The SALT Foundation

Empowering Independence with the NDIS10 min read

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Empowering Independence with the NDIS

Ever felt down because of your disability? Through empowering your independence, the NDIS will help you feel hopeful, optimistic, and happy.

NDIS: Empowered Towards Independence

In this article, you’ll learn how the NDIS has changed the disability sector to empower you towards independent living. And if you’re a carer, we’ll cover how you can help your loved one gain more independence.

What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?

The NDIS is a different way of helping someone with a disability than has ever been available in Australia.

4.3 million Australians have a disability. By 2025, the NDIS plans to provide fund $22 billion a year to 500,000 people. The NDIS was introduced progressively and is available in all states and territories in Australia.

What makes the NDIS different is it’s not just another welfare system. Welfare is a hand out and the scheme is a hand up.

What is the Goal of the NDIS?

national disability insurance schemes helps people reach their goals
Photo by Markus Winkler:

The NDIS has the aim of giving assistance to someone with a disability to gain more independence.

In the past, the service provider decided what assistance to provide and the person with disability had little say in the decision-making.

Now, a person with disability in control of how their funds will be used to achieve their goals. The kinds of supports available include personal care and special equipment.

The disability sector has changed and now every NDIS participant is in charge of his or her own life.

What are the Key Elements of NDIS?

The NDIS is based on your personal goals. What would you like to achieve?

When you meet with an NDIS planner, they’ll assess the impact of your permanent and significant disability on your day-to-day activities. They’ll look at the funding that’s available from three supports budgets.

Once approved, you’ll become an NDIS participant. You’ll be able to work with an NDIS provider who will provide you services, such as support workers, who will work with you one-on-one to reach your goals.

Typically, your NDIS plan lasts for a year and then gets reviewed. During the review process, your support coordinator will look at your current needs and if they’ve changed regarding reasonable and necessary supports.

What are the Values of the NDIS?

the values of the national disability insurance scheme can be summed up: your life matters
Photo by Brett Sayles:

The NDIS values come from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, focusing on three essentials for people to become more independent:

  1. Individual autonomy: the freedom to make choices about how you live.
  2. The opportunity to take part in the decision-making process.
  3. The opportunity to access your “physical, social, economic and cultural environment.”

Which Goals Can the NDIS Assist in Achieving?

The NDIS can help you reach many goals, which is why every plan and amount of funding provided is unique to you.

You can set goals for work or study, for confidence in taking part in social activities, and build relationships with friends. You could get your driver’s license or earn how to navigate public transport on your own.

All these life skills and all the daily living skills you build will help as you move toward more independent living.

Is There any Eligibility for NDIS? Yes, You Must Have a Permanent and Significant Disability

national disability insurance scheme supports those with a permanent and significant disability
Photo by Judita Tamošiūnaitė:

As the NDIS is not a welfare system, it wants to support people with a permanent and significant disability. A permanent disability means your disability is likely to last a lifetime. Significant means your disability has a large impact on your ability to carry out everyday activities.

The NDIA decides regarding whom may access the NDIS based on information that you have provided about your disability and its impact.

Even if you’re not eligible, the NDIS has “partners in the community” who can connect you to other government services and community services in your local area that can provide assistance. These include state and territory government services.

You can speak to these “partners in the community” by calling the NDIS on 1800 800 110 and asking to speak to your Local Area Coordinator (LAC). If you’re the parent or guardian of a child under 7 with a developmental delay or disability, ask for the Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator.

If you need to speak to someone in another language, call TIS National Direct on 131 450 and ask for someone at the NDIS.

Early intervention supports help your child and adults reduce the impact a disability or developmental delay has on them and to “build their skills and independence”—in short, to get the supports they need.

I’m An Eligible Individual—Now What?

Eligible people receive NDIS funding for reasonable and necessary supports.

While you remain the decision-maker, support coordinators help with the administrative side of the NDIS and will connect you to the support services you need to reach your goals as outlined in your NDIS plan.

I Know Someone Eligible!

How can I refer friends or family members or other eligible people directly to the SALT Foundation? What we can do is provide you with disability support workers throughout Victoria to give you assistance.

We provide NDIS services under the Core Supports Budget and the Capacity Building Supports Budget. Fill out the referral form below or call 1300 777 258 today! New participants get their first week of services FREE.

We're always here if you want to talk on the phone 1300 777 258.
Please keep it short and sweet.

How has National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Through the NDIS helped?

The National Disability Insurance Agency reported in a 24 Mar 2021 media release that:

  • 71% of participants aged 25 and over reported the NDIS has helped them have more choice and control over their lives rising to almost 80% after 4 years in the NDIS.
  • 74% of participants aged 25 and over reported the NDIS had helped them with daily living activities rising to 85.5% after 4 years in the Scheme.

The NDIS is succeeding in its goal of empowering participants.

FAQs On Empowering People with Disabilities

What is Empowerment and Independence?

Empowerment means you gain control in areas where you previously had little or none.

Independence means you feel confident and capable of your ability to make your own plans and reach your goals.

Beyond that, however, is something more powerful: interdependence, where you remain in control but work with others to get results that are better than you could get on your own.

Why is Empowering and Promoting Independence Important?

Empowerment improves your health by increasing confidence and building your esteem as a person.

You shift from seeing yourself as limited by your disability and a lack of support to being someone with strong supports, relationships, and capabilities.

Instead of your disability or a family member setting your agenda, you get up each day looking forward to doing things and making your own plans.

Instead of being frustrated that you’re unable to do what everyone else can do, you gain the confidence and skills to do more things yourself.

How Do You Promote and Empower Independence?

If you’re a carer or support worker, patience is one of the key qualities you need. If your loved one has relied on you as a carer, it’s difficult to let them go. As they develop skills and doing things themselves, they’ll face a lot of setbacks and you can encourage them.

How Can You Promote Empowerment and Independence in Disability?

How can I help people with disabilities become more independent? These five tips will help.

5 Tips to Promote Independence in People With Disability

  1. Don’t go it alone. Get support for yourself and your family and learn from other carers through organisations like Carer’s Victoria. Read books like The Selfish Pig’s Guide to Caring: How to Cope with the Emotional and Practical Aspects of Caring for Someone by Hugh Marriott. This is especially critical if you have a child.
  2. Make tiny changes to your language. Instead of telling people with disability what to do, ask them what they’d like to do.
  3. Focus on baby steps. Baby steps are small, easy-to-achieve actions that the person can complete in day or less that carry them toward their goals. For example, someone with a psychosocial disability may struggle with personal hygiene. One way they can take responsibility to use a habit tracking app (like Habitify) that will remind them and help them track their progress toward things like showering every day. Tiny changes to daily living skills lead to your loved one feeling more confident about taking on “riskier” challenges.
  4. Help them build a dream team. A dream team helps your loved one reach all their goals, not just the ones related to their disability. Look to add in people like mentors, teachers, life coaches, and trainers. The more people your loved one has that they can count on, the less they rely on any one person. And you’ll see their independence improve.
  5. Find out if they’d like to pursue formal or informal education, or volunteer or paid work opportunities. Doing any of these will help your loved one establish rhythms and build relationships—key factors in empowering anyone with a disability.

What Type of Support Helps to Promote a Sense of Independence for Individuals?

The key to providing good supports is to first of all be patient, to involve the family, and give the participant information that increases their decision-making power.

Assistance with their daily life works even if you’re providing personal care as long as you’re giving the person the decision-making power.

Provide Opportunities to Join Community Activities

Whether it’s through a job, sporting clubs, support groups, or other ways of accessing the local community, greater involvement outside of the home leads to more independence.

Support workers have the training to get people into the community and empower them with new skills.

Read more: What is Supported Independent Living NDIS?

The SALT Foundation is Here to Help

As a non-profit NDIS provider, we have a team of Support Workers ready to meet the needs of NDIS participants across Victoria.

And you get your first week of services FREE, so fill out the form below to request a support worker or call 1300 777 258 NOW! Start your NDIS journey with us today and get ready for your daily life to be transformed as we provide assistance.

We're always here if you want to talk 1300 777 258.
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