The National Disability Insurance Scheme: Towards a Paradigm Shift for Disability Services?
On July 1, 2013 the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)1 was officially launched in five trial sites across Australia, including South Australia where it is being made available to eligible children. The NDIS is a universal insurance scheme funded from general government revenue as well as a nominal increase to the Medicare levy. The NDIS implements a personalised approach to funding disability supports. Until recently, it has been the established practice for government to provide funding to a range of disability support services (alongside which also operate some private services). People eligible for government assistance accessed the supports that were offered by these services as they became available. In the new scheme people are given the opportunity to manage their own funding and, in this way, it is hoped, the opportunity to purchase the things that they actually need, rather than make restricted choices from a narrow pool of available services.