4 October Blog: DIIU Innovation in Disability, Centro at the NDS WA conference and HLB Mann Judd’s ENFP NDIS event
Disability Innovation Institute, UNSW “Innovation in Disability Event and Panel Discussion” 1st October, Sydney
I attended this event and was able to meet the new Director, Professor Jackie Leach Scully (former Director at University of Newcastle PEALS, UK), and network with other leaders in disability research and advocacy from the university, disabled people's organisations and the wider community.
The event started with an introduction to the work of the DIIU by the Vice Chancellor Eileen Baldry who is deputy Chair of the Disability Council of NSW. She spoke of the aim of the Institute being to build an inclusive University that engages the community around it.
The newly appointed Director was introduced by Associate Professor David Blaazer, interim Dean of Arts and Social Sciences. Professor Leach Skully spoke about how the Institute will engage in research with a difference – pioneering inclusive solutions. Disability is often viewed as a problem to be solved – in fact disability is a normal part of the human condition. The Institute is seed funding research projects across the University (2020 round is now open: 6 grants of up to $30,000 each) – creating a vibrant hub of collaboration between researchers. They will aim to harness the strengths and insights of people with disability to inform equitable responses to the issues they face.
The panel discussion was on the topic “What does innovation in disability look like?” Panel members were: Dr Ben Gauntlett – Australian Human Rights Commission, Disability Discrimination Commissioner said that innovation has to be of verifiable value to PWD and that it aids disability inclusion. The outcome can vary but can include a change in attitudes – the DIIU can influence policy in this regard.
Dr Graeme Innes AM – Chair Disability Innovation Institute Advisory Council - lawyer, author, and company director spoke about the work of the Attitude Foundation – it will soon release movies about the lives of PWD living their dreams. Attitude and beliefs can have a huge impact;
Professor Karen Fisher – from the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW. Her research interests are the organisation of disability and mental health services in Australia and China. She said that innovation in the disability market in China was characterised by investors seeing the opportunities of leveraging technology and apps for the disabled – learning from PWD for product design. The environment and opportunity were also key factors in fostering innovation.
Dr Kate Bishop – Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Built Environment has a rich background in design. She said that innovation is not just in the product but actually starts earlier with awareness, conceptual approach, changed policy settings, leading to design briefs and how architects respond.
NDS WA Conference 16-17 September in Perth
Centro ASSIST were proud sponsors of the NDS WA conference. The team were kept busy over the two days talking with the 200+ attendees interested in learning more about the Centro software compliance solution.
The presentations were comprehensive and insightful covering topics such as communities and influence, workforce, lifestyle, employment for PWD, mainstream interface and co-design. Nulsen Group spoke about a whole of organisation approach to quality and safeguarding and there were also presentations about technology, law and independent living.
Professor David Gilchrist from the University of WA Business School NFPs Research Group gave a fascinating lecture about possible futures for the NDIS. He argues that the Government should be taking a system-relationship approach to the NDIS as relying on economic based supply and demand forces will lead to failure (lack of supply and poor quality outcomes).
HLB Mann Judd’s ENFP group “NDIS State of Play” luncheon briefing on 28th August, 2019
The first speaker was Carol Berry, Director Provider and Market Engagement NSW/ACT for the NDIS. She summarised the latest quarterly report as at 30 June which shows here are now 300,000 in the scheme and 1/3 of these people are receiving support for the first time. The NSW Govt has committed a budget of $12.8 billion to the scheme to date. There are 9106 service providers in NSW – 42.5% of the national number. In NSW alone there are $46.8 billion of individual packages and the workforce will need to double to 59,200 at Full Scheme. DSS is taking a market stewardship focus and want to grow the workforce – they are monitoring participant demand and potential thin markets as well as exits by providers. In July, COAG agreed to set up a NDIS Reserve Fund to fund projects that improve the performance of the NDIS. The NDIA itself needs to improve its internal policies and processes.
 The NDIA must also comply with the Quality and Safety Framework of the NDIS Commission
The next speaker was Karen Stase, the NDS NSW Director. The NDS has 1100 members with 400 of those in NSW. Providers are facing increasing challenges in recruiting staff esp for regional delivery, there is an increased focus on quality and safety to establish best practice and improve service delivery. Providers want data, to focus on innovation, to co-design solutions and improve clinical governance (the focus before was on corporate governance). Mergers between providers is increasing.
The final speaker was from HLB Mann Judd who described the Social Impact Tool that has been developed by the firm.