NDS in WA 2020-21 Year in Review
NDS is pleased to release its WA 2020-21 Year in Review highlighting the work we have undertaken to support our members, strengthen the disability services sector and deliver better outcomes for people with disability across Western Australia.
We have sought and developed solutions that strengthen the disability services sector in WA and deliver better outcomes for people with disability. This has included advocating for sound policies, ensuring the sector is funded and supported, promoting the value of a diverse, sustainable and mission-driven sector and maintaining a local and national focus on disability issues.
Julie Waylen, WA State Manager said: “The past year has brought unparalleled challenges for the WA disability sector as we grapple with the continuing impact of COVID-19 and its flow-on effects. The role of NDS has never been more important in supporting our members across our vast state than in this rapidly changing environment.”
One of the most significant outcomes of NDS advocacy this year is the establishment of a WA Office of Disability, with a $13.4 million commitment to the new Office announced in the WA Government’s recent State Budget.
We have worked closely with the NDIA, Department of Communities and other mainstream government agencies that provide critical services in support of people with disability including the Departments of the Premier and Cabinet, Public Sector Commission, Treasury, Finance, Training and Workforce Development, Housing, Transport, Health, Child Protection, Mental Health Commission and Education. Our members have been directly involved in providing input and policy advice on a range of issues through our NDS subcommittees.
NDS in WA supports committees on access and inclusion, clinical and allied health, employment, finance and sustainability, housing and home living and workforce. We have continued communities of practice in quality and safeguarding and training and have facilitated the development of a peer-to-peer network for small to medium specialist disability service providers. NDS in WA also supports CORDS – the Council of Regional Disability Service organisations.
NDS undertook a number of workforce initiatives to increase the sector’s capacity to provide a high quality, skilled and well-trained workforce that delivers services and supports of the highest standard to people with disability and their families. This included the NDIS Job Matching Service, which has so far seen the recruitment of 1566 new workers and 859 training enrolments, and the Think Support social media campaign, which achieved a social reach of 206,540 people and 2.4 million impressions.
NDS in WA continues to support more than 100,000 people with disability through the Companion Card, Changing Places and ACROD parking programs. Recently, we oversaw an expansion of the ACROD Parking Program eligibility criteria to include people who are legally blind.
The ‘This Bay is Someone’s Day’ campaign transformed ACROD bays around WA into eye-catching art installations by local artists to highlight the impact that ACROD parking bay misuse can have on those who need them. Collaboration with 30 local governments saw the campaign reach more than 660,000 people, generating 2500 reactions and 445 shares on social media.
NDS is fortunate to receive a range of grants from State and Commonwealth Governments and Lotterywest. We could not do our important project work supporting social and economic inclusion without funding support.
Joan McKenna Kerr, Chair NDS WA State Committee said: “Partnership continues to be a guiding principle for us at NDS to ensure a vibrant and sustainable disability services sector in WA that supports people with disability and specialist disability service providers.”