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15/04/2021
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DSS has released a consultation paper on the Federal Government's National Disability Employment Strategy which will complement the new National Disability Strategy.

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Banner reads: Sarah's soundbite

31/03/2021

As we move into April, I’m sure many of us appreciate the chance to spend time with family and friends over the Easter break, seemingly more precious as we remember Easter 2020 and the beginning of Victoria’s long year of COVID-19.

And while Victoria celebrated having no active cases last week, the situation in Brisbane contributes to COVID-19, and the vaccine roll-out, continuing to be front and centre for providers.

The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine has generated many queries from providers. NDS has brought together all the key information about the vaccines and the roll-out as it applies to the disability sector in an easy-to-follow Frequently Asked Questions webpage. These will be updated regularly, and in coming weeks will incorporate details of the Victorian specific roll-out.

While the vaccine roll-out of Phase 1a has fallen short of projections to date, we are pleased that the Australian production of AstraZeneca will significantly boost the availability of the vaccine. This coincides with the rollout of Phase 1b, which has expanded the eligibility of people with a disability and disability workers. Good news for our sector.

The message is to exercise patience. Make sure you have completed the Australian Government Department of Health’s Ongoing Data Collection Form to inform the vaccination provider of your requirements and have all your paperwork prepared. Also, refer to the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate for information regarding consent.

NDS is concerned with signals coming from the NDIA that the Agency’s focus will be on curbing Scheme costs in the coming months. There has been a 46 per cent increase in plan value over the past two years, which is not sustainable. There are an array of potential measures coming through which will impact Scheme settings. We are also aware that many organisations are experiencing difficulties in recruiting sufficient skilled workers, and together with delays resulting from the new NDIS Worker Screening Check processes, are contributing to frustrations in this area.  NDS is advocating on behalf of the sector and values your experiences and insights which help build the picture we take to the Agency and governments. If you would like to contribute please email us at or request a call from NDS to have a chat.

Our Communities of Practice and webinars continue to be well-attended, with fantastic presentations and vibrant discussions contributing to sharing knowledge and building capacity. I encourage you to participate and use these opportunities to keep abreast of developments and guide NDS’s advocacy. In April we have CoPs for Health and Safety, Finance Representatives, Day Services, a Mergers and Acquisitions webinar and a Workforce Members Network meeting. Check our upcoming events on the NDS website.

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Sarah Fordyce, State Manager Victoria, 03 8341 4303,