Nicola Reid – 02/10/2021

I have reservations about the proposed language for the renaming of the annual review of participant plans, and would like to propose additional clauses to be included in the participant guarantee.

The NDIA is correct to try and clearly distinguish between the many different reviews undertaken, but any names used in the renaming initiative have to be readily understood, non-triggering and agreed to by the disability community.

The NDIA induced great anxiety in the disability community through its Independent Assessment initiative. The proposed renaming of the annual Plan Review to ‘reassessment’ is reminiscent of the Independent Assessment initiative. The fear and anxiety each participant experiences coming up to their annual review will not be allayed by calling this review a ‘reassessment’.

This word implies that it is the NDIS planner who does the ‘reassessment’, and is able to do this with complete disregard for any supporting reports and letters provided by the participant at this review.

If there were to be a true partnership between the participant and the NDIS, and a feeling of certainty in funding levels going forward for participants, this annual review of participant plans should be called ‘annual plan meeting’.

I have been through the development of an initial plan, a Section 100 Review, and a subsequent annual review for my daughter’s plan, I have had negative experiences in two out of three of these processes. Based on these experiences I would like to make additional suggestions to be considered for the participant guarantee:

The participant guarantee should include an written undertaking by the NDIA that their planner has
1. read and understood all of the participant’s supporting documents, and
2. taken these documents into account when formulating a new plan.

In addition, the NDIA must give written justification for each recommendation contained with the supporting documentation that is not funded.

Implementation of these suggestions would underpin a relationship of trust between the NDIA and participants.