A new channel to improve participants and providers experiences has been launched by the NDIA. It includes measures to enhance the understanding these groups have following their first contact and ongoing engagement with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). These include improving access and communication as well as ensuring the right supports and outcomes are available to participants. Central to the new approach is the delivery of face-to-face involvement for all NDIS plans based on individual preference. This has resulted in an increase in the number of plans being developed.

Key features of the new pathway include a stronger focus on the broader system of supports for people with disability that includes other government services such as health, education and transport and ensuring information is presented in clear, consistent and accessible formats. NDIS portal and tools are being improved too with more straightforward processes available to reduce administrative costs for providers.

NDIA chief executive, Rob de Luca, said the new pathway was the result of feedback from participants and providers that their experience was not meeting expected standards. He said the initiative will be progressively piloted and tested over the coming months before being rolled out nationally.

In other NDIA news, there will be an increase in price limits for short term accommodation (STA) support effective from October 30, 2017. The changes are a result of reports that the current price limit is not sufficient in many circumstances, particularly as they apply to those with more complex support needs.  An updated price guide will be published on the NDIA website and the changes communicated to providers and participants.