2.1 Reasonable and necessary support across the lifespan: an ordinary life for people with disability (2014) (2.1)


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The term ‘ordinary life’ is often used to describe the ambitions of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This is because the purpose of the NDIS is to help ensure people with disability live ordinary lives.

But what does an ‘ordinary life’ look like?

What is stopping us from having an ordinary life now?

And will the NDIS be enough to change things?

This is an issue the Independent Advisory Council (IAC) has looked at in detail.

The IAC provides independent advice to the Board of the NDIS to ensure the realisation of the vision and the values of the Scheme.

That is, for the NDIS to contribute to people with disability becoming more independent, more included in mainstream social and economic life and more self-directing.

A fundamental starting point is that people with disability share the same, ordinary aspirations of people without disability.

People with disability just need the right support to achieve them.

The phrase ‘ordinary life’ provides clues as to how these aspirations would typically be met, and a useful benchmark to understand what support is necessary.

Research has identified seven clear factors that contribute to health and wellbeing –

-    Positive relationships
-    A sense of belonging
-    Achieving autonomy
-    Active involvement in decision-making
-    Active social and economic participation
-    Opportunities for challenge
-    Making a contribution

These factors are the enablers of an ordinary life.

By providing ‘reasonable and necessary’ support, the NDIS will help enable a person with disability to pursue goals and aspirations.

But providing ‘reasonable and necessary’ support will not by itself transform the lives of people with disability.

It requires a welcoming community, the removal of barriers to economic and social participation and the development of services and supports that assist people to move from clients to empowered citizens. All of this will take time.

Read the IAC advice on how the NDIS can better support an ordinary life. (LINK TO COME)