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In 2020, COVID-19 brought significant disruption to the way NDIS and many disability support services were offered. The NDIS made a number of changes to assist participants to stay safe and ensure they were able to continue to access their essential services and supports, including offering planning consultations (over the phone or internet based video conferencing) and plan extensions of current plans (for up to 24 months). Many NDIS funded supports (including consultations with allied healthcare clinicians) also transitioned to remote service delivery via telephone or video over the internet.
In collaboration with the University of Melbourne, the NDIA conducted a national survey to investigate the experiences of NDIS participants, or their family members/carers, when accessing allied healthcare supports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This research was done through an online survey. 2,391 NDIS participants, family members or carers across Australia took part in the survey.
The findings are presented in two parts:
What the survey found:
From this research we have learnt much about the NDIS and how to better support participants and providers during emergency responses. These findings were used to help support decisions we make around what COVID related initiatives we will keep for the future and our proposed reforms to the NDIS planning processes, which aim to further enhance participant choice and control, such as continuing with the flexible approach to plan review meetings and the possibility of having plan durations of up to three (3) years.
Due to the continuing risk of COVID-19 in the Australian community, the NDIA extended some of the support measures and mechanisms place to support providers (both registered and non-registered) to ensure supports are continued and have been working with other government agencies, states and territories to share and discuss initiatives to ensure we respond to issues in the future.