We’ve created a petition on Change.org asking the NDIA’s leadership and Members of Parliament to stop ‘My First Plan’ and give people choice about including goals. To join the cause, you can sign the petition here or to find out why we took this step, read on.
We’ve been following the NDIA’s new ‘My First Plan’ procedure with interest since first sharing the news here and again here. We’ve previously expressed a number of concerns with the NDIA’s new process that strips goals from all participants for their first year in the NDIS. We’ve also shared some legal research from a clever sleuth in the NDIS Grassroots group that suggests by implementing ‘My First Plan’, the NDIA may contradict the NDIS Act of 2013.
Throughout this journey we have tried to give the NDIA the benefit of the doubt and hoped that ‘My First Plan’ was genuinely a well intended mistake. While we were clear in acknowledging the ways NDIA is set to benefit from ‘My First Plan’, we also acknowledged that the rationale of goals being challenging was plausible. As such we have tried to walk a balanced line and chalk this mistake up to ham-handed over-correcting in response to feedback about the challenge of goals.
Over the weekend we have had word that the NDIA is now actively promoting My First Plan in Victoria and that an NDIA representative in Queensland had proposed ‘My First Plan’ or something similar would be necessary ‘to get through the number of people’. On the upside it is positive to hear the NDIA stepping back from suggesting people are uniformly unable to handle goals. The downside is that it essentially confirms ‘My First Plan’ is simply a ploy by NDIA to push people onto the scheme faster.
While we can debate the merits of speed of access vs quality of access with a full and proper plan that reflect appropriate and often unmet need, what is deeply concerning is that the NDIA is now acting outside the legislated NDIS Act (2013) in order to meet its own performance statistics. An NDIA that acts in its own interest and potentially against the interests of the people it was created to serve endangers the NDIS.
When we started CareNavigator.com.au it was with the goal of helping people share experience and empower each other to make informed choices about their care. We aren’t a political entity, just an online community helping each other make good choices. We do however feel that the changes the NDIA has made with ‘My First Plan’ are concerning both because they remove choice and because an NDIA that acts unilaterally outside its legislation is an NDIA which threatens the NDIS itself.
As a country we are fortunate to have a strong community of advocacy with the skills and experience to protect the NDIS (all of whom are far better placed than us to lead on this issue and whom we hope will carry this issue forward). We have started this petition because we care about protecting the NDIS and welcome your support.
If you are concerned about the NDIA acting outside its legislation, we hope you will join this petition to Save Our NDIS and stop My First Plan