Avoiding simple solutions to complex problems: Independent Assessments are not the way to a fairer NDIS - Full Report


    In this report we explore the experiences of children, young people and families with the NDIS. We also explore the proposed introduction of Independent Assessment and the attitudes of our cohort on this major change.

    Experiences with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can vary widely. Positive experiences with the Scheme can be life-changing or transformational for children, young people and their families, supporting their human rights and facilitating their goals. But at the moment, the NDIS doesn’t work for everyone. There are a range of inequities within the Scheme that lead to divergent outcomes and experiences for NDIS participants.

    The Federal Government has proposed the most significant reforms of the NDIS since its launch. One key part of this reform process is the introduction of Independent Assessments. The Independent Assessment process involves functional assessments being administered by a professional who is unknown to the child or young person. The government states that this approach will make funding decisions clearer and more consistent. Many critics agree that the NDIS can be inequitable and that this needs to be addressed, but also have concerns about the use of Independent Assessments as a way to address these problems. There is widespread concern that the planned Independent Assessment roll-out is underpinned by financial concerns and “scheme sustainability”, rather than making the NDIS fairer for everyone.

    CYDA surveyed children and young people with disabilities and their families to understand their experiences accessing the NDIS and their thoughts on the proposed reforms. This report sets out findings from the 270 people who completed the survey between 21 January and 21 February.