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Choice and control: will NDIS reforms mean people with disability don’t get to decide who they live with?

A young man with disability waters his garden.

Source: The Conversation – Di Winkler and Jacinta Douglas

The Summer Foundation CEO, Dr Di Winkler and La Trobe University’s Professor Jacinta Douglas ask questions around the NDIS Review recommendations in their latest article for The Conversation Australia + NZ. Specifically, they raise questions around how potential reforms could risk taking away choice and control from people with disability and raises the possibility they may be denied the option of choosing where they live, and with whom.

While some of the proposed legislation will see improvements for people with disability, there are risks with some recommendations.

“Policy makers have wrongly assumed people with disability need to live together for there to be efficiencies in the system and their supports… Forcing NDIS participants to share with others instead of allowing single-occupancy dwellings located together has the potential to drive up support costs and perpetuate violence and abuse.”

The current housing and support model does not incentivise disability support providers to support people to become more independent or establish a user-driven market. Better data around housing and support needs and preferences would inform NDIS policy to incentivise new user-led services.

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