Interchange’s Board management staff and volunteers have one goal when it comes to the implementation of the NDIS. That is to maintain the high level of responsive quality respite and recreational options for our participants and families offered in a meaningful user friendly way. To in fact achieve our vision of “strengthening families, valued experiences.
Interchange Inner East is now a registered provider for the provision of services under the NDIS Interchange Inner East will be included in the roll out of NDIS in November 2017, whilst this is some time away, much preparation is underway at IIE to ensure all necessary foundation systems and processes are firmly established to interface with the NDIS systems and processes. This will mean continued changes to the way we need to work to prepare both you, our valued clients and our staff for successful integration into the NDIS framework.
Examples already implemented include retrospective invoicing for activities, preference based recreation participation and hourly allocations of respite funding being translated into dollars to be spent by individual families. Interchange Northern and Loddon Mallee will commence the scheme from July 1st 2016, this is a great opportunity for Interchange Inner East to learn from and adapt our systems in a strategic way.
Interchange families are provided with regular opportunities to attend NDIS education sessions and forums such as at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and through our wonderful partnership with Onemda. Several Information forums have been promoted through this alliance.
Interchange Inner East will advise families of NDIS education opportunities over the coming year. Interchange staff attend NDIS workshops and forums to ensure they understand the scheme so they can support our families as the roll out is undertaken. Casual Support Staff receive training and information through regular communication and team meetings conducted across the year.
Both the Board President, Dr Michael Summers and EO Marie Lugg have actively lobbied for the inclusion of funding for volunteer co-ordination in the second tier of the NDIS – Information, Learning and Capacity Building (ILC) to ensure that valued volunteer programs such as the host program are sustained in the new environment. Marie Lugg lodged a submission to the ILC Commissioning framework on behalf of Interchange families, advocating for quality respite funding and volunteer services. Marie Lugg sits on the Board of Interchange Incorporated, the membership body for all Interchanges.
This body is actively engaged with government and sector leaders, lobbying on your behalf in a strategic and broad based advocacy capacity with other disability providers committed to best outcomes for our participants and families.
Families are encouraged and supported to lobby their local political Ministers to raise awareness of the importance of timely respite and the value of programs such as HOST in providing families with unique quality of life experiences.
One concerned host families’ letter to Josh Frydenberg made its way to the desk of the ILC NDIS Director in Canberra who called Interchange Inner East’s EO Marie Lugg directly to invite us to participate in a round table advocacy forum regarding volunteer services under the NDIS. That is the “power of the pen”!
To find out more and to see if you are eligible to access assistance, visit NDIS and use My Access Checker.
Other useful NDIS resources
ACD Connect, is a free peer support network for families seeking to manage their own supports and make the most of the NDIS to go beyond traditional disability pathways. ACD will run monthly peer meetings, providing opportunities for families to share their experiences and learn from the experiences of others. ACD Connect Facilitators will support groups to learn about:
- National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
- Preparing for planning
- Implementing an NDIS plan
- Choice and control
- Advocating for your child
- Community resources and much more!