In mid-2017 the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls out in inner Sydney, so in this ISV we focus on disability issues and the NDIS. One of the key messages for those who qualify is to be prepared, think about what you want and pre-plan before you meet an NDIS Planner!

The NDIS is a once in a generational change, for those with a disability, as important as Medicare when it was introduced. The massive government investment is also a social reform that gives people with disability an opportunity to plan and set their goals. In other words, to live the kind of life each person yearns to live.

The Government has recently announced changes to the composition of the NDIS board along with a review of the Scheme by the Productivity Commission. A discussion paper is expected in May 2017. We will keep our network up to date with the latest news and opportunities for you to provide input into the review.

The NDIS focus in this issue starts with an Introduction to the NDIS, which looks at what it is and from where it has come. We also include a guide to the NDIS language in Understanding NDIS terms. Enis Jusufspahic, ISV’s Aged and Disability Sector Support and Development Officer has prepared both.

It’s Your NDIS looks at the role played by Every Australian Counts in campaigning for the NDIS and in making it the best it can be. A view from the back of the bus: a reflection on the need for a culturally responsive NDIS explores the low level of engagement from CALD communities in existing disability services and questions how to improve CALD involvement in the NDIS.

We also look at what some of the organisations and services are doing including My Choice Matters – Training opens doors  and Ability Links: Building inclusive communities. The importance of pre-planning comes out in a number of articles especially in The importance of pre-planning and in the need for reliable information such as Tailored Information and Advocacy Services for People with a Disability. We also include a Local service profile: Holdsworth Community  to show what some of the changes mean for a local service.

One from the Vault this issue looks at Challenging Disability Images – Summer 1994 from Summer 1994 and reflects on the problem of using images which we encountered in this current issue.

The road to the disability policy reforms is one of both changing people’s perceptions of disability and of what it means to be human. As important as the NDIS is, many other areas of the social policy need to be addressed separately. We have looked at just two areas of a long list this edition. Cognitive Disability and the Justice system and social inclusion for children in Inclusion of young children with developmental delay and/or disability and Starting school for children with disabilities.

Finally, we also look at how to choose a consultant in So, you want to employ a consultant, look for people interested in a Surry Hills Northcott Community Shed and Vale Ross Smith: A life spent in service to the community.

Charmaine Jones and Geoffrey Turnbull (co-editors) and Enis Jusufspahic (guest editor)

Inner Sydney Voice