State of the Disability Sector Report 2021 released
Only 25 per cent believed the NDIS policy reforms are heading in the right direction, according to the State of the Disability Sector 2021 report produced by NDS.
This is a significant decline in trust from last year where that figure was 51 per cent.
A mere twelve per cent felt the NDIS was working well with providers.
Business confidence has also dropped year-on-year since 2019. Interestingly, this is not a reflection of the wider economic pessimism.
“It’s important something is done now to correct these issues," says Laurie Leigh, Interim CEO. " It’s been a difficult year for disability service providers and most expect 2022 to be worse.”
One of the main frustrations voiced throughout the report was around pricing for NDIS services. Over half worried they would not be able to continue providing NDIS services at current prices.
Among the many alarming figures are that 68 per cent posted a profit or surplus, but many say this was the result of an artificial boost from JobKeeper. Only 45 per cent expect to make a profit this year. One in five continues to make a loss.
Further, 77 per cent of providers said they had received service requests they were unable to provide.
While the shortage of disability support workers has been making headlines around the country, more than 90 per cent said recruiting and retaining allied health professionals such as occupational, speech, and physiotherapists is even more difficult.
By contrast, 85 per cent said they felt they had responded well to the pandemic. Additional studies of the workforce and policy environment found that the disability sector is highly collaborative, as well as adaptable to change.
Despite the hardships and stress, most respondents in the survey said they believed the opportunities outweighed the risks posed to their organisations by the NDIS.
NDS has included more detailed analyses of the operating environment, workforce, and broader policy environments. Using a number of consultations, independent research and communities of practice, the State of the Disability Sector report also includes a section outlining what it believes is the way forward.
About the Report
The State of the Disability Sector Report is an annual snapshot of the disability services sector. The 2021 report is the ninth wave and was released at the CEOs' Meeting in December 2021. A large part of the report comes from NDS's annual market survey, which was independently analysed by the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney. There were 396 respondents in the survey, covering not-for-profit organisations and for-profit businesses of all sizes, in every state and territory of Australia.
View the State of the Disability Sector Report 2021, including an accessible version and fact sheets.