NDIS to revolutionise disability support

ANY of us could go out tomorrow and be hit by a bus and have a disability for the rest of our lives.

This is why a Clarence Valley community service worker says the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will apply to everybody.

CRANES Community Support Programs innovations executive Bev Taylor said the NDIS - which is expected to roll out in northern NSW and the Clarence Valley from July 2017 - will change the way people with a disability and their families are supported.

And it does not stem from sympathy, Ms Taylor said.

"It's not about feeling sorry for people in our community, because true inclusion is accepting that we are all different," she said.

"We don't need to feel sorry for everyone … but we must support them as much as we can and ensure we all have the same opportunities."

CRANES - which stands for Clarence River and New England Services - and other organisations in the region that support people with a disability, are facing a major overhaul with the introduction of the NDIS.

Ms Taylor said disability services and relevant not- for-profits had always decided how best to support people with a disability - from pushing wheelchairs to helping people have showers and assisting them eat.

But this is going to change.

"Now the scheme recognises that someone might want to go on a holiday, which they've never been able to do."

Now the power will be in the hands of those with a disability, and community service organisations such as CRANES will have to adapt to this and start trying to sell themselves.

Figures from Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission showed CRANES made $56,800 in donations and another $6.7 million in government grant.

But Ms Taylor said no more government money from next year would mean they would have to find other ways to survive.

The community services sector has always been a big space for charity and not- for-profits, Ms Taylor said, and she expected an influx of companies would set up new businesses to cater for people receiving support from the NDIS.

But she is not concerned about the competition.

Ms Taylor said there had always been one strong philosophy that drove charities and not-for-profits - social justice and human rights - and that, combined with experience, was hard to beat.

"I think the work we do is important, because it is usually about addressing the abuse of human rights, where people have been forgotten."


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