Access requirements: the criteria someone must meet to become a participant in the NDIS. The access requirements are: age (under 65 years); residency (live in Australia and be an Australian citizen or have paperwork letting you live here permanently); disability: your disability is permanent (will not go away) and significant or you need early intervention (you require support early to help reduce the future needs for supports).

Affirmative measures: allow a particular job in the Australian Public Service (APS) to be open only to people who have a disability, or a particular type of disability, or to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. The measure is designed to address the under-representation of people with disability and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people in APS agencies.

Agency: refers to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The NDIA is an independent statutory agency whose role it is to implement the NDIS.

Approved plan: see ‘Plan’.

Assistive Technology (AT): the full range of technological solutions that allow people with disability to be more independent and more connected. The primary purpose of AT is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence to make possible participation (at home, school, workplace and/or community) and to enhance overall well-being.

Beyond the traditional “aids and equipment” used by people with disability, including home and vehicle modifications, prosthetics and hearing aids, AT includes some mainstream devices (for example, smartphones, tablets and apps) that are adapted with special features (or software) to assist a person with disability to do tasks others take for granted.

Attendant care: refers to any paid care or support services delivered at a person’s home or in their community to enable them to remain living in the community.

Bilateral Agreement: an agreement between the Commonwealth Government and jurisdictional governments regarding roles and responsibilities for the transition to full coverage of the NDIS.

Bilateral estimates: estimates for the number of people expected to enter the NDIS, by quarter, in each state and territory over the next three years. These figures are estimates only.

Carer: someone who provides personal care, support and assistance to a person with disability and who is not contracted as a paid or voluntary worker.

Choice and control: the NDIA principle which outlines a participant’s right to determine, how and when and by whom their supports are delivered.

Committed supports: funds included for reasonable and necessary supports for participants in approved plans.

Community engagement: describes the range of ways people are involved in the wider community.

Community services: activities and services such as social, study, sporting or other interests, available from local non-government groups and government entities.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD): for the purpose of Scheme estimates, ‘culturally and linguistically diverse’ is defined as: country of birth is not Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada or South Africa; or primary language spoken at home is not English.

Disability: total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions (the Disability Discrimination Act 1992). Describes a person’s impairment of body or function, a limitation in activities or a restriction in participation when interacting with their environment.

Early Childhood Early Intervention: providing support early in life to reduce the effects of disability and to improve the person’s functional capacity.

eMarket platform: an online marketplace to assist people with disability, their families and carers to exercise choice about support options, and to assist service agencies and other suppliers to communicate their offerings and access information that will inform their commercial decisions.

Full Scheme: the dates when the NDIS will be available to all eligible residents. In the Australian Capital Territory this is July 2016. In New South Wales and South Australia this will be July 2018. In Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, and the Northern Territory, this is July 2019. In Western Australia, this is July 2020.

Functional impact: a description of the nature and extent of a person’s disability and how it affects the things they need to do and the way they do them.

Funded supports: see reasonable and necessary supports.

Goals: The aspirational outcome which a participant has set for themselves.

Informal supports: the supports participants get from the people around them, for example family, friends and neighbours.

Information, Linkages and Capacity building (ILC): the activities that will be supported by the NDIS to promote the social and economic inclusion of people with a disability, including people not receiving individualised funded support from the NDIS. The activities include providing information and making linkages and referral to community or mainstream services, building the capacity of people with a disability, families and carers, building community capacity, building mainstream service provider capacity, and local area coordination.

Insurance approach: sharing the costs of disability services and supports across the community.

Insurance principles: placing emphasis on making up-front investments that reduce participants’ calls on the Scheme into the future, including investments in measuring lifetime costs, research and innovation, and community capability development.

Local Area Coordinators / Coordination (LACs/ LAC): local organisations working in partnership with the NDIA, to help participants, their families and carers access the NDIS. LACs will help participants write and manage their plans and also connect participants to mainstream services and local and community-based supports.

Lived experience of disability: either personally living with disability or having a close relationship with a person with disability (for example, a family member or partner).

Mainstream services: the government systems providing services to the Australian public e.g. health, mental health, education, justice, housing, child protection and employment services.

Market: a medium where buyers and sellers interact to trade goods and services. Under the NDIS, the market for disability supports is where NDIS participants and providers interact to trade for disability supports.

Market steward: the role the NDIA will take to promote market development under the NDIS. The role includes monitoring and facilitating the market and intervening when appropriate and necessary.

myplace: myplace is a secure website for participants or their nominee to view their NDIS plan, request payments and manage services with providers. Registered providers also use the myplace portal to manage their registration, connect and make service bookings with participants and submit and monitor claims for payment.

NDIA: National Disability Insurance Agency. The Commonwealth government organisation administering the NDIS. In this report, the NDIA is also referred to as ‘the Agency’.

NDIS: National Disability Insurance Scheme. A new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers. In this report, the NDIS is also referred to as ‘the Scheme’.

Outcomes Framework: the Agency’s mechanism for measuring success for people with disability in areas like choice and control, social inclusion, education, employment, health and housing.

Ordinary lives: lives that include positive relationships, a sense of belonging, autonomy, active involvement in decision-making, and opportunities for challenge and contribution.

Operational plans: operational plans set out the key deliverables agreed between the Agency, state and territory governments and the Commonwealth Government to support the rollout of the full NDIS Scheme. Operational plans have been developed in partnership between the parties and serve as the overarching roadmap for transitioning to the NDIS as best achieved in each jurisdiction.

Package costs: the cost to the NDIS Agency of providing funding and support to an individual participant.

Participant: a person who meets the NDIS access requirements.

Participant / provider experience: the experience of prospective or current NDIS participants (or their families or carers) or providers, during all points of contact with the NDIA and Partners in the Community against the individual’s expectations.

Participant outcomes: a way of measuring whether or not participants’ goals are achieved combined with whether the Agency is meeting its objectives.

Partners in the Community: Partners in the Community are suitably experienced and qualified organisations within the community that will deliver Local Area Coordination (LAC) and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services. The NDIA will source, manage, support and train, and set standards for their delivery of LAC and ECEI services.

People with disability: people who experience any or all of the following: impairments, activity limitations (difficulties in carrying out usual age-appropriate activities), and participation restrictions (problems a person may have taking part in community, social and family life). People with disability include both participants who receive individualised support packages under the NDIS, and people who have a disability but do not meet access requirements under the NDIS. People with disability who are not participants will benefit from the Information, Linkages and Capacity services the NDIS provides.

Phasing / phasing arrangement: refers to the order in which people will enter the NDIS within jurisdictions, as agreed to by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and the NDIA.

Plan: a written agreement worked out with the participant, stating their goals and needs, and the reasonable and necessary supports the NDIS will fund for them. Each participant has their own individual plan.

Planning process: the process by which the Agency helps a participant to plan for the assistance they need from the Scheme to attain their goals.

Pricing: guidance on the price to be paid for each support item. For some items, such as personal care and community access, the amount indicates the maximum price that the Agency will pay for that support.

Providers: individuals or organisations that deliver a support or a product to a participant of the NDIS.

Psychosocial disability: the term used to describe the disability experience of people with impairments and participation restrictions related to mental health conditions. These impairments and participation restrictions include loss of or reduced ability to function, think clearly, experience full physical health and manage social and emotional aspects of their lives.

Other stakeholders: includes Partners in the Community, states and territories, other government departments who are stakeholders (e.g. Department of Social Services, Department of Human Services), and non-profit organisations in the disability sector.

Quality and Safeguards: Quality is about ensuring people receive good supports and safeguarding is about keeping people safe from harm. Features of quality and safeguarding systems generally include systems for handling complaints, staff screening processes and systems for checking that service providers meet the standards expected of them.

Readiness: refers to the preparedness of people with disability, providers and other stakeholders for the transition to the NDIS.

Reasonable and necessary supports: the supports that are funded under the NDIS Act. The NDIA publishes operational guidelines to assist decisions on what is to be funded as a reasonable and necessary support.

Reference packages: a benchmark amount of support determined according to different characteristics of the population of NDIS Scheme participants such as age, health condition and ‘severity’ of disability. Reference packages will be used to monitor experience against the benchmarks.

Registered provider: An approved person or provider of supports, that has met the NDIS requirements for registration.

Sector: refers to organisations and sole traders who deliver disability support services and the peak bodies that represent them.

Self-management: where funding and supports are managed by the participant and/or their family.

Separation rate: the measure of people choosing to leave employment in the Agency.

Service bookings: The online agreement between a participant and provider detailing the timeframe and cost of supports. It is completed in the myplace portal.

Services: assistance delivered through a current support provider.

Support package: the term used by the Agency to describe the funding for the supports available to an individual participant.

Supports: assistance that helps a participant to reach their goals, objectives and aspirations, and to undertake activities to enable their social and economic participation.

Trial phase: a term used to describe the first three years of the NDIS where different ways of working were trialled.

Workforce: refers to people currently working in the disability support sector, or to new members of the disability support workforce. Workforce is also used to describe NDIA employees.