The industry is preparing for changes that the NDIA will have on their business, according to David Sinclair.  The Assistive Technology Suppliers Australasia (ATSA) executive officer was speaking to F2L following an update on the NDIA to ATSA members and assistive technology providers in Sydney and Melbourne recently.  The next update will be held on the Gold Coast on April 19.

And just how is the industry responding? It comes down to being prepared for a consumer-driven market as opposed to a contracted-based market, Sinclair said. Most suppliers worked previously under state-based or federal-based contracts but now under the NDIA it is the consumer-based market where the participant is the buyer of the goods.  “The consequences of that means organisations need to aware of the complexities of the assistive technology market in the context of the ACCC and Fair Trading legislative requirements due to the shift,” he said.

“Understanding the fundamentals of the NDIS legislation will greatly assist the industry as it works through the roll out. The NDIA is learning and developing its procedures to create a successful support for the participants.”

Questions from the audience included key issues relating to human rights and within the framework of NDIS, NIIS and Age Care Reforms and how this has changed the approach by government in the funding of supports to the Australian community.

The key points Sinclair raised in the presentations were around the often-misunderstood meaning of the application of the provision of equality. “It is better to view it as providing an equitable result to the individual, that it is not a one size fits all but a tailored solution for each person.”

Sinclair said there was also confusion in the market place as to the role of Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) providers and Local Area Coordinators (LACs). Sinclair said these two bodies are an important source for participants in the scheme that provides information and support.

Local Area Coordinators (LAC) interface between participants, the NDIA and mainstream services, while Information, Linkage and Capacity building (ILC) is a source of information and referral to appropriate services, community and mainstream services for the participant.

Sinclair also discussed the need to look at the changes as a “new” business environment and for suppliers to re-look at their market and their value proposition going forward.