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Towards an ordinary life

It's not about having a life better than anyone else in the world, but there are things everyone takes for granted, and it is those things that are ordinary that ought to be ordinary for people with disability too.

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A year of achievement

This is the third year of the Scheme which now moves from a three-year trial phase to full Scheme rollout from 1 July 2016.

The following information highlights many of the achievements made over the course of 2015-16 as the Agency drives the Scheme to transition. Many of these activities are discussed further across this report. In particular, Section 1 illustrates some of the strategic background to activities and the remaining sections describe the context of the activities against goals and how performance is measured.

35,695 participants, 30,281 participants with an approved plan, 95% participant satisfaction 3519 service providers NDIS registered, $2.4 billion committed in support, 16% of agency staff identify as having a disability 4% participants from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities, 6% participants are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

Key features of the Scheme

People with disability are at the centre of the Scheme and are involved in the design process.

It provides participants with choice and control, over the reasonable and necessary support they receive.

It aligns the whole of Australia in its design, where previously funding was state and territory led.

It is based on insurance principles, which fundamentally mean planning early, for supports likely to be required over a whole lifetime.

It uses the planning process to fund supports based on individual need, rather than a one-size-fits-all fixed dollar amount.

It is designed to continually evolve and grow as lessons are learned across the Scheme and as advances are made in areas such as technology.

Illustration of 3 symbols, A, B and C, with arrows that point to a circle with a lady inside. Illustration of 3 symbols, A, B and C, and a circle with a hand icon. Illustration of a map of Australia designed with coloured triangles. Illustration of 3 circles. The first contains a girl, the second contains a middle aged woman, and the last contains an older woman. Illustration of a lady in a circle, with 4 puzzle pieces around the edges. Illustration of a lady with a symbol of a chart, with an arrow zig-zagging and rising upwards.

At 30 June 2016,
the Scheme is

on time

on budget

At 30 June 2016, the Scheme is on time on budget

Where is the Scheme now?

From 1 July 2016, the full rollout of the Scheme will commence with an anticipated target of 460 000 people participating in the Scheme by 2019.

A three-year trial of the Scheme commenced in 2013. Seven selected sites were launched across Australia, and with the addition of two early transition sites, the Scheme has reached 35 695 participants by July 2016.

From 2020 and beyond, the Scheme will continue to support existing participants and bring on any new participants.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

‘For the first time, Australians will have access to a national scheme that will support people with disability, providing certainty, consistency and equity.’

David Bowen, NDIA Chief Executive Officer

Why was the Scheme created?

Years of study and discussion about the inadequacy of the Australian disability support system culminated in a major report released by the Productivity Commission on 10 August 2011. Based on the report, a decision was made in the same year by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to establish a new disability scheme.

The National Disability Insurance Agency was created in 2013 when the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) came into force. The Agency was charged with the task of implementing the new Scheme. See page 202 of the Annual Report for further details about the enabling legislation and how the Agency meets its legislated objectives.

NDIS – the Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS or ‘the Scheme’) is a new model of funding and social support for people with disability in Australia. It has been hailed as a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the way disability services are provided, with the aim of providing an ordinary life for its participants, and the most significant reform in Australia since Medicare was introduced.

The Scheme aims to increase the capacity of all Australians to play their part. In particular, providers of mainstream health, education and social services, community organisations, businesses and employers will develop new ways of working. It will also positively impact the wider community by highlighting the significant contribution that people with disability make to the nation socially, culturally and economically.

NDIA – the Agency

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA or ‘the Agency’) is the organisation responsible for implementing the Scheme.

Year three trial highlights

The following information is a summary of activities and highlights across the Scheme for the final year of trial (1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016).

David Bowen, NDIA Chief Executive Officer

Over the year, the Agency has followed the ‘Listen Learn Build Deliver’ approach to the trial and this report provides insight into activities that fall under each of those areas.

Headline figures from trial and early transition sites

National Performance

36 307
expected participants

35 695 (98%)

30 281 (83%) participants with approved plans

$36 049 annualised average package cost (excluding large residential centres (LRC))

$39 065 annualised average package cost (including LRCs)


Trial commenced July 2013 in the Barwon region.

Performance to date

  • 5289 expected participants
  • 5884 (111%) participants
  • 5284 (100%) participants with approved plans
  • $35 655 annualised average package cost (excluding Colanda large residential centre

New South Wales - the Hunter Region

Trial commenced July 2013 in the Hunter region.

Performance to date

  • 10 111 expected participants
  • 8348 (83%) participants
  • 7805 (77%) participants with approved plans
  • $43 400 annualised average package cost (excluding Stockton and Kanangra LRC)

New South Wales - Nepean Blue Mountains

Trial commenced September 2015 in the Western Sydney region.

Performance to date

  • 2000 expected participants
  • 2015 (101%) participants
  • 1804 (90%) participants with approved plans
  • $19 231 annualised average package cost


Trial commenced April 2016 in Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island.

Performance to date

  • 600 expected participants
  • 537 (90%) participants
  • 361 (60%) participants with approved plans
  • $24 983 annualised average package cost


Trial commenced July 2013 state-wide.

Performance to date

  • 1125 expected participants
  • 1358 (121%) participants
  • 1162 (103%) participants with approved plans
  • $58 744 annualised average package cost


Trial commenced July 2014 territory-wide.

Performance to date

  • 4278 expected participants
  • 5229 (122%) participants
  • 4098 (96%) participants with approved plans
  • $47 992 annualised average package cost

South Australia

Trial commenced July 2013 state-wide.

Performance to date

  • 8500 expected participants
  • 9482 (112%) participants
  • 7118 (84%) participants with approved plans
  • $17 742 annualised average package cost

Northern Territory

Trial commenced July 2014 in the Barkly region.

Performance to date

  • 154 expected participants
  • 161 (105%) participants
  • 155 (101%) participants with approved plans
  • $39 894 annualised average package cost

Western Australia

Trial commenced July 2014 in the Perth Hills region.

Performance to date

  • 4250 expected participants
  • 2681 (63%) participants
  • 2494 (59%) participants with approved plans
  • $51 276 annualised average package cost