What is the National Community Connectors Program?
The National Community Connectors Program (NCCP) was developed for community groups who might need additional support to access the NDIS because of social, cultural and economic barriers.
The four identified communities are:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities
- people experiencing psychosocial disabilities and
- ageing parents or carers of people with disability.
Who will be delivering the NCCP?
The following peak organisations, which specialise in understanding issues and supporting the defined population groups, have been selected to assist with this important work:
- National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
- Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia
- National Ethnic Disability Alliance
- Mental Health Australia.
First Peoples Disability Network have also been engaged to provide training in support of the program.
What is the role of a Community Connector?
As trusted community members, Community Connectors play a critical role in identifying and engaging with people with disability and their representatives.
Collaborating with Partners in the Community (PITC), Community Connectors are able to help participants who require additional assistance to access the NDIS and use their plan.
How can they help me?
Community Connectors and our PITC (Local Area Coordinators (LACs) and Early Childhood Partners) will work together in many ways to better support people with disability and their families including:
- collaborating on outreach activities to build better community awareness of the NDIS
- providing assistance to potential participants on the NDIS access process including;
- verbal access requests
- completing the access request form
- collating evidence to support an access request
- supporting participants who wish to communicate directly with NDIS
- supporting participants and their families during pre-planning, planning and plan review meetings
- providing assistance to participants who want to;
- request a plan review
- request a review of an access or planning decision
- report a participant critical incident, or
- make a complaint
- supporting participants, families and carers to maintain and/or reconnect with their NDIS supports
- supporting people with disability who are not eligible for the NDIS, or who are exiting the NDIS, to access mainstream supports
- supporting PITC to better understand and engage with target cohorts.
Together with the Department of Social Services and Carers Australia, the NDIA has developed a virtual Community Connector support service and referral pathway for ageing parents and carers of people with disability.
Minister for the NDIS, Stuart Robert announced the expansion of the NCCP, after committing to a $20 million expansion in November 2019.
The NCCP is a 12-month initiative which builds on existing NDIA Community Connector programs such as the Remote Community Connector Program and other initiatives aimed at connecting eligible people with disability and the NDIS.