To some, Queensland’s Disability Services system has been a model of effectiveness and value. To others, it has been a regrettably inefficient way of delivering much-needed care to disabled people throughout the state. With these two competing views in mind, state regulators have been working closely with federal ones to figure out how to transition the state to the new National Disability Insurance Scheme.

What they have arrived at is a plan for a gradual transition to the new scheme. Understanding that it is of the utmost importance that care provided through the existing Disability System at no point be disrupted, they have committed to a smooth, evenly measured pace of change. Even so, the period of that change is set to begin, meaning that many people in Queensland will soon need to make some momentous decisions.

Illustration for article titled With Smooth Transition Planned, Queenslands Disability System Will Hand Off to NDIS

With around half of the 90,000 or so disabled people in the state receiving specialized services, the new scheme promises to offer much more in the way of choice and flexibility. Among those who have regularly found fault with Queensland’s Disability System, a lack of responsiveness to particular needs was a common point for complaint. The new system proposes to remedy this deficit by allowing each person to choose their own Queensland NDIS provider, a move that many claim will allow for services far better tailored to each person’s needs.

Someone struggling with cerebral palsy, for instance, will be able to sign on with an NDIS provider who focuses specifically on patients of this kind. Another person dealing with dementia might find more in the way of support from a provider with special strengths when it comes to geriatric psychiatric disorders.

While there is clearly much potential in this new system, taking advantage of it will require a bit of work on the part of the disabled and their loved ones. In most cases, families will sign up with agencies that will assist them through the transition, including the selection of new service providers.

In others, physicians will make direct recommendations that can just as easily be acted upon. The important thing in every case, though, will be to understand that even these critical choices will not be permanent. Particularly in the early stages of the transition, disabled people will be empowered with quite a bit in the way of discretion when it comes to changing providers. This will ensure that every participant in the new program will be able to easily obtain care that suits their particular needs.

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