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MEDIA RELEASE: NEW LITE PACKAGES FOR SMALLER ORGANISATIONS

At NGO Training Centre, we understand the unique challenges faced by smaller organisations, especially those in the Australian Disability Sector. Since our inception in 2017, we have been committed to delivering authentic top-quality training that empowers organisations to provide the best possible care and support to people with disability.

Our e-learning courses are designed specifically to meet your needs, offering a value-for-money solution that ensures your staff receive the essential training they require, regardless of your organisation’s size or budget.

We know that smaller organisations often operate with tight budgets. That’s why we are offering a more cost-effective training option without compromising on quality. Our online courses provide incredible value, allowing you to invest in your team’s development without breaking the bank.

Many smaller organisations are unaware that they can access such high-quality training online at an affordable price. Don’t let your team miss out on the opportunity to enhance their skills and improve their performance. With NGO Training Centre’s e-learning courses, you can provide your staff with the training they need to excel, no matter the size of your organisation.

Our new NGO Lite and NGO Lite + packages give you and your employees access to over 86* courses, including our Leadership courses, a state-of-the-art Learning Management System (LMS), certificates, a dedicated support team, reporting capabilities and more!

Our courses are developed by industry experts and are regularly updated to reflect the latest standards and best practices in the disability sector. Your staff will gain valuable skills and knowledge that can be immediately applied to their daily work, improving the quality of care and support they provide.

Our e-learning courses are designed for maximum flexibility. Staff can access training modules anytime, anywhere, making it easy to fit learning into even the busiest schedules. Whether you need comprehensive courses or quick, targeted microlearning modules, we have the perfect solution for your team.

Our Learning Management System (LMS) is user-friendly and easy to navigate, ensuring that your staff can start learning with minimal hassle. We provide all the resources and support needed to get your team up and running quickly, making the transition to online learning seamless and straightforward.

Empower your team with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Contact NGO Training Centre today to learn more about our NEW LITE PACKAGES and discover how we can support your organisation’s training needs. Together, we can build a brighter future for the Australian Disability Sector.

For more information, email or call us directly.

info@ngotrainingcentre.com or 1300 990 995

Let NGO Training Centre be your partner in achieving excellence through high-quality, affordable training.

*86 courses with NGO Lite+ (including 2-3 new courses every month) and 54 courses with NGO Lite.

 

 

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10 Ways to Foster Self-Advocacy

As a disability advocate for many years, I always thought my main job was to speak on behalf of; promote, protect, and defend the human rights of people with disabilities. Sure, that was part of it, especially at the beginning. I would role model and educate. But if there was ever a chance for the person to advocate for themselves, that became my main goal. I wanted to empower them to speak up and take charge. But here’s the thing: advocacy isn’t just the job of a ‘disability advocate.’

Disability advocacy is usually focused on specific issues, and advocates are involved in a person’s life for a short time, often dealing with just one problem at a time—just like a lawyer. There’s often a wait for advocacy services because funding is limited, and each new issue means going back on a waiting list.

So, who’s there for the person with disability when they need ongoing support? That’s where the Disability Support Professional comes in. As a Disability Support Professional, you play a crucial role in helping the people you support to advocate for themselves. Your involvement is continuous, and your support helps bridge the gaps left by the limitations of formal advocacy services.

Here are 10 tips that you can use to help a person to self-advocate.

  1. Educate on Rights and Responsibilities:

Make sure the person understands their rights and responsibilities. Provide information in accessible formats and discuss what each right means in practical terms.

  1. Encourage Participation:

Encourage the person to take part in meetings, decision-making processes, and activities that affect their life. Offer to accompany them if they feel nervous.

  1. Develop Communication Skills:

Assist the person in developing effective communication skills. This might include practicing how to express their needs and preferences clearly and confidently.

  1. Provide Information and Resources:

Share relevant resources, such as information about services, support groups, and legal rights. Help them access these resources when needed.

  1. Support Decision Making:

Help the person understand their options and the potential outcomes of different decisions. Encourage them to weigh these options and make their own choices.

  1. Role Play Scenarios:

Practice self-advocacy through role-playing. This can help the person feel more prepared and confident when they need to advocate for themselves in real situations.

  1. Be a Role Model:

Demonstrate self-advocacy skills in your interactions. Show respect for the person’s opinions and decisions, and advocate on their behalf when necessary, explaining what you’re doing and why.

  1. Provide Emotional Support:

Self-advocating can be challenging. Be there to offer encouragement, celebrate successes, and provide a shoulder to lean on when things don’t go as planned.

  1. Create a Supportive Environment:

Foster an environment where the person feels safe to express their needs and desires. Make it clear that their voice matters and that they have the right to be heard.

  1. Teach Problem-Solving Skills:

Help the person develop strategies for resolving conflicts and addressing issues. This can include brainstorming solutions, evaluating pros and cons, and planning steps to take action.

As you can see, by simply incorporating these approaches into your support, you can help encourage the person you support to confidently and effectively advocate for themselves. If the person you are supporting does need a Disability Advocate, make sure you assist the person to access this support.

You can search for advocacy organisations here:

https://askizzy.org.au/advice-and-advocacy/personalise/page/who-is-looking-for-help-advocacy

📢Want more info on Self-advocacy?

Voices Together have a great database available to help you find your closest self-advocacy group!

https://www.voicestogether.com.au/self-advocates/find-group/

 

Written by Amanda Robinson, B.A., MMentalHealth Prac.

Amanda is a professional with over a decade of dedicated experience in the fields of Mental Health and Disability. Her extensive expertise lies in navigating the intricate landscape of the Disability Sector. She brings a unique perspective to her work, being both a person with lived experience of disability and a compassionate carer. She has a passion for advocacy, making her a staunch champion for the rights and well-being of individuals facing similar challenges

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Breaking News: Updates to the NDIS Price Guide for 2024 – 2025

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has unveiled changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) pricing, in anticipation of broader reforms aimed at strengthening the NDIS provider market. However, there may be a few disappointed providers with no changes for plan management, therapy or Support Coordination (L 2&3).

Here’s a summary of the changes for you:

  • Fair Work Commission Adjustments: Fully implementing the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase minimum wages in awards and superannuation, ensuring providers can fairly compensate their workers.
  • Price Limit Increases: Raising price limits for supports determined by the NDIS Disability Support Worker (DSW) Cost Model, including Level 1 support coordination services, to reflect changes in minimum wages following the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review.
  • Support Adjustments: Increasing price limits for psychologists, nurses, and other supports based on the rise in wages and the cost of living.
  • Maintaining Existing Price Limits: Keeping existing pricing arrangements and price limits for therapy (except for psychologists) and support coordination levels 2 and 3.
  • Short-Notice Cancellation Adjustment: Adjusting the short-notice cancellation period for non-Disability Support Worker-related supports to 2 business days to better reflect market norms.

We have listed links to each addendum reflecting changes for ease of reference:

Bereavement Addendum 

COVID Addendum 

Assistive Technology, Home Modifications and Consumables Code Guide

The Assistive Technology, Home Modifications and Consumables Code Guide lists the most commonly used supports.

Pricing Arrangements for Specialist Disability Accommodation

Pricing arrangements for SDA can be found on the SDA pricing and payments page.

Disability Support Worker Cost Model

The cost model estimates the expenses involved in providing one billable hour of support, factoring in all related costs. Fortunately, the NDIS Disability Support Worker Cost Model has been updated to more accurately represent the cost structures of efficient providers in the sector. This updated model forms the foundation for the price limits set by the NDIA for services provided by disability support workers.

The plans of NDIS participants will be adjusted starting in July, with funding being indexed on 13 July to account for these pricing changes.

You can find a copy of the price guide here: https://www.ndis.gov.au/media/7151/download?attachment

 

Written by Amanda Robinson, B.A., MMentalHealth Prac.

 

Amanda is a professional with over a decade of dedicated experience in the fields of Mental Health and Disability. Her extensive expertise lies in navigating the intricate landscape of the Disability Sector. She brings a unique perspective to her work, being both a person with lived experience of disability and a compassionate carer. She has a passion for advocacy, making her a staunch champion for the rights and well-being of individuals facing similar challenges.

 

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The NDIS Amendment Bill Passes Through House of Representatives

Yesterday, the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendments (Getting the NDIS Back on Track No. 1) Bill passed through the House of Representatives. It will now go on to be considered in the Senate. The Bill included important changes that were agreed upon by the Parliament.

You can find more details about these changes on the Parliament of Australia’s website and the Department of Social Services’ website under “Changes to the NDIS Act” (dss.gov.au). If you’d like to get into the details, visit https://shorturl.at/2qJIl but here is a summary of those changes:

  • Section 10 now mentions Australia’s overall responsibilities under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities instead of specific articles.
  • New temporary NDIS rules will define what supports are or aren’t NDIS supports, based on current agreements and existing rules from 2013.
  • These temporary rules will be made with input from the disability community and will later be replaced by new rules that need State and territory approval.

Other supported changes to the Bill will:

  • Highlight that co-design is central to the Government’s reform plans.
  • Confirm that participants’ rights to review remain unchanged.
  • Ensure participants receive a copy of their needs assessment.
  • Provide safeguards for new information-gathering powers.
  • Include an independent review of the Bill every 5 years.

Let’s hope these changes continue to reflect the government’s commitment to the principles of co-design, ensuring that the NDIS is shaped by those most affected by it – people with Disability, their families and supporters.

 

Written by Amanda Robinson, B.A., MMentalHealth Prac.

Amanda is a professional with over a decade of dedicated experience in the fields of Mental Health and Disability. Her extensive expertise lies in navigating the intricate landscape of the Disability Sector. She brings a unique perspective to her work, being both a person with lived experience of disability and a compassionate carer. She has a passion for advocacy, making her a staunch champion for the rights and well-being of individuals facing similar challenges.

 

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NDIS Bill Amendment Update

The Department of Social Services has created a Q&A page regarding the NDIS Amendment Bill which may answer some of your burning questions.
As you may have seen, whilst providers wait with bated breath, there has been a significant uproar from the disability community about these proposed changes, and the lack of involvement and consultation with the disability community.

Bill Shorten has released a new video series which busts some of the myths about NDIS reforms.

Mr Shorten chatted with Elly Desmarchelier – a disability advocate and brilliant speaker on disability and the NDIS.

Their first videos are live and linked here:

👉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdU3Brh-OMA

👉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhbzGU6q9Jg

Be sure to keep updated about these changes and the key concepts within the Bill and the proposed changes.

There is also an upcoming event that you may not want to miss:

Minister Shorten will be answering questions online at an NDIS Community Catch Up on Wednesday 5 June at 4:00 pm (AEST).

Register here: https://events.humanitix.com/ndis-reform-community-catch-up-online

Join online to ask your questions.

Details are available at www.dss.gov.au/NDISreforms

Easy read available to view here.

Accessibility:

  • Auslan –  Auslan interpreter will be available.
  • Closed captioning – Will be available.

Timezone support:

If you are joining virtually from a different state here are the start times in your local timezone.

  • WA: 2:00 pm
  • NT: 3:30 pm
  • SA: 3:30 pm
  • NSW, VIC, Tasmania, ACT: 4:00 pm

We will continue to keep you updated! Follow us and connect for any updates!

 

Written by Amanda Robinson, B.A., MMentalHealth Prac.

Amanda is a professional with over a decade of dedicated experience in the fields of Mental Health and Disability. Her extensive expertise lies in navigating the intricate landscape of the Disability Sector. She brings a unique perspective to her work, being both a person with lived experience of disability and a compassionate carer. She has a passion for advocacy, making her a staunch champion for the rights and well-being of individuals facing similar challenges.

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NGO Training Centre CEO Joins ONE COMMUNITY for Insightful Networking Event

 

On May 22nd, the vibrant city of Gold Coast hosted a lovely evening of networking, drinks, and nibbles, featuring esteemed leaders from across Australia.

The CEO of NGO Training Centre, Jasminne Hristic, was among the distinguished panelists invited to join the ONE COMMUNITY team for this special occasion.

The event provided a unique platform for growth-minded leaders to engage in stimulating discussions and share insights on leadership. Jasminne Hristic, known for her innovative approach and dedication to empowering non-profit organisations, contributed to the evening’s dynamic conversations. Her interactions with other attendees were not only inspiring but also paved the way for potential collaborations aimed at driving impactful change in the community.

The evening was proudly sponsored by Astalty NDIS Software, whose support made this gathering possible. Their commitment to fostering environments where leaders can connect and grow aligns perfectly with the goals of ONE COMMUNITY and the NGO Training Centre.

Overall, the event was a resounding success, leaving attendees with fresh perspectives and renewed motivation to lead with purpose and vision. 

We hope to see many more from ONE COMMUNITY and their amazing sponsors in the future!

 

Written by Amanda Robinson, B.A., MMentalHealth Prac.

Amanda is a professional with over a decade of dedicated experience in the fields of Mental Health and Disability. Her extensive expertise lies in navigating the intricate landscape of the Disability Sector. She brings a unique perspective to her work, being both a person with lived experience of disability and a compassionate carer. She has a passion for advocacy, making her a staunch champion for the rights and well-being of individuals facing similar challenges.

 

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Budget Boosts Support For People With Disability

In light of the release of the 2024-2025 budget, the Albanese Labor Government is enhancing support for Australians with disabilities through increased investment in disability employment and the NDIS.

Here is a breakdown for you:

Key Initiatives:

Specialist Disability Employment Program:

  • Funding: An additional $227.6 million, totalling $5.4 billion over five years.
  • Launch: Starting July 1, 2025.
  • Goals: Improve employment opportunities, provide tailored supports, and introduce a single wage subsidy up to $10,000.

Disability Employment Centre of Excellence:

  • Funding: $23.3 million over four years.
  • Purpose: Enhance service quality and share best practices among employment service providers.

NDIS Evidence Advisory Committee:

  • Funding: $45.5 million over four years, plus $13.3 million annually ongoing from 2024-25.
  • Role: Offer independent advice on effective therapeutic supports to ensure evidence-based and cost-effective NDIS funding.

National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline and Complaints Resolution and Referral Service:

  • Funding: An additional $2.6 million.
  • Function: Provide confidential channels for reporting abuse and raising concerns about disability services.

What does this mean for you?

These initiatives are part of a broader commitment to ensure high-quality, inclusive support for people with disability, based on findings from the Royal Commission and the independent NDIS review. As we receive more information, we will share this with you.

To read the full media release and for further details, visit: https://ministers.dss.gov.au/media-releases/14656

 

Written by Amanda Robinson, B.A., MMentalHealth Prac.

Amanda is a professional with over a decade of dedicated experience in the fields of Mental Health and Disability. Her extensive expertise lies in navigating the intricate landscape of the Disability Sector. She brings a unique perspective to her work, being both a person with lived experience of disability and a compassionate carer. She has a passion for advocacy, making her a staunch champion for the rights and well-being of individuals facing similar challenges.

 

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The NDIA Rollout of PACE Update

The NDIA is gradually bringing in their new computer system and better processes all over Australia.

Providers can start getting ready to switch to the new methods whenever they want, and most have probably already commenced.

To help everyone prepare, they have shared some data about how many NDIS plans they expect to approve in their new system over the next few months:

Providers will switch to the new methods, including the new My NDIS provider portal, when the participants they support have NDIS plans in the new system. The NDIA has stated that they will let participants know which system their plan is in so that they can share this info with their providers.

Claims should still be sent through the current myplace provider portal, no matter which system a participant’s plan is in.

Starting from October 30, 2023, the NDIA has been working with participants to make their next plan in the new system. This applies to participants whose plan is expiring and they need a new one or want a change to their plan.

All expiring NDIS plans will eventually move to the new system. Participants with plans that work well for them might be offered to keep their current plan for now, and the NDIA will make their next plan in the new system at a later date.

There are other ways providers will know when participants have plans in the new system, like checking the NDIS website’s FAQ section.

Visit the FAQ section for more information.

Key points

  • The NDIA are gradually introducing our new computer system and processes across Australia. They started the gradual rollout on 30 October 2023.
  • The NDIA are taking a careful approach to introducing the new system to make sure everything goes smoothly.
  • The NDIA expect the rollout to take up to 18 months.

 

 

Written by Amanda Robinson, B.A., MMentalHealth Prac.

Amanda is a professional with over a decade of dedicated experience in the fields of Mental Health and Disability. Her extensive expertise lies in navigating the intricate landscape of the Disability Sector. She brings a unique perspective to her work, being both a person with lived experience of disability and a compassionate carer. She has a passion for advocacy, making her a staunch champion for the rights and well-being of individuals facing similar challenges.

 

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A Call for Feedback on the Draft National Autism Strategy

📣 Calling all people with living experience, families, carers and supporters.

🧩 The Australian Government has officially unveiled the Draft version of the National Autism Strategy.

This comprehensive document outlines proposed measures to better support Autistic people throughout various stages of life. Seeking to ensure inclusivity and effectiveness, the government actively seeks public input until May 31st.

Your perspectives and insights are crucial in shaping this strategy to adequately address the diverse needs of autistic individuals across the lifespan.

Accessible versions of the draft strategy, including an Easy Read format, can be accessed via the DSS Website.

To contribute your thoughts and feedback, you can either send an email or participate in a survey that can be accessed via the Developing the National Autism Strategy Page. 

The final version of the strategy is due for release later in 2024, with the collective input of stakeholders playing a pivotal role in its development.

Please provide your feedback today!

  

Written by Amanda Robinson, B.A., MMentalHealth Prac.

Amanda is a professional with over a decade of dedicated experience in the fields of Mental Health and Disability. Her extensive expertise lies in navigating the intricate landscape of the Disability Sector. She brings a unique perspective to her work, being both a person with lived experience of disability and a compassionate carer. She has a passion for advocacy, making her a staunch champion for the rights and well-being of individuals facing similar challenges.

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Understanding Appointed Decision Makers – A Guide for Disability Service Providers

Society must recognise that everyone should have the autonomy to make choices about their own lives.

When someone requires support to make decisions, employing supported decision-making is key to preserving a person’s independence and rights. 

At NGO Training Centre, we are soon releasing a course on Supported Decision Making that will be a game-changer for many Disability Support Professionals.

 

But what about participants who have other formal decision-makers in place?

If a Guardian or Administrator is appointed for an individual, you must still safeguard their fundamental rights as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In this article, I am going to give you a brief outline of Powers of Attorney, Plan and Correspondence Nominees (NDIS), Guardianship and Administration.

As an advocate, I had service providers regularly approach me who were confused about working with a participant who had a guardianship or administration order in place and what this meant for the participant, and them as a provider.

Hopefully, this sheds some light on this issue, but keep in mind that laws and regulations vary in each state and territory. Having practised as an advocate in both QLD and Victoria, I found that there were marked differences in processes and even the frequency of, and rules around guardianship and administration.

Powers of attorney

If you are working with a participant who needs help managing their affairs, they can choose to give someone they know and trust, or a specialist organisation (such as the Public Trustee and Guardian in NSW) the power to make decisions for them. This will allow someone else to manage their affairs when they do not want to or are no longer able to.

Depending on their situation, this may include:

  • the power to make decisions about their financial and legal affairs
  • decisions about their lifestyle (including where they live), their support and what medical or health treatment they should receive.

If a person that you are supporting has an order in place and a decision-maker appointed, it does not mean that they can make decisions about every aspect of the participant’s life. It’s important to check the order to see what reason(s) the guardian/administrator has been appointed.

Plan and correspondence nominees

A plan nominee is someone appointed, in writing, to act on behalf of an NDIS participant.

This could be at the participant’s request or at the request of the NDIA when there are no other less restrictive options.

A plan nominee has a duty to:

  • ascertain the wishes of the participant
  • act in a manner that promotes the personal and social well-being of the participant
  • only act if the participant is not capable of doing the act
  • develop the capacity of the participant
  • avoid or manage conflicts of interest.

Another type of nominee that can be appointed is a correspondence nominee.

A correspondence nominee is someone who can make some decisions for a participant about their business with the NDIS. But they can’t do anything or make decisions about:

  • preparing or changing a plan
  • managing the funding for supports in a plan.

If a participant needs someone to make decisions for them about their plan, they may need a plan nominee.

A correspondence nominee can ask the NDIA for information about a participant on their behalf. They can also opt to receive letters and notices.

You can find more information about Plan and correspondence nominees here: Appointing a Nominee

Guardianship and Administrators

If a participant has not formally appointed someone to manage their affairs (under a power of attorney) and it becomes necessary to do so, a guardianship board or tribunal may appoint a guardian and/or administrator on behalf of a participant.

I will define the two main types of appointed decision-makers.

*Note that Some states have variations of these, such as supportive guardians and supportive administrators (Vic).

A Guardian (who could be a family member or friend), is a substitute decision-maker who may make lifestyle decisions, such as where the participant should live, and the support they receive, as well as give their consent to medical, dental and health care services generally.

An Administrator acts as a financial manager and looks after a person’s property and finances. If no individual is appropriate for this, a state or public trustee service is often appointed to manage a person’s finances.

There are several factors that the guardianship board or tribunal will take into account before deciding to appoint a guardian or administrator, including:

  • The participant’s ability to manage their own affairs
  • any relevant medical or health conditions that might affect their ability to make decisions – such as dementia, intellectual disability, mental illness, or acquired brain injury
  • whether it is in their best interests to have a guardian or administrator appointed.

The rules are different in each state and territory, so it is important to contact the relevant authority where you live for details on the guardianship and administration laws in the relevant state or territory, or if you have any questions or concerns about an order.

Refer to the authorities listed below:

An advice or advocacy agency may also be able to assist, and you can find them here: https://askizzy.org.au/

 

Written by Amanda Robinson, B.A., MMentalHealth Prac.

Amanda is a professional with over a decade of dedicated experience in the fields of Mental Health and Disability. Her extensive expertise lies in navigating the intricate landscape of the Disability Sector. She brings a unique perspective to her work, being both a person with lived experience of disability and a compassionate carer. She has a passion for advocacy, making her a staunch champion for the rights and well-being of individuals facing similar challenges.

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