Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Practical Design Fund to help guide the transition to a National Disability Insurance Scheme

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Jan McLucas
    Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Applications have opened today for the Australian Government’s $10 million Practical Design Fund.

The Practical Design Fund will support practical projects to identify how best to support people with disability make the transition to a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas, said the fund would identify practical solutions and innovative approaches to assist people with disability, their families and carers and the disability sector transition to an NDIS.

“The Australian Government is making an NDIS real so that Australians with disability get the care and support they need, no matter where they live or how they acquired their disability,” Ms Macklin said.

“To help us reach this important goal we have committed $1 billion to deliver the first stage of an NDIS.

“So far we’ve got agreements for launch sites in New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT. That means from next year an NDIS will start to be real for more than 20,000 people with significant disability across Australia.”

The Australian Government will continue to work with the states and territories to get ready for the first stage of an NDIS by considering critical questions like the best way to assess people’s needs, how to support people with disability to exercise choice and control and how to build the disability care workforce of the future.

While we work together to design an NDIS, we will look to innovative approaches taken in these practical projects.

Practical Design Fund projects will help determine how best to deliver an NDIS. For example, projects could:

  • Develop good local approaches for disability and community workers, advocates and organisations to help people with disability manage and coordinate their individual support packages;
  • Suggest ways to deliver different types of services to people with disability in regional and remote areas, for example by using new technologies; and
  • Develop recruitment and training strategies so that disability sector workers and organisations can provide the quantity and quality of services needed under an NDIS.

We’re calling for project applications to help develop practical ways of addressing not just these questions but also many other operational issues – because getting expert advice while planning for the launch sites is essential to getting the NDIS right.

Preference will be given to projects that include people with disability in the development of practical solutions.

Senator McLucas said it was vital to prepare people with disability and their carers, the disability sector and the workforce to move to new ways of accessing and delivering disability services under an NDIS.

“We’re getting on with the job of building an NDIS and the Practical Design Fund is an essential part of getting this change right by developing practical strategies that will work in the real world.

“That’s why we are encouraging submissions from people with disability, their families and carers, disability care workers, service providers and representative organisations and advocates.”

Applications close at 2pm on Monday 3 September 2012 and all projects are required to be completed by 29 March 2013.

For further information on the Practical Design Fund go to: