Cate Blanchett is the voice of Nadia, an online character giving information about the NDIS. An online virtual assistant, Nadia can write and chat while answering questions about the scheme.  The concept was led by the National Disability Insurance Agency and its Technology Authority with the aim of breaking down communication barriers that have traditionally existed for people with disability, an NDIA spokesperson told F2L.

During the first 12 months of the ‘trainee’ stage.  Nadia will be learning on the job with over 400 people with disability agreeing to be part of her training crew. Nadia has been trained to understand nearly 9,000 questions already, using real questions asked by current and future NDIS participants. The more Nadia interacts with people, the faster she learns and the more questions she is asked the better she gets at providing answers and solutions, according to the NDIA.

Once fully operational, Nadia will help participants fill out forms, access alternative providers and complete assessments via the myplace provider portal. Participants will still have the option to speak to the agency, by phone or at the NDIS site offices.

The design team behind the reference group comprised people with disability, carers, advocates and technology entrepreneurs, and involved people across disability types including autism, quadriplegia, vision impairment and cerebral palsy.  The technology authority bought together people with disability, and experts from Australia, New Zealand and the United States for the project.

The NDIA approached the actress seeking her involvement in the project for taking on the voice of Nadia which took over 20 hours of recording.