It was a full house in the Bluff Room at Alex Surf Club for the NDIS Q&A Workshop hosted by STEPS Autism Treehouse and led by Support Coordinators Yuki Smith and Chelsea Dunne from STEPS Social & Community.
The Workshop was a great opportunity for people interested in learning about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to get their questions answered by those who had been through the process before and understood the experience firsthand.
Yuki said she was glad so many families came along to the Workshop as “helping individuals and families navigate the NDIS process” is an important part of her job.
“From applying to pre-planning and then plan implementation, it’s all part of our role as Support Coordinators at STEPS,” she said.
The NDIS provides people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychological disabilities funding to access the supports and services they need. The Scheme is designed to help them develop skills and independence which grow over time, with goals – both short and long term – being a significant part of the NDIS plan.
It is now available across all Australian States and Territories, though it was only rolled out in the Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Gympie on the January 1 this year.
“There is still some ironing out to do with the NDIS, but we are confident that the Scheme will continue to increase opportunities for participants to live their life with complete choice and control,” Yuki said.
Participants who attended the Workshop were varied, from those who have been receiving the benefits for some time to those who are completely new to the process and have not yet applied for it.
With limited time to introduce the who, what, where and how of the NDIS, Yuki and Chelsea did a remarkable job of breaking it down into clear steps which made the overall process more achievable and perhaps less intimidating.
They walked participants through the nine steps of the process from checking eligibility to pre-planning and, once approved, connecting with service providers and reviewing the plan annually.
A list of resources were given to participants to help them understand the NDIS, learn to prepare for the planning meeting and how to achieve best results using their individualised NDIS plan.
“One of most valuable and rewarding parts of our (Support Coordinator) role is seeing someone who may never have received funding in their life finally get the supports and services they need to live their best life,” Yuki said.
“There is a huge sense of satisfaction in being able to get to know a participant, listen to their story, help them to link in with services and the community, and watch them flourish.”
For anyone seeking assistance with NDIS Plan Management and Support Coordination, STEPS is there to assist.
Chat to STEPS about NDIS support on 1300 766 962