Australian Government response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme final report June 2018

The Australian Government welcomes the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (the Committee’s) report to the Inquiry into the Provision of Hearing Services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) September 2017 (final report).

As part of the Committee’s inquiry into the implementation, performance and governance of the NDIS, the committee examined how hearing services are transitioned to, and delivered throughout, the NDIS.

In September 2017, the Committee released an interim report (the report) containing six recommendations relating to; issues about the availability of services for people who are not eligible for the NDIS, eligibility criteria for determining access to the NDIS, referral pathways for access to early intervention services, and the adequacy and approach of early intervention reference packages for people aged 0 to 25 years of age. The Government responded to this report in March 2018 by supporting or partially supporting all recommendations made in the interim report.

The final report was released on 21 June 2018 and focusses on the objectives and guiding principles of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and what is the best approach for providing hearing services, particularly for children. This includes how participants access the NDIS; how they are provided with information to inform their decision making about the types of support required, who is best placed to provide those supports, and how these supports are accessed.

The final report’s recommendations relate to the contracting arrangements for the national Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) partners, quoting arrangements for specialist service providers, and the need for a child-first approach in the delivery of services for children with hearing loss.

The Government remains firmly committed to supporting people with hearing impairment, including through the NDIS where it is appropriate. This includes a commitment to ensuring people with hearing impairment, particularly young children, continue to be provided with high quality and timely supports.

The Government partially supports all recommendations made in the final report, noting that Government is continuing to work with key stakeholders, including Australian Hearing, to improve the way people with hearing impairment are supported by the NDIS.

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