Introducing the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new Australian reform designed to support people with a disability.

The NDIS uses an insurance approach, a bit like Medicare, to share service and support costs across the wider community. All Australian tax payers contribute to the scheme and it’s administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The NDIA is a commonwealth level government agency.

The NDIS is designed to achieve two main goals:

  1. Cover the costs of the reasonable and necessary supports that a person with disability requires based on their personal circumstances, needs and goals
  2. Give people with a disability greater choice and control over the support they receive.


Who is eligible for NDIS funding?

Everyone is assessed individually, but broadly speaking, you must be:

  • Under 65 years old when your local area joins the NDIS.
  • In need of support for everyday tasks because of a permanent impairment or condition.
  • An Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen holding a Protected Special Category Visa.


What does it mean to me?

In simple terms, it means that as a person under the age of 65 living with vision loss or an impairment, you will receive allocated funds to access the supports you need to enhance your independence and quality of life.

As an example, you can receive funding to purchase assistive technologies that support you at work or home. Some people will be able to secure extra support for mobility training, home assessments and even Guide Dogs, with money available for food, vet bills and grooming.

We encourage every person who is eligible for the NDIS to obtain funding. It is our belief that early intervention is essential and that the NDIS provides an opportunity for greater access to support and services that meet your needs.

If you are over 65 and don’t meet the NDIS eligibility criteria, the services Guide Dogs Queensland can provide you will not change.  While the NDIS or My Aged Care (see below) will fund services to some of the clients we serve, we will continue to provide services to ALL Queenslanders thanks to generous community support.


Where can I access the NDIS in Queensland?

The NDIS will roll out across Queensland from July 2016 and will be fully implemented by the end of 2019. The scheme is currently available for residents of Townsville and surrounds, Mackay and surrounds and Toowoomba and southwest Queensland.

You can find out more about the planned roll out across Queensland here.


How can Guide Dogs Queensland help me?

Our services are designed around your individual circumstance. We customise programs to meet your specific needs, in order to help you reach your personal potential.

Similarly, the NDIS is designed to help you choose the most relevant supports and services for you, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. We welcome the new reforms.

Guide Dogs Queensland is registered with the NDIS as a provider of support services.  These services include Orientation and Mobility training and a range of other programs for people who are blind or vision impaired.

Our staff are here to help you navigate the NDIS and assist you to understand and access the scheme. We can help you in the following ways:

  • Assist you to understand the NDIS
  • Provide you with tools to help you prepare for the NDIS
  • Identify goals that the NDIS will consider to be funded
  • Assist you to understand your plan


What sorts of NDIS services can Guide Dogs Queensland provide?

Our experienced staff are registered to provide a range of supports to children and adults with low or no vision through the NDIS. Examples include:

We understand that everyone’s NDIS plan is different. Guide Dogs Queensland has over 50 years experience in working with clients who are blind or vision impaired and can ensure our supports will assist you to meet your NDIS goals. Examples of the ways we can support you through your NDIS plan include:

  • Building your independence in the home and community (e.g. developing skills to support activities such as cooking, shopping, using public transport)
  • Increasing your participation in social and community activities
  • Providing links with other services to help you maintain your independence
  • Training in the use of a mobility aid such as a cane, electronic device or a Guide Dog
  • Supporting you to achieve your life goals, such as living independently
  • Prescription and training in aids and equipment for the home and community, including workplace modifications if you are currently employed or seeking work.

Guide Dogs Queensland can support you during the NDIS planning process, giving you confidence that your plan will help you meet your individual goals.

If you wish, you can nominate Guide Dogs Queensland as your preferred service provider for your supports on your NDIS plan. You may wish to speak with your planner to request Guide Dogs Queensland undertake a Specialised Assessment to ensure your identified needs are included in your NDIS plan.


Getting started

Guide Dogs Queensland is here to support you. The best time to get in contact with us is before you meet with your NDIS Planner, but our experienced staff can provide assistance with the NDIS process regardless of whether you’re preparing for your NDIS planning meeting, already have your plan, or are transitioning over from an existing support program.

We can answer your questions over the phone and we offer individual NDIS appointments tailored to your needs. You may also wish to register to attend one of our NDIS information sessions.

To find out how Guide Dogs Queensland can support you through the NDIS, please contact us today:

Phone: 1800 810 122 or 07 3500 9060

Email: [email protected]

If you prefer, you can submit an enquiry via our Online Enquiry Form.