Fairer NDIS For All held a great forum, very informative with excellent speakers, on 19 June. Read on to understand why this matters, and then sign the petitions at the bottom of this post.
The forum speakers were Damian Griffis, First People’s Disability Network, El Gibbs, disability activist and award winning writer, and Lloyd Williams, National Secretary from the Health and Community Services Union. Speakers covered why we can’t rely on the market, the privatisation of the NDIS, the commodification of disabled people’s needs, and what it would look like to have a people centric disability system.
NDIS users experience disrespect, denial of needed support, poor quality, and institutional control of their lives. This is much like the experience of people using other support services, including aged care, early childhood education, and employment services. The government has created markets so that corporations can profit from what should primarily be about care and meeting needs.
Particularly importantly – the forum brought together NDIS users, including First Nations representatives, with workers in the sector represented by the Health And Community Services Union. This is an example of the solidarity that LIFE is trying to develop amongst working class people, especially those not represented by the union movement. We want to end the government’s outsourced for profit model of services, and replace it with fully publicly funded, well-staffed and community responsive services. For profit provisions undermines the very purpose that care and support services should have, respecting the personal needs and autonomy of every single user.
The government is currently seeking to stop NDIS users and applicants from having their needs assessed by their own health practitioners who know them, and to impose so-called independent assessments by a third party. This is reminiscent of changes to workers’ compensation over recent decades, in which external assessors have more incentive to deny entitlements than to approve them. It is this that has galvanised people to set up the The Fairer NDIS, a group of disability activists, NDIS participants, and workers concerned about the introduction of independent assessments to the NDIS.
Their demands are:
1. Stop independent assessments
2. Free medical and allied health services for people applying for the NDIS
3. Stop privatisation and expand public disability services
4. Scrap the NDIA’s staffing cap
5. All data from the first IA trial of Nov 2018 – April 2019 to be made public.
Watch the 19 June forum here. (It start at 2 mins 30 secs in).
There are 2 petitions you can sign in support.