Critical research on the gap between human rights-based intention of the NDIS and implementation
Researchers from The Hopkins Centre and Griffith University are investigating the gap between the promise of the human rights-based intention of the NDIS and how it is implemented through decisions and disputes about what is ‘reasonable and necessary’ support. Researchers are developing key insights and policy recommendations to ensure NDIS decision-making processes are infused with a rights approach to make dealings with and outcomes from the NDIS rights empowering and rights compliant.
“How are Australian citizens with disability and their families meant to determine whether decisions about them are fair and reasonable and can they understand the decision-making process that has gone on behind that,’’ says lead researcher Professor Michele Foster. “Our research is developing key insights and policy recommendations to ensure NDIS decision-making processes are infused with a rights approach to make dealings with and outcomes from the NDIS rights empowering and rights compliant".
The NDIS was an epic social reform. It represented Australia’s commitment to improve the lives, opportunities, and inclusivity of people with disability, and to the human rights expressed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It has brought great improvements and opportunities for many people with disability and their families. However, these have not been experiences across the board. Lack of decision-making transparency, lack of accessibility, lack of engagement and representation have left many people with disability unsupported, confused, disadvantaged, and disheartened. Recently we have witnessed an alarming change of modus operandi, language, and dialogue from the Australian Government and the NDIA in making and justifying access and funding decisions, framing debates, and proposing reforms to the NDIS. Across the sector there is increasing concern that these are incrementally chipping away at the original intentions of the Scheme and covertly retreating from the human rights of people with disability.