Thanks to strong advocacy by Blind Citizens Australia, its members and partner organisations, participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme will now receive correspondence in their preferred format.
The NDIA will progressively introduce changes over the next few months which will allow participants to choose their preferred communication format and update their preferences via an NDIA representative, the National contact centre, or on the Participant Portal. Large font, audio, e-text and braille formats will be available.
The NDIA expect to move to automated requests for correspondence in alternative formats by the end of August 2019. Requested documents will be sent directly to an external accessible format provider who will prepare the accessible version and despatch directly to the NDIS Participant to reduce delays.
Up to now requests for alternative formats have been managed by NDIA planners via a manual process and participants often report delays and difficulty in getting correspondence in their chosen format. Print copy plans and letters are currently generated automatically and staff must intervene manually where needed to support a participant’s preference. This has resulted in an inconsistent approach long delay before a participant receives the alternative format.
“This is a tremendously important step forward for people who are blind or vision impaired. Blindness is often referred to as an information-based disability. Access to information is often the only thing that prevents a person who is blind or vision impaired from carrying out tasks and activities that they otherwise could,” said Rikki Chaplin, Acting CEO Blind Citizens Australia.
“To be able to easily read your NDIS plan is vital if you’re going to be able to take full advantage of the supports in your plan. I congratulate the NDIA on ensuring that people who are blind or vision impaired will have reliable and consistent access to their plans in the format which is right for them.”
The NDIA has committed to continuous improvement and will seek feedback by engaging with peak bodies such as BCA and with the Participant Reference Group.
Read the full media release here (Word version)
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