Last week Wallara held 3 NDIS Info forums in each of our key hub areas – Mornington Peninsula, Dandenong and Pakenham – for Wallara families and about 140 attended. I was so glad our Board Chair David Willersdorf could join us for the Dandenong session, which included 3 interpreters, and hear firsthand from carers how they are feeling about it all and see the effort the Wallara team is making to prepare them for the phone call from the NDIA and planning meeting. Our Management team have created a planning document (NDIS Plan) that we recommend families complete to ensure they have all the info they need for their interview.
According to the rollout schedule most of our carers are not scheduled to be called by the NDIA until late this year and mostly in 2018, but we know 5 clients have been called early already and so it’s time to start preparing.
There were some excellent questions at each forum which we did our best to answer and we are gathering all the questions and answers and will post it to our website. A newsletter about NDIS issues is also being produced for our families to keep the info flowing to them.
But here are a few of the most common things which came up at each Forum:
Any Wallara family can call our Intake team for a 1 on 1 meeting to help them complete their NDIS Plan
- Families can request a Wallara staff member join them for the NDIA meeting to help ensure all the key info gets provided to the NDIA.
- There are 460,000 people to be covered by the Scheme and you must be under 65 to be eligible. So far 61,000 have been processed (ie about 15%) so there is a long way to go.
- In Victoria the roll-out will take 3 years and by the end there will be approx. 100,000 Victorians covered by the NDIS.
- Everyone is treated individually, but so far 95% of families who have been through the process are happy with the outcome.
- The funds in the system have doubled to $22Billion so many clients are receiving larger funding packages.
- Some planners try to do the Plan over the phone but we advise clients and families to have a face to face interview.
As CEO I was very proud of my team and the effort they have made to prepare our families for the NDIS. But as a father of a child with an ID myself who will be covered by the Scheme, I very much understand the anxiety our families and carers have about it all. I am using the Wallara NDIS Plan document for my own preparation so when I get my phone call I will be ready.
We will be holding another round of forums in June to build on what we covered in this first round and our team looks forward to helping all our families along their NDIS journey.