On 15 April 2021, the Vision 2020 Australia Chair and some Adelaide-based sector representatives had the opportunity to meet with the new Minister for the NDIS, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds.
The meeting occurred on the day that the Minister had advised that introduction of independent assessments had been paused while the current trial is completed and further development work is undertaken, an announcement that was extremely received by our sector.
Attendees discussed a range of areas related to blindness and low vision, noting that while the NDIS was supported by the sector, its implementation posed some challenges for a specialised sector such as blindness and low vision, particularly given it is a relatively low prevalence condition within the overall scheme.
The Minister was interested and engaged in the discussion and acknowledged some of the challenges and opportunities that the sector identified. Our genuine commitment to working productively with government to ensure a future NDIS that is sustainable, effective and meets the needs of Australians living with blindness and low vision was evident and we hope to have a long and fruitful relationship with the Minister.
We agreed to progress further work in relation to assessments and also explore opportunities to streamline quality assurance and other arrangements between disability and aged care outside the meeting.
Thanks to our Board Chair, the Hon Christopher Pyne, for hosting the meeting at his Adelaide offices, and for executives from Beyond Blindness, Can:Do and Royal Society for the Blind SA as well as Board Director Tony Starkey, all of whom were able to attend the meeting at short notice.