Category Archives for "Human Rights and Advocacy"

Jul 28 2022

Making a complaint

My provider did something bad.

You can make a complaint about your NDIS services if they are not doing a good job or are doing things wrongly or cheating you.

A complaint means you are not happy about something.

The NDIS Commission want to make NDIS services better and safer for everyone.

It does not matter if your provider is registered or unregistered. They will help with either.

They can work with you to fix problems.

Contact the NDIS Commission

Call 1800 035 544

or check out

Your rights. Your supports. Your control.

Pic desc: a photo of a man sitting in a wheelchair communicating with a man wearing glasses with his back to the camera.

Words across the bottom say “It’s OK to complain about NDIS funded disability services”

(Picture with thanks to Victoria’s Disability Services Commission who have loads of great resources on their website too)

The Growing Space Copyright 2022 – fine to share with credit and no edits.

Pic desc: a photo of a man sitting in a wheelchair communicating with a man wearing glasses with his back to the camera. 
Words across the bottom say “It’s OK to complain about ndis funded disability services”
Nov 25 2020

Plan Spending Flexibility Changes

The NDIS have released some stuff about important things, to get your feedback.
These are about some big changes to plan spending flexibility, and about how independent assessments are used to get into the scheme.
There are 4 papers, 2 about Early Childhood changes |(some good stuff in there) but I want to talk about the other two:
Planning policy for personalised budgets and plan flexibility
Access and eligibility policy with independent assessments
It’s really important that our community read these and give feedback.
Here are some of my initial thoughts (plenty more to come, I’m sure)…
Things I like:

  1. Everyone will get a personalised budget, and the money will be flexible between support categories (except for some stuff, like SDA and capital equipment and mods etc.)
  2. Independent assessments will mean some people will get access to NDIS quicker, and won’t have to pay for reports beforehand.
    Things I don’t like:
  3. They are proposing that you only get a month of your budget at a time, and that every year it starts over (although some of the unused budget might rollover into the new year)
  4. Goals don’t affect your personalised budget (I don’t see how this is possible – if your goal is to move out of home, you’ll need a higher budget, surely?)
  5. There’s no way to appeal the results of your independent assessment (but you can appeal the plan budget amount)
    Things I’m unsure about:
  6. I don’t understand how standardised budgets based on independent assessment will take into account an individual’s unique goals – if I am happy in a 1:6 group program my funding will likely be fine, but if I want to pursue a microenterprise and need a facilitator and some 1:1 support, will I get enough funding through this proposed process?
  7. What if I want to live alone and not with 1:3 support? My “functional impairment” hasn’t changed, but I need more funding in that situation…
  8. How are they going to work “exemptions” to independent assessments – a can of worms!
Image may contain: text that says "ndis National Disability Insurance Scheme Consultation paper: Planning Policy for Personalised Budgets and Plan Flexibility November 2020 Version 1.0"
Image may contain: text that says "ndis National Disability Insurance Scheme Consultation paper: Access and Eligibility Policy with independent assessments November 2020 Version 1.0"
Aug 25 2019

Joining a club!

Here is a list of handy phrases for community organisations and sports clubs to use when a disabled person or a family with a child with disability comes to enrol in your program/scouts/ballet class/choir/soccer club/karate club etc.

– Welcome. We’re looking forward to having you in our group!
– I haven’t had a child here with xxx before so I need to learn more – let’s figure it out how to make this work together. 
– Let’s give this a go and see how we can make it work.
– What do I need to know to make this a success for you/your kid?
– What is your advice on how we can make this work?
– How can we really include you/your child in our club/class? Are there things we can change to make an easier transition?
– We will find a way
– What is the best way to communicate with you/your child?
– We are learning how to be better at inclusion
– Hi! I’m glad you’re here!

No photo description available.

–pic desc: Four circles filled with coloured dots representing people. 
The first circle, labelled “Inclusion” show all the different coloured dots mixed up inside the circle.
The second, labelled exclusion has all the green dots inside the circle, while the fewer red, yellow and blue dots are outside the circle.
The third, labelled Segregation, has a big circle filled with green dots and next to it is a smaller circle filled with red, yellow and blue dots.
The last circle is labelled Integration, where a small circle filled with red, blue and yellow dots is inside of a larger circle filled with green dots.

Jul 07 2019

Spoiling Day

I have a very wise and very dear friend called Donna.
She has ten children, and Caleb, her youngest, is now a young aspiring Paralympian table tennis athlete.
I have learned a great deal from Donna, parent extraordinaire, over the years, but today I want to share one little gem.
“Spoiling Day”
Even before her youngest was born, Donna did a “Spoiling Day” each month with each of her kids, who would write their names to reserve a spot in her diary.
When Caleb was born with disability and life-threatening medical issues, Spoiling Day became even more important.
Donna spent a half day, or a few hours, with each of her children 1:1, doing whatever *they* want to do.
It’s special time with Mum. And it didn’t need to cost much, if anything.
So for one the kids, they would like nothing better than getting a big bag of hot chips, sitting by the ocean, sharing them with each other, and throwing them to the seagulls.
For another, it might have been baking some sweet treats together for the afternoon.
For another, it was (and I *love* this one) taking a bag of hot chips to school at lunchtime, and sitting with her son and his friends sharing them in the schoolyard. What a great way to let a kid know they’re important!
Finding 1:1 time with that many kids was obviously a challenge, but Donna let their schools know how important it was to her family, so pulling each child out of school for a few hours once a month or so, was welcomed by an understanding school leadership.
As you can imagine, time is a precious thing when you have ten kids, and moreso when one of them needs a whole lot more hospital, doctor and therapy time than others, so often Caleb would come along to “Spoiling Day” when he was little, but the focus was always on the child whose name was in Donna’s diary. And Caleb would get his own “Spoiling Day” too, of course.
All of Donna’s kids are adults now, but most of them still write their names in her diary for a spoiling day now and then, but now they tend to take her out!
So, have you considered a “Spoiling Day” with your kids?
The bond between your children will hopefully be there long after you are gone, so supporting all your children, and making time for them can really help build their lifelong relationships well after you’re gone.
Thank you Donna for your wisdom.

For more parenting and sibling support and wisdom, Siblings Australia is available to support families who want to better support sibling relationships, and they are a registered NDIS provider. Just a few hours consult with Kate Strohm from Siblings Australia can be such good value. Check them out at

pic desc: a family photo taken at a fairly formal event. Donna standing in the middle of a dozen family members including a babe in arms, behind some of her sons, including Caleb who is sitting in his wheelchair. Everyone is dressed up beautifully in frocks and suits with some very large helium filled gold sparkly balloons behind them. Nearly everyone has a wide smile on their face.
(Posted with permission from Caleb and Donna!)

Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling, people standing and suit