People with a disability are the largest minority in Australia – about one in five Australians has a disability. They are also one of the most disadvantaged groups, with sub-standard outcomes on most indicators of community participation and wellbeing. The Productivity Commission reported that the current disability support system is "underfunded, unfair, fragmented and inefficient...". The imperative for changing the disability experience in Australia is clear. The time to act is now.
In its report, the Productivity Commission put forward a funding, support, and governance mechanism, which commits to providing people with a disability the opportunity to live fulfilling and active lives. This mechanism is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It is the opposite of a welfare model and will make a positive contribution to Australia's productivity.
The enormous opportunity presented by the NDIS for evolving disability in Australia has prompted PwC to invest in a new thought leadership paper 'Disability expectations: Investing in a better life, a stronger Australia'. Developed in collaboration with key leaders in the disability care and support field, this PwC report considers: what needs to change if the NDIS is to make a meaningful difference?
In order to realise reform, the NDIS will need to be implemented in conjunction with strong policy, whole-of-government accountability, and culture change. We propose four key principles that should underpin the future development of disability support in Australia – fairness by way of equal rights; facilitation and choice in exercising rights; and inclusion through the removal of obstacles to access and participation.