Small step for disabled work

Page MP Janelle Saffin.
Page MP Janelle Saffin.

THE $20,000 Caringa Enterprises has received to help it get ready for the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is a small step in the right direction, chief executive Janet Ocholla said.

Ms Ocholla is looking forward to the roll-out of the NDIS, but like any such large scale change, the devil will be in the details.

"I'm not sure how it's going to work for us," she said.

"There's not much detail available yet, but I'm hoping it will be positive for us."

She said the NDIS signalled a complete change in the delivery of services to disabled people.

"It's all about giving choice to people," she said.

"It will provide packages of money to people to allow them to get the services they need.

"That should also make the service deliverers more accountable."

Ms Ocholla said the structure of Caringa Enterprises, with its mix of industry and accommodation services, could provide some hurdles during the roll-out.

"I'm not sure exactly how it will work around the disability enterprise side of things, and I'm not sure the government is as well," she said.

"But anything that makes us want to be better has to be a good thing."

Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin congratulated Caringa Enterprises, Ms Ocholla and her staff on being among 64 successful grant recipients nationwide under the Government's NDIS Readiness Fund.

"I am especially pleased because Caringa Enterprises has a reputation locally and beyond for providing such wonderful services to people with disability, and this grant will be used for an information technology upgrade," Ms Ocholla said of the funding.

"I chose Caringa's Industries Centre in Grafton as the venue for the first of two successful NDIS forums with Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Senator Jan McLucas earlier this year. The other forum was held at Windara Nursery and Function Centre in Casino."

The NDIS Readiness Fund is part of a $3.1 million investment to help Australian Disability Enterprises prepare for the reform.

Ms Saffin said it was important for all areas of the disability sector to be ready to make the change, including our Australian Disability Enterprises, which employ more than 20,000 Australians.

"We are committed to ensuring the disability sector here in Page is well supported as we move towards this historic reform," she said.

"We want Australians with disability, their families and carers, to start benefiting from an NDIS as quickly as possible.

"For the first time, Australians with significant and permanent disability will receive care and support over their lifetime, regardless of how they acquired their disability."

Topics:  australian government disabled janelle saffin national disability insurance scheme

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