The decision support pilot program is an advocacy program that provides decision support for potential and current participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
This program is tailored to those with cognitive impairments such as an acquired brain injury, intellectual or psychosocial disability. It has been designed for individuals who do not have family or other informal or formal supports to assist with the decision-making process.
This year the program supported a total of 38 individuals. Common issues faced by our participants included:
- Difficulty gathering the necessary medical evidence or historical reports to demonstrate a disability and its impact on the individual’s daily life.
- Lack of understanding from mainstream health services regarding the NDIS processes and the evidence necessary to facilitate access to the scheme.
- Lengthy wait times for assessments through the health care system.
- Reduced short-term memory capacity influencing knowledge of existing medical reports and impacting appointment attendance.
- Comorbid disabilities which interacted to preclude engagement with the program, health professionals or the NDIS.
Due to the difficulties obtaining the necessary evidence, it can take anywhere from 3 months to 2 and a half years to support an individual through the NDIS process. Despite the barriers, a number of individuals have been supported to access the scheme this year with significant funding allocated in their plans. Often, these clients have been living without support for their disability for many years. Our pilot program has assisted clients to gain formal diagnoses, feel empowered in their decisions and to gain access to much needed supports that have improved their quality of life.
Participant Story: Bob Masefield
During Bob Masefield’s first physiotherapy session with us at Brain Injury SA, he outlined his 2 main goals as walking again and to go out fishing in his beloved boat.
Bob has worked incredibly hard in physiotherapy sessions, and with the support of his wife Michelle, Bob now walks with a walking stick out in the community.
The second goal of getting in and out of a boat was going to be challenging!
Bob worked on a strengthening program, getting up and down stairs and even getting off the floor. When the day came for Bob to try and get in the boat, he climbed up and in without a second thought.
Bob is now able to go out in the boat fishing with his support worker Merv, who has helped Bob achieve his goals and to really embrace life after brain injury.