If the National Disability Insurance Scheme is to be an effective policy for Indigenous Australians, it needs to take into account their particular needs and aspirations.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is one of the major policy innovations of the early 21st century in Australia, representing a new way of delivering services to people with a disability and those who care for them. It has the potential to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, giving them greater certainty and control over their lives. There is a higher incidence of disability in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population than in the Australian population more generally, so the NDIS is of particular relevance to Indigenous Australians. However, Indigenous Australians with a disability have a very distinct age, geographic and health profile, which differs from that of the equivalent non-Indigenous population. Furthermore, the conceptualisation of disability and care in many Indigenous communities, particularly in remote areas, may differ markedly in comparison to more settled parts of the country, and there is the added complexity of a unique history of interaction with government. In considering these issues in detail, this Research Monograph provides a resource for policy makers, researchers and service providers who are working in this important policy area. Its major conclusion is that the NDIS, if it is to be an effective policy for Indigenous Australians, needs to take into account their very particular needs and aspirations.