10370 – Individual submission
NDIA Planners and Local Area Coordinators need to improve their communication skills and have better communication with NDIS participants. When a participant calls the NDIA contact centre on the 1800 number the person at the contact centre who answers the call does not answer any questions the participant asks them, NDIA Planners do not call participants back when they have promised to call participants back with an update to let participants know if they need to provide further information or not, Local Area Coordinators do not contact participants to let them know an update and progress to where everything is currently at, a participant who has had their planning meeting in September and has been waiting for sometime to receive a call back that was promised by the Local Area Coordinator and NDIA planner after the date of the planning meeting is not contacted within a reasonable timeframe, participants could have been waiting 5 weeks since the planning meeting was held and still no communication from the NDIA planner and Local Area Coordinator, a participant could have already left several messages with the 1800 number and no matter how many weeks they have been waiting there is still no call from the NDIA planner and Local Area Coordinator with a simple update on whether there is sufficient, comprehensive and relevant information for what the participant has asked for to be funded without the participant having to go and get further evidence. It makes it impossible for participants to know where they stand, what they need to do if anything or if they don’t need to do anything further and if it is all good. Participants do not know what information needs to be provided in the report, letters and other documents if NDIA Planners and Local Area Coordinators do not let participants know what information participants need to provide. A planning meeting that I had recently with the NDIA planner I mentioned to her that I need orthotics the NDIA planner would not add the orthotics into the upcoming plan and said “I can’t give you an answer right now I can’t say yes and I can’t say no I will contact enable and seek advice from my colleagues”. I asked the NDIA planner “How will I know if I need to provide anything further for my orthotics to be funded”? The NDIA planner responded and said “I will contact you and let you know after I have spoken to enable and spoken to my colleagues to seek further advice”. It has now been 5 weeks this Thursday 17th October since the planning meeting was held and still there has been no communication from the NDIA to let me know where everything is at and whether I do need to provide further information or not. A lot of work was put in before the planning meeting to make sure the planning meeting runs smoothly with a lot of documents and pre-planning information provided to the NDIA to let them know the importance to get the plan right and the NDIA planners and Local Area Coordinators cannot provide a simple update to participants within a reasonable timeframe without participants waiting several weeks this is not correct and it is too long for the participant to be waiting. Participants do not need to know when there plan is approved that further information needs to be provided this is too late to let participants know that further information is required participants need to know before the plan is approved that they need to provide further information for their orthotics to be funded or anything else that the person requires, what information the NDIA exactly needs for their orthotics and other things to be funded, who does the participant need to gather the information from whether it is a physiotherapists, podiatrists, GP, Occupational Therapist, Psychologist, Surgeon etc. Unless this information is provided and the exact information on what the NDIA needs then participants have no idea what to mention when they see that relevant person so that relevant person knows what to write in the report, letter or document. TAFE’S, Universities and Private Colleges need to be funded under the NDIS education is so important for people with disabilities and without education being funded under the NDIS both schools, tertiary, Universities, TAFE’S and Private Training Providers/Private Training Colleges people with disabilities will not have an education as at present it is all “buck passing between department of education, department of industry, state and federal government”. No one is taking responsibility for funding education the money for education continues to be cut back every year and TAFE’S are struggling to get students enrolling in Courses at TAFE to be able to deliver nationally recognised qualifications at all levels and in different career industries. There is no note on the NDIS plan that is approved stating “I have listened to the conversations that you have been having and have included everything in the plan that you have said and asked for”. Nothing is showing participants that they have been heard, valued, accepted and listened to. There must be changes to mainstream services under the NDIS and all mainstream services funded under the NDIS to minimise any gaps. NDIA Planners and Local Area Coordinators must advise participants when they will call them to provide an update and respond within a reasonable timeframe participants should not be kept waiting a long time for an update if there is a delay a simple call to the participant to let them know that they haven’t been able to contact enable or the relevant people yet and the reason why and NDIA planners and Local Area Coordinators need to ensure participants that they will be contacted as soon as the NDIA planner and Local Area Coordinator have further information and will be provided with an outcome of what the next steps are if there is anything further that is needed or if everything is all good this lets participants know what is going on. Participants should only have to call once to leave a message for a call back not several messages.