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Vision 2020 opposes potential cuts to NDIS

Vision 2020 Australia has thrown its support behind Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) in a submission to the Productivity Commission’s Review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Costs.
Carla Notham, Vision 2020 CEO
Carla Notham, Vision 2020 CEO

The cost of the scheme has come under scrutiny since it was revealed more than 27,000 Australians than originally forecast had accessed the scheme for mental health services alone, prompting fears of a nearly $1 billion blowout.

As a result, BCA fears cuts could be made in other areas to compensate for the unexpected cost. However, Vision 2020 Australia CEO Ms Carla Northam said while both organisations recognised the need to ensure the economic sustainability of the scheme, “cost blowouts” should not be the only consideration when evaluating its efficiency and effectiveness.

“The NDIS is the most important opportunity we have to level the playing field for all people with disabilities throughout Australia. If the emphasis remains on cutting financial costs, however, the potential people with disabilities have to contribute enormously to society in so many ways – including financially – may never be realised,” she said.

Meanwhile, BCA executive officer Ms Emma Bennison said: “Meeting the targets of the NDIS must not come at the expense of the basic rights and freedoms of people with disability.

“While we acknowledge the importance of ensuring the economic sustainability of the scheme, lived experiences must be taken into account. Already there are instances of the scheme failing to support blind or vision impaired people in exercising choice.”

Vision 2020 Australia has indicated support for all 17 of BCA’s recommendations to make the NDIS more accessible to people who are blind or vision impaired.

Some of the recommendations include providing people who are blind or vision impaired information about their rights in formats that are accessible, such as large print, Braille and audio and recognising the need for episodic supports, including orientation and mobility training.

It’s expected the Productivity Commission’s review will be released next month.

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