Understanding disability through the lens of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – challenges and opportunities
Prof. Margaret Kelaher
At this stage very little is known about the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The NDIS represents a major change in the way the services and supports for people with disability are funded. It presents both tremendous opportunity yet significant challenges. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are disproportionately affected by disability and often not well served by mainstream services. This has led to strong advocacy and the development of culturally competent service models by community controlled and NGO sector to meet these needs.
This project will examine the:
- Implementation of the NDIS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement strategy;
- Interaction between the NDIA staff, local area co-ordinators and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) and NGOs; and
- Experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in accessing the NDIS program, planning and receiving the supports/services through the program.
The project will take a co-design approach to developing a study of the roll out of the NDIS for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Co- design, or experience based co-design, is not only
a way to actively involve consumers in the design, delivery and/or evaluation of services but also
enables the design of systems where consumer and carer experiences are central. Our approach to the project will bring together expertise from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations working to provide services to people with disabilities, with researchers and policy-makers. The approach to design and data collection will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership, optimise existing data and knowledge, and develop local research capacity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It will bring together community, researchers, providers, policy makers and NDIA staff and develop an evidence informed approach to improving the NDIS and developing a workforce to support it.
The project will identify strengths and weaknesses of the NDIS implementation. It will identify
promising strategies to improve the ways the NDIA works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people and organisations.