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Eight ways the NDIS can help you and your loved ones

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides funding for people with disability to get the help that they need to lead happy, dignified lives. As everyone is unique, so too are their goals and needs. So, how does the NDIS help people with disability achieve their individual goals?

The NDIS provides a range of personalised services to help people with disability live independent lives. The NDIS also provides support to participants’ families and carers, to help participants strengthen their support system and connect with their community.

Here are eight ways the NDIS can help you and your loved ones.

1. Information and referral
For many people with disability, support starts with having easier access to information. Through the NDIS, you can access information about the most effective support options, referral to the relevant support services, help to build individual capacity such as diagnosis advice, as well as links to local support coordination, clubs, associations, initiatives or programs.

2. Individualised plans and supports
As the NDIS is a goals-based program, the things you want to achieve and skills you want to build will be unique to you.

With so many people participating in the program, how does the NDIS help participants achieve their individual goals? The key is through individualised plans and supports.

You can access NDIS funding to plan your goals and aspirations, access programs or services to help you achieve your goals, as well as to manage your individual plan. The NDIS also provides support to families and carers, so that you have a strong support system to help you achieve your goals.

3. Early intervention
We know the earlier people with disability can get support, the better chance of success they have.

So, how does the NDIS help children with disability? Through funding early intervention programs that give children with disability the best possible start to life.

4. Funded supports
Depending on the goals of your plan, you may be eligible for funded supports. This could involve choosing support providers for ongoing support programs, such as the Nextt Steps Program, or for one-off costs, such as buying a new wheelchair.

5. Housing
Affordable, stable housing is key for helping people with disability achieve their life goals and aspirations. As housing policy is handled by State Governments, it’s common to ask ‘how does the NDIS help with housing?’ The answer lies in providing ongoing support for daily living, which may include some housing costs or setting up a new home for a group of participants with 24/7 in home support.

6. Assistive Technology
The NDIS also provides funding for assistive technology. This is defined as ‘any device or system that allows individuals to perform tasks they would otherwise be unable to do or increases the ease and safety with which tasks can be performed.’ These may include devices such as mobility canes, wheelchairs, hearing aids and bed rails.

7. Auslan Translation Services
NDIS participants with hearing impairment may require an Auslan translator interpreting and translation services in activities of daily life. Pending your needs and individual support plan, these Auslan services may be covered by the NDIS.

8. Support to access community services and activities
How does the NDIS help people with disability connect with the community? Through covering the cost of services like specialised transport or holiday camps that are already available in your local area.

For more information about how the NDIS can help you and your loved ones, be sure to check out the Federal Government’s NDIS website.

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Four things you probably didn’t know about disability housing

At Nextt, our aim is for all our client to live happy, independent lives. For many adults with disability, this means taking a step towards independent living. Disability housing is a great way to achieve this goal.

Here are four things you probably didn’t know about disability housing in Australia.

There are many different types of disability housing

There are misconceptions around what disability housing is and what it looks like.

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Five reasons why we believe in NDIS capacity building programs

The NDIS funding model is based on a capacity building framework and approach. What does that mean, and what is capacity building? NDIS capacity building is the process in which individuals develop their skills and abilities to perform functions, solve problems, set and achieve objectives, and understand and deal with their development needs in a broader context and in a sustainable manner. This approach empowers the NDIS participant to facilitate their own personal development, moving from the person whose ‘capacity is being developed’ to the ‘capacity builder.’

Here are five reasons why we believe in NDIS capacity building.

It focuses on the strength of the individual
Capacity building shifts the narrative around disability services from a deficit, needs-based model to an abundance, strength-building model. This allows participants, their parents and carers, as well as disability service providers to approach disability services with a growth mindset. Building on the strengths of participants, rather than focusing on their disability, empowers participants to become life-long learners.

It takes a holistic approach to the provision of services
At Nextt, we know that people need time and on-going, long-term support to reach their goals. We also know that it takes a multi-disciplinary team to help participants reach their full potential. The NDIS capacity building framework uses a variety of strategies and tactics at the individual, organisational and systemic levels that make it sustainable and effective. From teaching life skills like cooking, to developing vocational skills in the workplace, capacity building overcomes multi-dimensional barriers to achieving goals and wraps a multitude of services around an individual.

It’s empowering
One of the best things about the NDIS capacity building programs is that they empower participants. The aim of capacity building is to show participants that with proper planning, execution and support, they can achieve something that they set their mind to. This shows participants that they can have an influence over their environment and actively create their own future.

It teaches problem solving skills
NDIS capacity building programs necessitate the development of problem solving skills. They take a problem-based approach that acknowledges participants as life-long learners, who will continuously learn new skills as they encounter new challenges. Participants play an active role in setting their own goals, choosing the right development strategies for themselves, and reflecting on their own progress. At Nextt, we’ve seen how this helps participants grow in confidence, as well as ability.

It prepares NDIS participants for real life
As NDIS capacity building programs grow the skills and capabilities of participants, they better prepare participants for real life. Focusing on developing self-care skills, communication and contributing to the household and community, capacity building aims to help participants lead independent lives and better participate in society.

For more information about what is capacity building, what it means for you, and how our capacity building programs, such as Nextt Steps, can help you or your loved one, contact the Nextt team today.

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How to apply for NDIS funding

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been a major initiative designed to help Australians living with disability access the support they need to improve their quality of life. Knowing how to access the funding available through the scheme is important for anyone assisting someone with a disability.

What is NDIS funding?
NDIS has meant that people with disability can now get the ongoing support that they need to lead happy, independent lives. However, understanding the NDIS funding eligibility requirements can be a bit tricky. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful checklist to give you the information you need to get the help that you deserve.

Here are our four easy steps to accessing NDIS funding.

1. Work out if you have NDIS funding eligibility

To become a participant in the NDIS, you or your loved one must meet the following eligibility criteria:

Have a permanent impairment that significantly affects your ability to take part in everyday activities, or have a developmental delay
Be less than 65 years of age when you first apply for the NDIS
Live in Australia in an NDIS area on a specified date
Be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent residency visa

2. Know what you’re entitled to

There are 15 different categories of NDIS funding, all of which cover assisting participants in achieving different outcomes. It’s important to read up on what you are entitled to through the NDIS.

The types of assistance you may be able to access if you qualify for NDIS funding eligibility include:
Access to information and referrals
Support to access community services and activities
Individualised support plans
Early intervention programs
Assistive technology

3. Get your paperwork together

Aside from the usual confirmation of identity and place of residence, there is a bit of paperwork involved with accessing NDIS funding eligibility. Much of it is in regards to providing evidence of your disability or your child’s developmental delay. You should work with your healthcare practitioners to fill out the relevant paperwork regarding your diagnosis and ongoing needs.

4. Go through a support provider

One of the easiest ways to go about accessing NDIS funding is to go through an NDIS approved early intervention or support provider. At Nextt, our Nextt Steps Program is an approved NDIS core supports provider, which helps participants build skills to go about their daily lives, become more independent and participate in the community. We can also help with support coordination to help you or your loved one build your individual NDIS support plan.

So, whether you need NDIS funding autism support, or any other disability condition, get in touch with our helpful team today for a free one hour consultation to find out how we can help you and your family access NDIS funding.

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Local area coordination NDIS success stories that we love

As a specialist in local area coordination NDIS support, the team at Nextt pride themselves on helping empower people with disability. One of the things we love most about our jobs is seeing our participants grow and transform their lives. Here are three ways our programs have helped participants thrive, according to our NDIS local area coordinators.

1. Living independent lives

One of the key objectives of all our local area coordination NDIS programs is to help participants lead independent lives. With her adult daughters having flown the nest, 48-year-old Sandra Cooper lives alone in Merryland, New South Wales. When her eyesight began rapidly deteriorating due to a genetic eye condition known as Aniridia – which eventually rendered her completely blind in her right eye – she knew she needed some help.

With her loss of vision, completing simple tasks around the home and in the local community became quite difficult, so she enlisted the help of Nextt. Through Nextt and our NDIS local area coordinators, Sandra receives support coordination and direct support services including community access and domestic assistance, as well accessing home modifications through the NDIS and Housing Commission so she can cook her own meals independently.

“With the NDIS, in a short space of time going from seeing to not seeing … the support has helped dramatically.”

For 58-year-old Elizabeth Sherar, living with Cerebral Palsy and juggling a full-time job often meant that she had to rely on her parents to help her with errands. Thanks to the support she received from Nextt – which was funded as part of her National Disability Insurance Scheme plan – Elizabeth has been able to access the community and get travel assistance. With the help of her NDIS local area coordinator and other Nextt staff members, Elizabeth has been able to do her own shopping and banking, as well as get out into the community and go to places like the zoo and the cinemas.

“It’s been fantastic because I don’t have to rely on my parents as much and now when I go to the bank, they know me, just like when I go shopping I go into certain shops… It’s the best thing that’s ever happened.”

2. Connecting with the community

Many people with disability experience isolation due to lack of access and mobility. At Nextt, we love seeing our participants become more connected to their communities. With the help of our local area coordination NDIS specialists, our participants are able to socialise with others and pursue their passions.

For Elizabeth, her Cerebral Palsy has made it difficult for her to travel comfortably on public transport, which has prevented her from socialising with others. Thanks to her Nextt
travel assistance support, Elizabeth can safely and comfortably get to where she needs to be, as a passenger in cars owned by her support workers.

An avid fan of music from the 40s right through to the 80s, Elizabeth enjoys bonding over her passion for music.

“I listen to the local radio station in Melbourne in the eastern suburbs and they’re so intrigued with my music knowledge… Next door to the station there’s a little cafe, so once a month one of the presenters invites me up there to have a coffee and discuss music and the station,” she says.

Being able to connect with her support workers and the presenters at the radio station has been a joy for Elizabeth, and is something she really looks forward to each month.

3. Creating the change they want to see

At Nextt, our local area coordination NDIS programs empower participants to create a positive change in their own lives. Perhaps one of the greatest markers of our success is when our participants help others within their own communities.

For 47-year-old Sandra, this meant helping other people living with vision impairments. After noting a lack of social activities for people over the age of 40 who were living with vision impairments, Sandra realised she wanted more opportunities for social interaction – and that others must feel the same. Through speaking with her NDIS local area coordinator, Sandra was able to partner with Vision Australia to establish her own ten-pin bowling group for people with vision impairments. The group, which attracts roughly seven members for each gathering, meets once a month for a friendly game at the bowling alley, followed by a cup of coffee.

“I really look forward to it,” says Sandra.

For more information about our Nextt NDIS local area coordinators and our support coordination services, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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NDIS Core Supports: What you need to know

As a person with disability, or a parent or carer of a child with disability, it can be tricky to understand what support is available to you through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS takes a goal-based approach to funding and services, meaning the services available to you or your loved one will vary depending what you need help to achieve.

What are the NDIS support categories?

Of the 15 support categories of the NDIS, the NDIS Core Supports consists of four funding categories that help you or your loved one develop foundational life skills, which help you with daily activities and community participation.

Here’s what the four NDIS Core Supports aim to help you or your loved one achieve.

Assistance with Daily Life

The first of the NDIS core supports, Assistance with daily life aims to empower people with disability to make household decisions, look after their personal care and complete other domestic tasks, including cooking and cleaning.

Accessing Transport

The ‘Transport’ category of the NDIS core supports helps cover transport costs associated with specialised schooling or education programs, reaching your place of employment or participating in other community or recreational activities.

Accessing Consumables

Consumables is a support category that helps cover the cost of everyday items and services, including interpreting and translating services, as well as help with continence and home enteral nutrition.

Assistance with Social and Community Participation

Assistance with social and community participation covers activities or courses that help participants socialise and connect with others. These could include art classes, sports coaching and vacation camps that have capacity building, mentoring, peer support or individual skill development components.

At Nextt, we have a range of services available that help participants build these foundational skills and are covered by the NDIS including: Support Coordination, Core Supports, Capacity Building, Supported Housing and Attendant Care. Our services help individuals develop functional and meaningful skills to increase participation in everyday life. We can help you or your child build self-care, meal preparation and social communication skills – and so much more – from the comfort of your own home.
Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you.

If you’d like to learn more about how the NDIS works, we’ve got 10 tips to help you access NDIS funding.

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Helping Australia’s Ethnic Comunities Remain Comfortable At Home

An article in a local Greek language publication, Neos Kosmos (http://neoskosmos.com/news/el/node/64755), has highlighted the amazing work that Nextt does for the most vulnerable people in Australia’s ethnic communities.

97-year old Dimosthenis Papantoniou spent 22 days in nursing care before coming to the realisation that he “did not want to die” in a nursing home. His wife is suffering from dementia, and at first he thought he would live in the nursing home with her, though he was in good health, so that was medically unnecessary. He couldn’t handle the conditions, however For many elderly with an ethnic background, it’s a common story; in addition to the unfamiliar setting of a nursing home, these people often feel uncomfortable being outside of their communities and thrust into unfamiliar cultures and practices not of their own.

But Papantoniou needed help. While he was physically capable of continuing to do things that he was familiar with; such as light gardening – he is also from a generation that has left him unable to do many household chores that traditionally the women of the house would handle; he doesn’t understand how to cook, for example.

Papantoniou’s children have also moved away and work, and he no longer has a driving license, restricting his mobility and his ability to frequently visit his wife. And this is where Nextt has been able to help.

As Papantoniou says in the article: “Once a week comes a lady to clean the house, another to cook and one to go shopping. All this is free of charge. My wife gives her a pension in the nursing home and I live and I maintain the house with my own.”

Nextt’s leading service has been able to provide Papantoniou with the ability to remain independent and active, while also covering the areas that he struggles in. This is a service that we are proud to offer elderly people in all ethnic communities across Australia.