Programs and Services
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is designed to enhance the quality of life and increase economic and social participation for people with disability. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is responsible for delivering the NDIS. The NDIS is a new way of funding individualised support for people with disability that involves more choice and control and a lifetime approach to a person’s support needs. It focuses on early intervention, recognising that timely support can minimise the impact of a disability. It will provide assistance at the right time, rather than only once people reach crisis.
The National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) provides people with disability access to effective disability advocacy that promotes, protects and ensures their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights enabling community participation. The policy and implementation of the NDAP is guided by the principles and objectives of key legislation, conventions, agreements and frameworks, including but not limited to: the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the National Disability Strategy; the National Disability Agreement, the National Disability Advocacy Framework; and the Disability Services Act 1986 (DSA).
The Australian Disability Parking Scheme includes an Australian Disability Parking Permit, which is recognised nationally. It also establishes nationally consistent eligibility criteria and national minimum parking concessions to help reduce the barriers for permit holders when travelling interstate. Permit holders can park in parking spaces showing the international symbol of access and can receive concessions in most public parking spaces where the sign or meter shows specific time limits.
The National Companion Card Scheme brings together State and Territory Companion Card programs that enable eligible people with lifelong disability to participate at venues and activities without incurring the cost of a second ticket for their companion. The cardholder presents their card at participating affiliate organisations to purchase a ticket or pay an entry fee and receive a ticket for their companion at no extra charge. The National Card Scheme is comprised of Companion Card programs run by each State and Territory which issue the Companion Card i.e. there is no National Card. Under the scheme, a cardholder may use their card in any State or Territory when on holidays or travelling. If a cardholder permanently moves to reside in another state or territory then they will need to apply for a new Companion Card from the State/Territory in which they now reside.
The National Relay Service (NRS) is an Australia-wide telephone access service provided for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. It is also available to anyone who wants to call a person with a hearing or speech impairment. The NRS is available to everyone at no additional charge.
Better Start is an Australian Government initiative that aims to help make vital early intervention services and therapies more affordable and accessible. Funding for services and therapies is available for children who are aged under six years and have been diagnosed with one of the specified disabilities listed in the Programs criteria.
This section contains a range of information about employment programs, services and support for people with disabilities, and a range of information on programs for employers who employ, or are seeking to employ, people with disabilities. Information is provided on the two types of specialist agencies funded by the Australian Government to help people with disability find and maintain work: Australian Disability Enterprises, and Disability Employment Services. Links to useful resources and tools are also available here.
The National Auslan Interpreter Booking and Payment Service (NABS) is funded by the Australian Government to provide interpreters FREE of charge to people who use sign language to communicate and would like to book an interpreter for private health care appointments. This is a FREE service to Sign Language Users and Health Care Providers. All interpreting services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sign Language users are provided FREE for both public and private health care appointments.
NICAN is funded to provide an Australia-wide information service on recreation, tourism, sports and the arts for people with disability. It refers people to organisations that offer programs and activities either to the general community or specifically for people with disabilities. NICAN maintains a database of information on 4000 organisations across Australia.
The Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) service aims to provide increased opportunities for recovery for people whose lives are severely affected by mental illness. It assists people aged 16 years and over whose ability to manage their daily activities and to live independently in the community is impacted because of a severe mental illness.
Through the Postal Concessions for the Blind Program, Australia Post is reimbursed by the Australian Government for the cost of posting ‘eligible items’ for people who are blind.
The Print Disability Services Program (the Program) supports organisations to produce print material in alternative formats for people with print disability who are unable to read standard print with ease due to vision impairment, a physical disability or a learning disability. Funding under the Program is directed to the production of digital masters of print material, to reflect the uptake of recent and emerging technology and to ensure the best quality material is available to the end user.
An allocation of funds is provided each year to support national and international disability conferences held within Australia. These funds are administered by the Australian Government. Applications are only called for once a year. These funds may be provided to conference organisers to: assist people with disabilities, their families and/or carers with costs such as conference fees, accommodation or travel; and facilitate access to the conference for people with disabilities, their families and/or carers by, for example, providing funding for interpreters for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired, for the provision of material in alternative formats, and/or for the provision of note-takers.
The CAPS is an Australian Government payment that assists eligible people, aged 5 years or more, who have permanent and severe incontinence to meet some of the cost of their continence products.