government what parts of the SDA system are working well and what needs to be fixed. You can read the Summer Foundation’s statement on the SDA framework review here.

Alternative format (Microsoft Word) available here.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) presented its latest policy position for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) in a statement to the provider and investor market on 24 April.

People with disabilities and developers of innovative housing for people with disabilities are pleased the NDIA has reiterated the government’s commitment to SDA in its SDA Provider and Investor Brief. The NDIA has confirmed that the SDA funding model is here to stay.

However, the NDIA’s SDA Brief expresses a vision for SDA housing with a clear bias toward shared models of housing for people with disability, presumably to reduce support costs. This is unacceptable. You can read our joint statement here (A Rich text format is available here).

You can read the Summer Foundation’s summary of the SDA Brief here.

Research released today further demonstrates the urgent need for action to ensure the coordinated delivery of disability and health supports to young people with complex disability who are eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The report, Considerations for National Disability Insurance Scheme Design, also highlights the urgent need for further investment in a wider range of models of housing and support for NDIS participants.

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In 2015, The Summer Foundation launched three new reports that document the lessons learnt from developing our housing demonstration projects. Through these projects we want to demonstrate how well designed, well located, affordable and adaptable housing combined with smart home technology and appropriate support can improve quality of life, increase independence and decrease lifetime care costs for young people with disability.

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#MyHomeMatters is a call for solutions to the issue of young people with disability living in nursing homes.

The Summer Foundation’s work over the past eighteen months has seen an increasing number of young people with disability and their family members lend their voices to the growing call to resolve the need for young people to live in nursing homes.

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