It’s been a decade since the NDIS was launched with four trial sites, however an interim report from a NDIS review has identified areas where the scheme needs to improve.

Among these was difficulty getting access to the NDIS, that once completed is complex and stressful with not enough supports for people with disability outside the scheme. There is also a lack of clarity about what is considered ‘reasonable and necessary’ support.

The report found that early intervention for children is not based on best practice and not enough support is built around families to help children participate in their local community. The NDIS ‘markets’ are not working for all participants as the current approach relies too much on competition.

Better measurement of outcomes and performance would go a long way to helping participants make informed choices and keep providers and government accountable to ensure the scheme remains sustainable.

The role of ‘intermediaries’ such as local area and support coordinators, early childhood partners and plan manager overlap, leaving gaps that are confusing. There has also been little innovation in housing and the supply of specialist disability accommodation does not always meet the needs of participants, the report said.

NDIS Minister Bill Shorten said the NDIS is the best change that politics has delivered in the 21st century, with more than 600,000 participants in the scheme, “but we need to use what we’ve learned to make it better”.

A final report will be delivered in October.

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