National Disability Services' Disability and Diversity conference was held recently in Alice Springs.
The conference provided the opportunity for people to reflect on the lessons from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trial sites. The conference program included a session on what the NDIS can learn from rural and remote health. Gordon Gregory made a presentation and there was then a panel session facilitated by Angela Teasdale from the NDS staff in the Northern Territory.
The panel session featured Sarah Brown from Purple House in the APY Lands of Central Australia; Georgia Zogalis from Settlement Services International; and Bill Baird from the Centre for Appropriate Technology.
The NDIS trial in the Barkly region has provided the NDIS with preliminary information about challenges for the scheme in remote areas. The National Disability Insurance Agency, which is responsible for the NDIS, is to be congratulated on the flexibility it is clearly showing. There are still challenges to be met in rural and remote areas if, as expected, the NDIS is to transform the lives of people living with a disability.
The NRHA is looking forward to its continued involvement with the NDIA. It will do what it can to see that the Scheme becomes operational and effective in more remote areas as soon as possible.