Friday, August 4, 2017

The NDIS revolution

cover of report found here
The care of individuals with disability is undergoing revolutionary change in Australia, with a shift of power and entitlement from the organisations of welfare to the individuals in need, an empowerment of those who need. Via a new thing, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, or NDIS.

I dug out and place a link here to a report by leaders in community care in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven in 2009,  principal author my partner Helen Backhouse.

This is also about empowerment of workers and volunteers in the sector and the general need for governments and commentators and 'experts' to see that the community service sector, in an economy, a political economy, increasingly overall a 'service economy' is a big part of the business of economic development. The OECD and Australian official systems of statistics do not place this sector in any such location.

We speak of economic advantages and the good sense, say, of locating steel mills where there is good access to iron ore, coal and water. Why then not address comparative advantage of providing community services in places where it is most appropriate and brings most cheer and where workers and volunteers to do jobs well. In a place like the Illawarra-Shoalhaven this sector accounts for a high percentage of new jobs too.

It remains that a great body of the population regard support for the disadvantaged with a sneer and a grumble. People presume the right to drive free on new roads, not to be impeded in their right to consume, for government to provide the hoi and polloi with all the panderisations of modernity. But still with a right to snarl at redistribution and fairness.

I digress.

There are good recommendations in that report see pages 3 - 10. Against which changes and achievements might wisely be measured.

I do not think that governments, or politicians, fully understand what they have unleashed. Give the disabled the right to choose who helps them with what and soon their voices might be heard wider on more.

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