The government has collaborated with the disability sector to make the NDIS more accessible for people from all cultural and language backgrounds.

The Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CALD) Strategy 2024-2028 is designed to improve the NDIS experience for the estimated 60,000 participants from CALD backgrounds, including the Deaf community.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) worked closely with the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) and an Expert Advisory Group of 32 organisations, to develop the strategy. Over 800 voices from the CALD community shaped the strategy, providing the NDIA with feedback, lived experience, ideas, and stories.

The strategy proposes to implement 28 actions over four years with specific actions including:

  • Providing better guidance to planners to improve their understanding of the supports and needs of CALD participants, and to make sure planning processes are culturally appropriate
  • Review and update processes for NDIS meetings with interpreters (including Auslan) to improve communication approaches such as options for longer meetings, preferred or required interpreters and in-person interpreting services
  • Working with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to enable more culturally appropriate services
  • Identifying, developing and supporting activities from community organisations that promote awareness of the NDIS (including eligibility) and reduce stigma around disability in CALD communities
  • Researching, identifying and publishing new data on participants from CALD backgrounds to enable better evidence-based decision making by NDIS staff, partners and the sector.

The strategy incorporates findings from the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability and feedback from the NDIS Review. The NDIA has also developed an Action Plan to measure the strategy’s progress and feedback from CALD communities.

There are 85 translations of the Strategy and its Action Plan, including Auslan and Easy Read versions.