Big win for our Hard to swallow campaign

We have great news. NSW Disability Minister, Gareth Ward has just announced a new agreement between the NDIA and the states. They have reconsidered their position on funding health-related supports and therapies like swallowing therapies and decided that the NDIA will now fund them.

Tanisha and her brother hugging

This is great news not just for Tanisha and Ellen, who feature in our Hard to swallow campaign, but also for the many people with disability on NDIS plans who need health-related supports and therapies, including people needing insulin injections and those with respiratory issues needing oxygen tanks.

Minister Ward has confirmed that "Under the agreements made today, the NDIS will also fund support for disability-related health needs including swallowing, respiratory issues, and continence aids." He says that "The Council also agreed to fund arrangements for disability-related supports and daily living expenses for children with disability living outside the family home."

This announcement comes after a recent win in the administration tribunal for people with swallowing problems reported in The Guardian. The article describes the win as a ‘watershed’, arguing the NDIA would now be forced to fund swallowing supports and would eventually mean an end to the long-running battle between the NDIA and state health.

This has now occurred and the decision of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Disability Reform Council makes swallowing funding permanent.

Our CEO Justine O’Neill has welcomed the news, saying "The NDIA has, until now, been taking a too narrow a view of its responsibilities with regards to health related therapies for people with disability. Simply put these health-related therapies and supports are critical and leaving people with disability without them puts lives at risk. This announcement is a positive development for the many NDIS participants who need ongoing health related therapies to maintain social interaction, quality of life and independence."

CID will be watching closely to see how this is delivered by the NDIS to ensure that people with disability are now able to access these health-related supports and therapies as part of their NDIS plans.

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Published 1 July 2019

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