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State of the Disability Sector Report 2018 now available

cover state of sector report

19/11/2018

NDS has released its State of the Disability Sector Report for 2018, launched in Melbourne today to coincide with our national CEO Meeting. The report finds that while disability service providers remain committed to the NDIS, the majority (73 per cent) believe its systems and processes need urgent improvement. Other challenges include policy uncertainty, unrealistic pricing and costly red tape which is driving up the cost of doing business.

Many of the findings in this year’s report come from our Annual Market Survey, conducted independently by the Centre for Social Impact at the University of New South Wales. This year, 626 disability service providers across the country, from small to large, shared their thoughts on what’s working well and what’s placing pressure on their organisations at a time of immense change for the sector.

Key findings:

  • Providers continue to support the NDIS and remain committed to getting it right – about half agree that the policy reforms are heading in the right direction; 25% are unsure and 27% disagree
  • NDIS systems and processes continue to be a source of frustration – almost three in four service providers state the NDIS systems and processes are not working well
  • The operating environment remains tough - 13% have discussed closing in the past 12 months (4% more than in 2017)
  • Workforce challenges remain top of mind - 63% found it difficult to recruit disability support workers (up from 42% in 2017); and over 70% said that recruiting allied health workers was extremely or moderately difficult
  • Adjusting NDIS pricing is a priority - 70% worry that they will not be able to provide NDIS services at NDIS prices and 54% say they would have to reduce the quality of services to meet current prices

Despite these concerns, support amongst disability service providers for the NDIS remains strong. The proportion of providers who believe the NDIA is working well with the sector is growing – up 7% from last year. These are encouraging signs that together we can fix current NDIS issues to ensure we have the best possible Scheme.

NDS is committed to maintaining a leadership role in the current disability sector reforms and ensuring that providers’ concerns are heard – and actioned. To achieve the right destination we propose the following 12 actions:

1. A fully-funded NDIS
2. Prices to stimulate growth and quality
3. Market stewardship that responds to warning signals of market failure
4. NDIS processes informed by experience
5. Flexibility that reflects national diversity
6. Complex design problems resolved
7. Sector development that supports transition and progress
8. Investment in quality and safeguarding
9. More open employment opportunities
10. Extended school-to-work support
11. More jobs in supported employment
12. Renew National Disability Strategy

We look forward to working with disability service providers, all governments, and people with disability to implement these crucial changes for the sector. For more detail on our proposed actions and survey findings, download the full report below.

Publication: State of the Disability Sector Report 2018

State of the Disability Sector Report 2018

Download publication (PDF 6.8MB) Download accessible publication (Word 1.2MB)
Contact information
Chris Tanti, Chief Executive Officer, 03 8341 4343,