ABOUT 80 people attended a community forum at Stanhope Gardens to discuss the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
People with a disability, their families, carers and local service providers questioned Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas and Federal MP for Greenway Michelle Rowland for about an hour last week.
Margaret Meaker, general manager of The STaR Association and mother of a 14-year-old girl with disability, was one of many parents at the forum who voiced their strong support for the scheme.
“The NDIS will enable my daughter to be provided with the support and resources she needs to lead a valued and dignified life in an inclusive community,” Ms Meaker said.
Ms Rowland said the forum gave the community a chance to have their say on what they want from the scheme.
“The NDIS will give all Australians the peace of mind to know that if they have or acquire a disability that leaves them needing daily assistance with everyday life, or if they care for someone who has a severe or permanent disability, they will be supported,” she said.
She said by 2018-19, more than 140,000 people with disability in NSW alone would benefit from the NDIS.
Senator McLucas said the scheme would deliver the biggest reform to the disability sector that Australia had ever seen.
“It will fundamentally change the way we support people with disability, their families and carers,” Senator McLucas said.
“This year, the National Disability Insurance Scheme will become a reality for thousands of people with disability, their families and carers in select locations across the country.”
Under the NDIS, people with disability will:
• work with local people to identify their plans and goals for the future;
• be assessed to receive individualised care and support packages;
• have decision-making power about their care and support, including choice of service provider; and
• access a system they can easily navigate that links them to mainstream and community services.