November / December 2021
Disability Information Services by People with Disability Toowoomba and Southern Queensland
Volume 6, Issue 103
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Proudly supported and printed by ToowoombaWhatsUp Region in Disability
Highlights November / December 2021
09 13 14 17 21 27
The Future of Jobs in Toowoomba
Business Disability Awards 2021
My Sydney 2000
Our Community Centre
NDIS in Brief
Cover Page Daryl Nicholson Community Advocate Volunteer Photo by TDEA
Steven Paull JP (Qual) President Page 2
The Editor’s Desk Whatever you grow—will save a Bro Movember fundraisers are a global community of fired up Mo Bros and Mo Sisters – aka rock stars making a difference in mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Your donation could help save a father, a brother, a son, a friend, a partner, a man’s life. https://au.movember.com/get-involved/ moustaches
Remembrance Day Who will you stop to remember? At 11:00 am on the 11th November millions of Australians will join in observing one minute's silence to commemorate Remembrance Day - a quiet moment held in recognition of those who have served, died, or suffered in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, you can stop and reflect this Remembrance Day with help from your voice assistant. To get started, just ask Amazon Alexa or your Google Assistant to "Ask Anzac Stories" and follow the prompts to hear Queensland war stories, place a poppy, or play The Last Post.
Zero Emissions by 2050 The National Party has agreed to inprinciple support of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The breakthrough came in a vote after the party's MPs and senators debated for more than two hours Mr Morrison's response to their demands. The majority position was reached amid dire predictions from at least one. The Nationals say they want long-term policy guarantees that ensure agriculture and mining can continue to thrive in a low emissions world.
Steven Paull JP (Qual) President WhatsUp in Disability
WhatsUp Daryl is this year’s Disability Business Awards Volunteer of the year award recipient and it is so very well deserved.
by Steven Paull
I recently caught up with Daryl and recorded our conversation about his award and his involvement in his community. Neither of us could remember exactly when we first met but it feels like we have known each other for ages.
Welcome Darryl and congratulations on winning the volunteer award. Thanks for having me on the other side of the microphone, which is unusual for me. It is strange because the last couple of times we've met, it's been you with your phone, interviewing me. What I'd like to do is start a little bit of background about where you came from and how you got involved with your community. Sure. Well, I'd started work very young, with McDonald's and saw the establishment of Ronald McDonald House so we helped with fundraising there and driving that forward, which is now quite a successful program and a lot of families rely on that and then in 2016, I guess, throughout my career I've also helped other organizations as well but in 2016 I created 4350TV, and branded it to be more than just a community postcode. And I guess one of the most important things about 2016 is I saw a movie called “Tuesdays with Morrie” and Morrie talks to one of his students when he's going through the process of dying, about the importance of community and this really drove me to get into my community. And I believe that 4350TV is a new form of media that people trust, unlike other news networks which are all bad stories. I try to focus on positive stories. Originally, I did a course to be a radio announcer, it was back in the 80s, and I was gonna move away from Toowoomba, but decided I wasn't brave enough to leave and then I met Jimmy promoted me as a mobile DJ and the house DJ at the Powerhouse and I just evolved into the entertainment industry. I loved the fans, loved the music, loved communicating with people, I'm one of those DJs that have VD (a bit of verbal diarrhea), because I talked a lot. Page 4
I remember my first disco was for the Deaf Association, and I couldn't understand how deaf people would hear music, but I was at the town hall and playing the music and the kids were feeling the beat or the bass and they just had the best night and that was just amazing. I'm part of the men's mental health group that we get together every Wednesday night and just a group of us guys just get around and talk about how our weeks been whether it's been a crappy week or a good week and just share some stories and different experiences and that's been a real thing that's just been great. Why do you promote so many community organisations on Toowoomba 4350TV? The ethos I guess of what I'm doing in the community is to serve others and to help others and to educate people to get the messages out there. There's so many different organisations people don't know that exist that are there in our community to help others, but they also need help to let people know that they are there to help.
“It’s important to give back to community.” To watch Darryl’s Business Disability Awards nomination interview go to the following link https://youtu.be/gZARpHClIkg
Top: Daryl and Kim Stokes at the Carnival of Flowers Middle: Sleepout for Homeless Bottom: Business Disability Awards WhatsUp in Disability
NDIS Pricing by Evie Naufal
The 2021-22 Annual Pricing Review Consultation Paper is hot off the presses! The Paper, released by the NDIA on Friday, outlines each of the parts of the Price Guide that are up for review and, well, it’s pretty much everything. Participants, providers and the community have until 28th November to provide feedback on what is being proposed in the Paper. The Paper marks the beginning of what will be a 9-month journey to updated prices in July 2022. Those of you playing along at home may recall that in July this year the NDIA released a minor update to the Price Guide with the intention of moving the major yearly update to December. It seems now that this will not be the case. Prices for most supports will remain unchanged this financial year, and major changes will still coincide with EOFY. What are the changes being explored? Simplifying pricing arrangements It’s not exactly a secret that the NDIS Price Guide (sorry, the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits) is too bloody complicated. The Paper points out that it’s currently 111 pages long (excluding addenda) and that providers and participants regularly report that it is difficult to understand. Price limits for 1:1 core supports
73% of NDIS expenditure goes towards core supports, so this is understandably an area of pricing that we want to get right. Most prices in core are informed by the NDIS Cost Model for Disability Support Workers. For the unacquainted, this is a calculation that includes the NDIA’s assumptions of how much it costs to employ a worker, including salary, superannuation, on-costs, leave, utilisation, insurance, supervision, overheads and margin. The NDIA then uses Page 6
this to set prices for most core supports and some capacity building supports, such as Recovery Coaching and Capacity Building by a Plan Manager. Price limits for group-based supports Remember when we were in the thick of the first wave of COVID and the NDIA announced that group support providers would have one week to fundamentally transform the way they bill? Well, now the NDIA seems to be looking back on that decision and wondering if it was a bit of an oopsy. It also asks an important question about how pricing arrangements could be adapted to better facilitate participant outcomes. Support Coordination The Support Coordination section is concerningly vague, with 90% of the word count dedicated to regurgitating the definitions in the current Price Guide. A mere two sentences are dedicated to outlining the issues the NDIA wants to look into, and these are also vague:
• Whether the price limits are appropriate for the skills and experience required;
• Whether the overheads may necessarily be higher than those of other providers. Plan Management In looking at whether the current pricing arrangements are appropriate, the NDIA asks some generic questions about whether the establishment fee and monthly fees are reasonable. However, this is preceded by a short paragraph about the NDIA’s plans to move from the current portal-based manual claiming system to a real-time system, which is expected to change the role that Plan Managers currently play in processing claims.
by Steven Paull
Once you meet Prince Long Lo, our local representative for Multicultural Australia you are immediately drawn into his world of positivity and inclusion for everyone. Born in Hong Kong, Prince came to Australia to study and been the program coordinator at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and a Board Member of the Queensland Student Advisory Panel at Study Queensland. Whenever there is an event where Prince can promote Multicultural Australia, he will be there and his efforts were rewarded during the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards where Multicultural Australia was a finalist.
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Here at Toowoomba Friendlies Mobility and Independent Living, we are all about serving the community! As a pharmacy we provide covid vaccinations Monday-Friday, medication checks, medication packing, health clinics, NDSS products and services, work with homecare organisations such as Bluecare and home deliveries across Toowoomba. Not only do we provide those services but we are also Toowoomba’s biggest registered NDIS provider! Not many people are aware, but we have an incontinence nurse in store who provides continence assessments, in which she assesses the clients needs and recommends products based on this information.
walking sticks right through to beds and mattresses. Anything you can think of, we can get it! Our mobility items are also able to be provided under homecare packages, DVA and MASS. We provide servicing on all mobility products, home deliveries and postage. We also offer a hire service, whereby, we hire out certain mobility aids out for post-surgery, day visits etc. Please come visit us in store at 8 Mylne Street, we have customer parking, or call us on 07 4637 1888 for any inquiries.
Our NDIS team are always available, on the phone or in store, to discuss anything you need. Our mobility aids are also a stand out point of our business. We provide items from
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WhatsUp The fatal flaw in the NDIS: it cries wolf but has no shepherd to control its spending Coat-trailing to soften up the public for deep cuts to the National Disability Insurance Scheme has reached a crescendo. It began in May, when the Prime Minister announced the scheme would cost more than expected this year. Later that month, the Minister for the NDIS, Linda Reynolds, turned it up a notch, announcing the scheme would be $10 billion over budget projections. Then last week a bombshell NDIS budget “interim update” revealed it would blow out to $60 billion by 2030. If that forecast is accurate it’s a shocking number. It is more than the cost of Medicare. It’s more than what the Commonwealth currently spends on defence and school education combined.
If those numbers terrify you, then mission accomplished. These escalating revelations are designed to scare the public and prepare the ground for what comes next: a plan to slash scheme costs and cut the care provided to Australians with a disability. But before we allow ourselves to be spooked, it’s worth pausing to scrutinise the forecasts being used to justify these cuts. You see, the NDIS is fast getting a reputation for being the boy who cried wolf, producing alarming forecasts of budget blowouts, only to reverse them years later. The first warnings came right at the start of the scheme when evidence from early trials in South Australia and Geelong was used to argue the scheme was at risk because there were more people with a disability than expected in some categories. Those forecasts were unfounded and, so far, there have been consistently fewer people in the NDIS overall than originally forecast.
NDIS NEWS by Andrew Charlton Alarmism ramped up again in 2017 when the budget papers announced a shocking NDIS funding gap of $55.7 billion over 10 years. The then treasurer, Scott Morrison, who genuinely cares about the NDIS, made saving it a centrepiece of that year’s budget. He announced a new tax – a 0.5% hike in the Medicare levy — and the creation of an NDIS Savings Fund to be topped up with $3.9 billion in infrastructure funds. The day after the 2017 budget, Morrison gave one of the best speeches of his political career at the National Press Club. He began by introducing his brother-in-law, Gary Warren, a former fireman who was in the audience. Morrison explained that Warren had had a long battle with a very aggressive form of multiple sclerosis. “I’m not saying no to Gary, and the 500,000 Australians counting on this,” he said. But Morrison’s courageous tax hike, and his family story, made what happened next all the more surprising. At the 2018 budget, the Medicare levy increase was suddenly dropped. Apparently, “new circumstances” meant it was no longer necessary. Five months later, another strange walk-back. The $3.9 billion hypothecated to the NDIS Savings Fund was also no longer necessary and was now being “repurposed” for drought relief. Why were Morrison’s NDIS rescue measures so quickly dropped? Because the dire forecasts had been wildly wrong. The 2019 federal budget confessed to a massive $6.5 billion error in the NDIS forecasts. Instead of cost overruns, the NDIS was underspent and helping the government’s path back to surplus.
The Sydney Morning Herald After this embarrassing revelation, the government executed a full U-turn. All the talk of NDIS budget blowouts was dropped, the proposals to cut the scheme abandoned. The government actually announced new NDIS initiatives of more than $850 million to reduce the underspend. As we digest the latest volley of warnings about NDIS costs, it is important to keep this poor record of forecasting in mind. Remember, these errors had a real impact on many Australians with a disability who had their care cut amid the 2017 alarmism and on many more who have lived with the fear that the scheme they rely on might be at risk. So why is the NDIS budget such a shambles? If you think I’m about to blame the Morrison government, you’d be wrong. Morrison is clearly personally committed to the NDIS and has put a series of competent and well-meaning ministers in charge of it with a brief to make it work. Morrison’s main budget advisers – the Treasury and Finance Department – don’t even produce the NDIS budget forecasts. Unlike most areas of government spending, the NDIS forecasts are substantially produced by the agency that runs the scheme, the National Disability Insurance Agency. This conflict of interest was highlighted in the Productivity Commission’s 2017 review of the NDIS.
And if you’re thinking this agency had better be on a tight leash from its controlling department and minister, then you’re going to be surprised again. The NDIA reports to its own independent board, not to the minister. In fact, for a scheme of this immense size and cost, there is staggeringly little government control. If the responsible minister wants to give the NDIA board a directive, or to overturn a board decision,
unanimous agreement must first be obtained from every state and territory, which any student of Australian federalism knows is rather difficult to achieve. So, one of the biggest ever Australian government programs is controlled by an agency that administers itself, designs much of its own policy, sets its own budget without serious central agency oversight, spends more money than the army, and operates with an extraordinary level of independence from the elected government and responsible minister. But like Victor Frankenstein’s unorthodox creation, the NDIA board has slipped control of its masters. Because of the difficulty in getting state and federal governments to agree, the NDIA board effectively reports to neither. This design flaw is becoming one of the most serious governance failures in Australian politics. To correct it, the government should exert much more control over the NDIS. The scheme’s books should be scrutinised by central agencies, its forecasts should be produced independently within government, its policy direction should be guided by the Department of Social Services, and the whole thing should report to the minister. This would allow the NDIA – which is run by an excellent administrator, Martin Hoffman – to “focus on its core responsibilities of delivering and administering the NDIS,” as the Productivity Commission recommended back in 2017. You’ll see more discussion about ways to fix the NDIS. But we first need to address the governance issues at its heart. Otherwise, we will continue to have wildly gyrating forecasts that complicate policy, introduce volatility into the federal budget. Ed
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The future of Jobs Toowoomba The Future of Jobs – Toowoomba Forum included a morning of presentations from Major Project representatives about predictions for the makeup of the workforce that will be needed, for Toowoomba in the future. It covered the skills required, and the likely timeframes for these skills. Then after lunch we workshopped how the presentations will influence changes to current training and education approach for Toowoomba. The aims of the forum were to share project plans and identify the skills needed and plan to prepare the Toowoomba workforce for the foreseeable future. We identified the work that needs to be done at the education and training level, to ensure there are a pool of qualified/skilled applicants to choose from when the time comes for employers to recruit over the next decade.
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Business by Steven Paull and Mike Loft
All about ability Record-breaking nominations were received for The Business DisABILITY Awards in Toowoomba this year, with more than 300 people in attendance to celebrate the region’s incredible people with different abilities and local businesses offering employment opportunities, Thursday night was one to remember. In attendance on the night were event cofounders Paul Wilson, Kim Stokes and David Wallis, along with Mayor Paul Antonio and the family of the late Elissa Flanagan. Performing the role of keynote speaker was Paul Hockey, who lost his right arm to cancer at just three weeks of age. Sharing his inspiring journey with the audience, Mr Hockey became the first person living with a different ability to climb Mount Everest from the north side. Former Paralympic swimmer Karni Liddell was the MC for the event and opened up about her own experience of being born with a neuromuscular wasting disease.
Wilson School Sign Language Choir
Greg Luck CEO HELP
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SUPER STARTERS TEN PIN BOWLING LEAGUE for Disabled
SUNSET SUPERBOWL 07 4634 0233
South & Greenwattle Toowoomba
10.00 am every Saturday $20 per session 3 games Sports Registration $52 (membership) Glenda (07) 4614 1136 Kathy (07) 4630 5221 Page 16
by Joan White In September 1993, Sydney won the rights to host the 2000 Olympic Games and consequently, as per existing precedent, the Paralympic Games shortly afterwards. To secure this right, the New South Wales Government was expected to underwrite the budget for both games. The 2000 Paralympic Games were held in Sydney from the 18th to the 29th October. A good many of the Technical Officials who had conducted events for the Olympic Track and Field programme returned to Sydney Olympic Park a few weeks later to run the much more expansive Para Track and Field program which, unlike at the Olympics, occupied the entire eleven days immediately following the opening ceremony and Peter, my husband, and myself were two of these officials. Officiating at the Olympics was undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime experience but being part of the Paralympic Games was, quite simply, unforgettable and a privilege beyond compare. Here are some of our memories…
and other athletes such as those who were Cerebral Palsy and wheelchair confined, many of us needed to learn new skills from the ground up. From the outset, the organising committee went all out to provide an experience for these para athletes that would be the equal of all that their able bodied counterparts had enjoyed and the world noticed. The presentation and conduct of the officials was every bit as professional as it had been for the Olympics and the gratitude shown by the athletes was profound and freely expressed. Moreover, the genuine appreciation returned to them by Australian audiences was heart-warming. One of my enduring memories from ‘inside the fence’ was a home-made banner that declared I LOVE THIS ABILITY! Every athlete was simply completely focussed on his or her own athletic performance and make no mistake about it, these were, and still are, serious athletes. And then there were the amputees. Many of these are war veterans. Some are people who have lost limbs in motor cycle accidents, some are born that way. All are classified according to the level of disability judged to be affecting mobility and performance. Many of us were awe struck when, in an amputee high-jump event, a one-legged athlete crutched his way to the high-jump bar, moved purposefully back to his starting mark, dropped his crutches and hopped in to successfully clear a height most able bodied people could only dream of clearing.
While many of our officials were well versed in running events for blind, deaf, amputee
At the opening ceremony one individual memorably completed the entire lap walking on his hands. He was subsequently invited to be part of the closing ceremony and was greeted with enthusiastic applause when he reached centre stage. WhatsUp in Disability
WhatsUp The Toowoomba Regional Talent Plan for the Disability Sector was developed to respond to workforce shortages across the sector and related sectors. Additionally, it was developed to respond to training shortcomings highlighted by local employers, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and the Royal commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Further, there was an apparent need to simplify the training and funding available, and assist employers in selecting training appropriate for their workforce to help them provide high quality of care to their clients. Key problems highlighted by employers in the region included:
It is difficult to attract high quality people, with the right attitude and personality traits, to the industry. Existing qualifications (e.g. Certificate III in Individual Support) are not a guarantee of someone having the required skills (mostly due to poor quality training by RTOs).
The industry is less attractive to work in due to:
No clear career path or progression
Perception of what the work involves and what rewards come from the job
Training affordability is critical for both employers and employees.
Specialisation of skills is becoming important, as it allows greater personalisation of care. NDIS inquiries are likely to require employees and employers to demonstrate ongoing professional
development and training. Additionally, the interim report from the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability made suggestions for further investigation, including:
Mechanisms to encourage service providers to offer less casual work, and more permanent roles (especially in relation to group homes).
Training programs that promote choice, control, and safety.
Measures to ensure workers are given opportunity to gain skills and experience, and earn client trust.
Developing leadership and a culture of choice and control.
Ensuring ongoing professional development is made available to staff
Providing client or cohort specific training (e.g. training on different types of disability – especially the disability of the person they are supporting).
The Royal Commission also received evidence that the level of training and competence of disability service staff can be relevant to how well the disability and health sectors work together. Disability support workers need to be given basic health training and education, so that they are supported to deliver quality services. The National Disability Services State of the Disability Sector Report also highlights sector issues, including:
• Casualisation of the workforce, leading to poorer retention and standard of care
doesn’t support development, transition, and progress of workers
Regional Talent Plan • Organisational
culture and staff development critical to complement Quality and Safeguards framework
The aim of the Plan is to provide a training framework to address some of the above issues, which local service providers and local training providers can endorse, and collaborate to pool students and training resources to deliver appropriate training. The plan consists of multiple training pathways, which are interconnected. The Core Skills Pathway provides workers with core skills in disability support as they progress through different job levels. It has entry points for existing or new workers, including workers with no qualifications or experience, keeping industry entry barriers to a minimum. Secondly, workers can branch off into different pathways. The business support pathway allows progression into roles to assist with administrative support functions, such as rostering, appointment setting/ scheduling, ordering stock, accounts entry and tracking, and other administrative tasks. The specialty support worker pathway Progression into specialist support worker roles, such as case worker, youth worker, mental health worker, recreation coordinator, and massage therapist. The clinical, allied health, and social worker pathway allows for progression into specialist support worker roles, such as case worker, youth worker, mental health worker, enrolled nurse, and allied health assistant, with the view to continue onto university qualifications and AHPRA accredited roles.
compliance requirements. An agreed program will assist training providers in understanding demand, and in tailoring options to suit the region. These courses can be used to provide greater specialisation of care. Finally, pathways are available for leadership roles and workplace trainers. The leadership pathway assists those entering team leader and managerial roles, by providing an agreed set of skills covering industry, legislative, care, leadership, business management, and risk management. Delivery of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and Department of Health modules are online and self-paced and these modules should be able to be completed in 4 – 7 hours. This project was funded by the Queensland Government Department of Employment, Small Business and Training through the Toowoomba Regional Council and coordinated by Kyle Quinlan. WhatsUp is proud to have been a major contributor to the project. Resources The following resources may be useful in forecasting and planning for staffing requirements. Boosting the Local Care Workforce - https:// blcw.dss.gov.au/ Jobs Queensland https:// jobsqueensland.qld.gov.au/workforceplanning-connect/
Thirdly, the Capability Skills program provides an agreed set of short courses to develop proficiency in specific areas of client need, improve practitioner skills, or develop greater understanding of standards and
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Our Community Centre by Steven Paull
A colossal thank you to Billy, Jess and an assorted group of volunteers who gave up their weekend to repaint and decorate the Centre
Centre at 4-6 Cress Street, try to put the ideals of the Dharma into practice in their daily lives. The meditation techniques can be used by anyone regardless of their religion or background. The TBC draws upon the core Buddhist teachings to meet the spiritual needs of today's men and women. The Toowoomba Buddhist Centre (TBC) is affiliated with the Triratna Buddhist Community, which was founded as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO), in 1967 by Sangharakshita. It is an international movement with activities in more than 20 countries, including India. The basic aim of the TBC was to provide the opportunity for people to explore the practices and tools available from the Buddha Dharma, for personal growth and coping with modern living. People at the
And now in 2021, the management team has come to realize that they don’t have Order Members needed to keep the Centre doors open. Closing the TBC is a difficult process and one that the members are grateful to be part of, as we talk and reflect through personal and organizational hurdles along the way. Closing is certainly a grieving process. And it’s also a precious opportunity to experience lots of gratitude and appreciation. I wish the members the best for the future. WhatsUp in Disability
Toowoomba by John Elliott
Toowoomba City Hall 541 Ruthven Street The first Toowoomba town hall was built in 1862 in James Street and was the first town hall ever built in Queensland. In 1881 the original timber building was demolished and replaced with a brick building. In 1892 the Under Secretary of Public Land proclaimed Toowoomba and the surrounding areas as a township.
However, by 1898 the town hall was inadequate for the demands of a growing community. In July, Council agreed that new municipal buildings and town hall should be constructed on the site of the School of Arts which had been destroyed by fire earlier that year, pending the sale of the old town hall to the Roman Catholic Church for £2000. Council offered a prize of 25 guineas for the best design. Architect Willougby Powell's design was awarded first prize and the contract to erect the building at a cost of £10,000 went to Alexander Mayes who later was elected Mayor. The current City Hall was opened in 1900 at a cost of £10,000. At noon on 20 October 1904, Toowoomba's status of a township was changed to a city and every bell and horn was sounded for half a minute to celebrate the event. The building was refurbished in 1996 at a cost of $3.4 million and Council meetings are once again held there.
Photographs of Toowoomba Buildings by John Elliott
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Warrina Services is a specialist support agency that has been providing individual support to people of the Darling Downs since 1986. We support people with a diverse range of needs and also provide mental health services to assist personal recovery.
(07) 4659 5662
We can help you to achieve positive outcomes in your life. These may be related to choice and independence, education or training, attending social activities, increasing skills, getting a job or contributing to your community. If you would like further information please visit our website
www.warrinaservices.org.au Or contact us Phone: 07-46 380 399 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our office at
172 Bridge Street Toowoomba Office hours Mon-Fri 9-5pm
Workforce Capacity Framework What is the Framework? The NDIS Workforce Capability Framework describes the attitudes, skills and knowledge expected of all workers funded under the NDIS. The Framework is written from the perspective of the participant. It provides a common language to describe ‘what good looks like’ when services are delivered in line with the NDIS principles, based on human rights and participant choice and control. It applies to any worker funded under the NDIS, from a receptionist or gardener through to support workers, health and allied health practitioners. The Framework translates the NDIS principles, Practice Standards and Code of Conduct into observable behaviours that service providers and workers should demonstrate when delivering services to people with disability. It is designed to drive and support positive engagement in a culture of mutual respect and participant-focused, quality supports.
about what they want their support to look like or when giving feedback. Supervisors and leaders can use the Framework to understand how to create an enabling environment and support a capable workforce, using the Framework to support workforce planning, designing jobs, recruiting workers, and providing feedback and development opportunities. Workers Potential workers can use the Framework to decide their suitability for the role. Current workers can use the Framework to understand what is expected of them in different roles and to help them to map out their chosen development pathway. Educators and trainers can use the Framework to align training and assessment to deliver the capabilities needed. The Commission is developing tools to support stakeholders to use the Framework when planning, recruiting, supervising and developing a capable workforce. Tools will be released on the Workforce Capability website as they are developed.
The NDIS National Workforce Plan identifies the Framework as the Government’s expectations for the NDIS workforce. The Plan strongly encourages stakeholders to embed the attitudes, behaviours, skills and knowledge the Framework describes. The Framework provides advice to support quality outcomes for NDIS participants but is not mandatory. Participants can use the Framework when talking with their workers or service provider WhatsUp in Disability
Fraud in the NDIS Media release from the Minister 22 September 2021 The Government’s strong commitment to protecting Australians living with a disability has been underlined, with the arrest of man for allegedly defrauding the NDIS of more than $120,000. The Australian Federal Police executed a search warrant at a western Sydney property on Tuesday in relation to an investigation by the NDIS Fraud Taskforce. A 29-year-old-male was later arrested and charged with obtaining a financial advantage by deception. Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said the arrest served as a warning to anyone considering ripping off vulnerable Australians or defrauding the taxpayer. “All Australians suffer when public money is defrauded. That’s why this Government is serious about taking strong action to protect against fraud,” Minister Andrews said. “The hardworking men and women of the AFP, and their partners in the NDIS Fraud taskforce, should be proud of the work they are doing to protect people with a disability and safeguard the integrity of taxpayer funds.”
“This alleged criminal activity is precisely why the Federal Government recently extended the NDIS Fraud Taskforce on an indefinite basis,” Minister Reynolds said. “This is another warning to anyone out there considering ripping off funding intended for NDIS participants. The message is clear: you will be caught and you will then face the consequences of your actions through the
legal system. “Every NDIS provider and worker must meet the requirements of the NDIS Code of Conduct, which not only relates to the quality and safety of supports and the rights of people with disability, but also acting with integrity, honesty and transparency. “The Taskforce is just one of the measures the NDIA uses to detect and identify fraudulent activity, and works in conjunction with the NDIS regulator, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and other bodies, to ensure the plan funding of NDIS participants remains protected.” The NDIS Fraud Taskforce is a multi-agency partnership between the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Services Australia. Anyone with concerns that fraud is being committed against the NDIS should contact the NDIS fraud hotline on 1800 650 717.
NDIS in Brief NDIS Participant Service Charter Service Improvement Plan The NDIA Participant Service Charter sets out what participants can expect from the NDIA and Partners in the Community (PiTC) organisations. It provides overall principles for interactions with participants, and clear service standards and timeframes. These are included in the proposed Participant Service Guarantee and the Participant Service Improvement Plan. Completed
More support for using your plan, for finding both disability services and mainstream supports
Clearer about support coordination services, and what you should expect
where you want to June 2022
New systems to make sure providers are paid promptly and accurately, so your support is not interrupted
We will improve our direct support for you if you have complex needs and require critical supports, or are otherwise potentially vulnerable
Fund early intervention supports for children more flexibly
Build goals in your plan that are clearly designed, realistic and attainable
More do-it-yourself online plan tools
Documents will use consistent terms and definitions with less jargon
Improve the way we provide you support for independent decision-making
We will encourage Individualised Living Options as an alternative to traditional group homes
We will make sure you are connected to other mainstream and community supports and services as well, even if you don’t gain access to the NDIS
Clearer on what reasonable and necessary supports means, with case studies and examples.
Clearer guidelines and procedures so there is consistency in how we make decisions; and we will make more of these public.
Clearer guidelines and procedures so there is consistency in how we make decisions; and we will make more of these public
Plan summary statements and draft plans before your plan is approved so you can check your information is right and there are no surprises
A face-to-face meeting with the person who makes a decision about your plan supports and funding
Able to manage your plan more easily, using a new NDIS mobile app
Able to use online forms and services
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Participant Documentation Communication Participant documentation is an effective method of sharing information. There may be more than one service provider or person supporting an individual, so it’s best for everyone to be on the same page.
Assessment Participant documentation is the primary reference source when conducting a reassessment. Participant documentation can indicate improvement or deterioration of the individual and prompt changes in service delivery or identify needed referrals.
Continuity of Care As well as being useful for effective communication, good documentation helps everyone to understand the current needs of a Participant. This in turn promotes continuity of support and services. Documentation can be used to prompt or remind individuals of specific actions.
Shared Knowledge Participant documentation promotes quality outcomes.
Legal Requirements Accurately reported facts are the best defence against litigation. Any and all documents that relate to the care, services and support of an individual can be called upon as evidence in a court of law. All Participants have a legal right to safe, professional services and support – including accurate and truthful documentation.
Continuous Quality Improvement This is an important aspect of providing quality services and support. Although there are identified standards that support the industry, and your organisations might be currently assessed as meeting these, you cannot become complacent. The expectations of individuals and their families’
change. Good documentation can assist in picking up trends in the needs of an individual, your target Participant group and the needs of your workforce going forward.
Funding Participant documentation assists to receive appropriate funding for an individual from government agencies. Participant documentation acts as a measure of the care, services & support needs of individuals.
Physical Evidence ‘If it isn’t written down, it never happened.’ Without documentation, you have no concrete evidence of services delivered, goals achieved or interventions implemented.
Mandatory Participant Documents PLEASE NOTE - All Participants receiving services and support from a sole trader, unregistered or registered provider who are government funded and diagnosed with a disability MUST have mandatory documentation completed at least annually or as required during the year. The document must be sighted, actioned and stored on the Participant file.
Participant Forms Service Agreement and/or Schedule of Support Forms - Under Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and https:// www.ndiscommission.gov.au/providers/ndis -practice-standards Page 14. Service Provision, Medication, Privacy & Confidentially, Medical and Emergency & Water Based Activities Consent Forms - Under Privacy Act 1988 - Legislation and https://www.ndiscommission.gov.au/ providers/ndis-practice-standards Page 6, 7, 9, 17. Individual Risk Assessment Form - https:// www.ndiscommission.gov.au/providers/ndis -practice-standards Page 5, 7, 8, 10, 15. WhatsUp in Disability
One Wish one Cure by the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation 2nd November
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With Andrew Spradbrow Toowoomba CBD Accessibility Map Toowoomba Regional Council is happy to announce a new online mapping system to assist residents and visitors to the Region in navigating the Toowoomba CBD. Where able -bodied people can simply decide where they want to go, hop into the car and go there, people living with limited mobility face daily challenges in finding viable routes to go new places. Many spend hours planning their route to ensure their way will not be blocked or inaccessible, most having experienced abandoning their journey to return home. The Toowoomba online CBD accessibility map has been delivered as a collaboration between the Toowoomba Regional Council and Briometrix. The online map provides users with a variety of helpful details, including its unique “effort-based” mobility ratings as an aid in wayfinding for people in wheelchairs. Colour-coded “effort ratings” provide an invaluable guide to accessible routes based on each individual’s capacity. The routes are also popular with parents pushing strollers, children on scooters as well as less mobile elderly citizens and e-scooters. Using sophisticated sensors on their chairs, Briometrix’ team of wheelchair pilots surveyed the footpaths and parklands within a portion Toowoomba CBD. They measured footpath gradient, cross slope, surface type and condition, kerb ramps, intersections, trip hazards and obstructions. As well as creating the “effortbased” mobility maps, more detailed footpath information will help Council in the future Page 32
to identify and rectify potential risks for footpath users. Local pilots were used to capture the data necessary for the map and included Bryan Flemming and Beven Kearsley. “We are mapping the footpaths for accessibility. It’s not only us (wheelchair users), we’re getting a lot of ageing population with wheelie-walkers and mobility scooters going across gutters and kerb ramps that are a bit ordinary, (crossing) buttons that are hard to reach, then down to the tactile pavers for vision-impaired people, we’re covering the whole scope – we’re registering and accounting for every little bit of accessible (footpath) – we’ve done most of the CBD.” “When you’re in a wheelchair, any small pothole or crack that you see, you feel them a lot more than an able-bodied person would, because they’re walking along the footpath and don’t even notice (a hazard) because they’re just stepping over it. “All that, is mapped and it is colour-coded so you can see which is the easiest route. So if somebody comes to town and wants to go somewhere, … the map will show them the easiest route to take to get there…” To access the map go to the following link https://brio.maps.arcgis.com/apps/ webappviewer/index.html? id=18b850ee78d14de190705eaed8abefac
New to Disability? First Points of Contact Centrelink Payments and Services
Disability Support Pension
Health Care Card
Indigenous Call Centre
1800 136 380
Emergency Crisis Payment
NDIS General Enquiries
1800 800 110
NDIA Toowoomba Office
07 4592 4057
Local Area Coordinator
07 4646 2800
Medicare General Enquiries
MyGov Help Desk
Queensland Government Child Safety
07 4699 4255
07 4616 6000
07 4699 4400
Toowoomba Disability Information Office Open Monday to Friday (9:00am to 3.00pm) A question on disability or a service you require? Try us, most of our volunteers have a disability themselves and will be glad to assist you. If we can’t help, we will refer you elsewhere. JP services are also available
Carer Advisory Service
1800 242 636
1800 059 059
Lifeline Darling Downs
1300 991 443
1300 364 277
The Good Samaritan Op Shop Bowen Street There are a number of support groups for most disabilities available in this region. Contact WhatsUp in Disability Phone: 07 4632 9559 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
11-15 Alexander Street Toowoomba (07) 4632 9559 A volunteer disability service organisation run by people with a disability
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