CEO Update 12 July

CEO updates

Good news finally last week with an announcement from the Government following the meeting of State and Territory disability ministers with the Federal Minister for the NDIS that Independent Assessments are officially scrapped!   It would be hard to overestimate the significance of this win for people with disabilities.  As earlier stated, the assessments were anything but ‘independent’, being conducted by staff employed by the NDIA.  Furthermore, the structural amendment to the scheme, so substantial that it would have required Parliament to amend the NDIS legislation, would have ensured that individual planning of support packages was only ever to a predetermined budget, set by the NDIA’s computer algorithm following an (anything but) Independent Assessment.  So much for the core principle that eligible participants receive support packages individually assessed and relevant to their ‘reasonable and necessary’ needs.  Make no mistake, this is a change which was essential if the NDIS was to continue to have any chance of meeting the needs of participants and we are grateful that the broad-based concerns of people with disabilities, families, advocates and service providers ultimately convinced politicians that this proposed change was indeed…a bridge too far.

Not so good was the news on Friday that the federal Cabinet, despite the Minister for the NDIS proposing mandatory vaccination of the disability workforce, decided not to proceed down that path.  Bayley House has lobbied for, and supports the National Disability Services (NDS) policy that people with disabilities are best served and protected from COVID-19 through a vaccinated workforce.  The Federal Government’s position that vaccination of our workforce is ‘strongly recommended’ is entirely inadequate and we will continue to utilise whatever opportunities we have to advocate for a change to this position.

Programs of Support will roll out across all our day service activities commencing today.  All families should have received notification of this from me last week and, as advised, our Client Service team will be in touch with families in the coming weeks to finalise the necessary documentation.  We are very excited about this change introduced by the NDIA last year.  It recognises, finally, that group activities are developmental, structured, and that each session/activity forms part of a weeks-long program.  All Bayley House group activities will be delivered via the Programs of Support model.

You will have heard already but worth repeating here that our Art For All fundraiser wrapped up June 30th with a grand total of $355,763. What an amazing result!  Fundraising in a COVID environment is none too easy and we very much appreciate the incredible support of the Bayley House extended family in digging deep to ensure that our much anticipated Arts Hub will really happen…and soon (stay tuned….)

Stay Safe and Well.

Warwick Cavanagh
CEO Bayley House