Autism Advisory Group August 2019 communique

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Autism Advisory Group (AAG) met on 1 August 2019 to discuss the implementation of the recently announced Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) remediation plan to resolve delays and backlogs for children with disability in accessing supports.

The AAG’s feedback on the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) ECEI approach and delays experienced by families has been instrumental in the development of the remediation plan, announced by the Minister for the NDIS, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, on 26 June 2019 . 

The remediation plan will be rolled out this month, and includes 6 month interim NDIS plans for children experiencing wait times greater than 50 days between an access decision and getting an NDIS plan. 

The AAG agreed it would continue to work closely with the NDIA to ensure the remediation plan is effective in resolving the delays and reducing the backlog for children and families. 

The AAG discussed how best to utilise established Autism Advisors under the NDIS. It was agreed the NDIA will establish a pilot in September 2019 in Tasmania and Victoria to trial improved linkages with Autism Advisors and ECEI Partners to support families prepare for the access, planning and implementation phases of the NDIS. 

The AAG has met eight times since it was established in July 2018 to provide advice and feedback to ensure the NDIA is taking an informed approach to issues relating to autism and the NDIS that is collaborative and evidence-based. 

The AAG’s priorities over the last 12 months have included participant experience and plans, and staff training and expertise, with further work to be undertaken on agreed key areas. 

The AAG has previously examined NDIA data on outcomes for participants with autism, and at the August meeting the AAG welcomed the recent public release of the NDIA Outcomes for participants with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) report. The AAG agreed further work was required on delivering better outcomes for adults with autism, particularly around health and employment.    

The AAG members committed to continuing to work in partnership on improving the outcomes for all Australians on the autism spectrum.