The Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme and People With Disabilities From CALD Backgrounds

The Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme and People With Disabilities From CALD Backgrounds

Hossein Adibi (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/IJRQEH.2020070101
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The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is considered to be the second greatest reform in healthcare in Australia after the introduction of Medicare in Australia in 1983. This reform was introduced in 2012 in two phases. The first phase as a trial took place for three years. The expectation was that the reform will be rolled out by 2019 or 2020. This article argues that the trial implementation process has achieved very positive outcomes in the lives of a great number of people with disability in Australia. At the same time, NDIS is facing many serious challenges in some areas. One of the obvious challenges is that this reform is a market approached reform. The second challenge relates to meeting the needs of minorities. People with disabilities from Culturally and Linguistically Divers (CALD) backgrounds are one of the five most venerable, underutilised users of NDIS services in Australia. They have no strong voice and negotiable abilities. The main question here is how NDIS is to meet its commitment to satisfy the needs of these vulnerable people in Australia.
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At the outset, it is useful to state that during the last several decades’ social change has altered the society’s view, at least, in the Western World on disability. Prior to this change, people with disability were not considered as ‘normal’ human beings and were faced with on-going abuse and gross discriminations. Many people with a disability were institutionalised. They had very little control, if any, on their own lives. Background information in this area is very important in order to understand how disempowerment and marginalisation of disability groups form the historical context for our understanding (see more information on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, 2014:268).

The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is considered being the second most important healthcare reform in Australia. This reform has altered many Australians’ perceptions of viewing and treating people with disability in Australia and beyond. This achievement has been the result of continuous efforts of people with disabilities and their supporters to challenge the existing individual legislations and anti-discrimination acts on people with disabilities within different States in Australia. Some of these Acts date back to 1980s. However, the first most significant national act in this area was developed in 1992 and was called Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA). It was an act presented by the Parliament of Australia to promote the rights of people with disabilities in certain areas. The objects of this Act were: “(a) to eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination against persons on the ground of disability in the areas of (i) work, accommodation, education, access to premises, clubs and sport and (ii) the provision of goods, facilities, services and land; and (iii) existing laws; and (iv) the administration of Commonwealth laws and programs; and (b) to ensure, as far as practicable, that persons with disabilities have the same rights to equality before the law as the rest of the community; and (c) to promote recognition and acceptance within the community of the principle that persons with disabilities have the same fundamental rights as the rest of the community” (Commonwealth Consolidated Acts).

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