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160 NDIS meetings in 50 days is hard to do

Sarah ForbesA woman in an audience is standing up and speaking into a microphone.The VALID self-advocacy team has had a very busy couple of months delivering Easy Read information on the NDIS transition from Victorian Government group homes to non government service providers.

Team members have attended 160 meetings in 50 days – providing information, answering questions and gathering feedback on the issues raised by residents to give to government.

Having an independent advocacy organisation to help explain to residents how the transfer of in-house support to non-government services might impact on them is very important. It has also provided opportunities to people to ask questions about things they are concerned about.

VALID has now begun consulting with people with disabilities who said they wanted to give more feedback in detail. A lot of the feedback we have received so far is about people wanting to continue the good things that happen in their house now. This includes the opportunities they have to be part of the running of the house via resident meetings and meetings with DHHS Managers.

“I need to know that the good stuff that happens at my home will stay the same.”

“Can we still have meetings with [DHHS Manager]?”

“House meetings are important as we should have a say.”

“Have meetings to talk about what we want and need – new service should have resident meetings.”

The VALID team have not been surprised to hear that people would like a say in the decisions that involve them, especially about the staff who will support them.

“I want to be treated like an adult and have my decisions respected – this means me, not my parents making the decisions – me being involved.”

“I should have a choice who looks after me.”

“It’s important to know who the boss is; who’s in charge, who you can go to.”

“If they’re good at their job they’ll want to come and meet us and get to know us.”

“I want a say in new staff.”

“I should have a say about my new housemate.”

“I’ve been part of the Program Advisory Group – which is a meeting with the DAS Manager, advocacy organisation, Regional Director, staff, Operations Manager – to make things better. I take the information from the focus group and we talk about that and new stuff – I want to keep doing it.”

“Staff training is important to me.”

VALID will be giving all this feedback to the Victorian Government once the consultations have finished.

Sarah Forbes
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