In February 2014, the Summer Foundation commenced the NDIS Connections project to find young people in residential aged care (RAC) in the Hunter NDIS trial site and support them to register, prepare and implement their plan. In May 2014 this program was extended to the Barwon NDIS trial site.
The NDIS Connections project officers work with the NDIA, RAC staff, families, friends, and service providers. They visit RAC facilities in the NDIS trial sites to proactively find people under 65, provide information about the NDIS and then support them and their families to engage with the scheme. Young people who are currently in RAC are also linked to opportunities for alternative housing and support.
The NDIS Connections project has given us an opportunity to work progressively through the barriers and challenges identified with the support and assistance of local area coordinators and planners within the NDIA. While many of the challenges can be predicted as the disability system adapts to the new insurance framework of the NDIS, presentation of the direct evidence we have collated from our NDIS Connections project is enabling us to influence changes to improve the system before it rolls out nationally.
For further information on the NDIS Connections Project please read NDIS Connections: Project findings and proposed solutions (updated November 2016).
In June 2015, the NDIA provided a grant to the Summer Foundation through the Community Inclusion and Capacity Development (CICD) program to fund a series of activities and deliverables that address the initial findings of the action research.
This project is the result of our collaboration with the NDIA and will include a number of complementary activities that will focus on ensuring young people with disability can better access the NDIS to get the support and services that meet their needs.
By connecting young people in RAC to the NDIS, people have received much needed equipment, allied health assessments, one on one support to access the community beyond the walls of their aged care facility and participated in person-centred planning – often for the first time in their lives.
The major hurdle in the way of resolving the issue of young people in nursing homes remains ahead of us – there are simply not enough alternative housing and support options available.
For further information on the NDIS Connections Project please contact:
Tom Worsnop – 0417 557 748 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Barwon NDIS Trial Site Contact:
Joanna Stewart – 0438 333 007 or at email@example.com
Hunter NDIS Trial Site Contact:
Rebecca Pockney – 0418 115 850 or at firstname.lastname@example.org