Disability organisations will share nearly $2.9 million to boost the disability workforce.  A total of 21 projects would receive grants of up to $200,000 under the first round of the Innovative Workforce Fund as part of the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

The variety of projects funded under this round are a testament to the innovation and ingenuity of Australia’s disability sector, Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Jane Prentice said.  “These include exploring virtual reality to give disability support workers training to deal with complex challenges and encouraging Indigenous Australians to consider a career in disability support.” 

National Disability Services chief executive, Ken Baker said support for new ways of engaging and deploying workers is extremely important.  “The NDIS demands that we not only scale up the workforce but create more personalised and productive workforce arrangements,” he said. 

“To ensure a fair process, we established an independent advisory group, including academics, disability support providers, peak bodies for people with disability, carers, the mental health sector and the National Disability Insurance Agency. The 168 applications we received in the first round of the fund contained an impressive variety of workforce solutions to current and future challenges,” he said. 

Applications for the second round of funding are being considered with the successful projects to be announced in the near future. ‘With another $1.1 million in grants for round two, we will seek to complement round one projects and fill any potential gaps,” the Minister said.

To learn more about the NDIS go to: www.ndis.gov.au or call 1800 800 110.