With the National Disability Insurance Scheme now in full-swing down in the Illawarra, I’m taking a moment to stop and ask myself, “how are we going as NDIS Providers”? I’ve pulled together my top 5 tips for working with the NDIS, which help me to provide quality Disability services

My Top Five for working with the NDIS:

  1. Good preparation: To get ready for working with the NDIS, I chose to be a Registered Provider. I thought it would be a good fit for the individuals we support. This has been a good decision. I also prepared by writing communication-accessible templates, forms, and policies so that we can meet participants’ information needs, and comply with the scheme’s requirements.
  2. Learning as we go: It’s a time of big change, so we are adjusting our practices as we go. We want to be clear and simple in our NDIS services (we don’t always get it right, but so far so good). We are a small local service. So far, it hasn’t been too hard for us to be flexible and responsive. As the scheme changes, we can too.
  3. Discovering new partnerships: We love collaborating in our work, so the NDIS has given us an opportunity to develop new partnerships with providers in our area. We have ‘met’ (usually by phone!) some really great support coordinators, occupational therapists, psychologists, as well as other speech pathologists.
  4. Reflecting on our practice: A number of our NDIS clients have lifelong communication disabilities, and are seeking our support as adults to be more independent or better communicators. Helping people to be independent is our passion! However this is an area of speech pathology practice that is slim in treatment evidence, so we take time to reflect on our practice, draw from our research with other client groups, and look for ways to track our progress so that we can demonstrate real outcomes for our clients.
  5. Doing what we do best: At the end of the day, we keep it simple by focusing on delivering the same high standard of service that we have always offered our clients.

What’s the take-home message?

I think we are doing a pretty good job so far as new NDIS providers! I am really loving getting to know the adolescents and adults with disabilities we have the privilege of supporting, as well as seeing them kick some meaningful goals. There are still changes ahead as when working with the NDIS, but if Wollongong Speech can keep doing what we’re doing, it’s going to be great.

For more information about working with the NDIS, check out their website www.ndis.gov.au