Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka today joined people with disability, families and carers to mark the 100-day countdown to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rollout across NSW, at Ability Options in Bella Vista, as well as to announce the opening of the $5 million Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

“The NDIS is on track, on time and on budget in NSW. In just 100 days, the Scheme will roll out across half of the State giving even more people choice and control over their own lives,” Mr Ajaka said.

“To ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible, the NSW Government is doing even more to help providers in regional and remote NSW get ready.”

From 1 July 2016, people living in the Hunter New England, Southern New South Wales, Central Coast, Northern Sydney, South Western Sydney, Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains will be able to access the NDIS.

“The campaign for the NDIS launched on Australia day in 2011 to right a generation of wrongs. Australia’s disability system was broken, underfunded and had failed people with disability and their families. The NDIS will change everything. It will mean that people with disability will receive the supports they need when they need them. It will transform the lives of people with disability and support their families,” Every Australian Counts Campaign Manager the Hon John Della Bosca said.

“With 100 days until we start the transition to full scheme in NSW, people with disability and their families can stop worrying about waiting lists that were the hallmark of the old disability system. The opportunities that come with the NDIS will provide people with disability access to our community, paid employment uninhibited by a lack of supports and equipment.

“It’s not just 100 days until the NDIS starts to roll out, it’s 100 days until a world of opportunity is opened up to people with disability and their families in NSW.”

Ability Options is a major provider of services and supports to people with disability across NSW, employing more than 900 people.

Ability Options CEO, Fred Van Steel, said that the NDIS continues to bring many economic and social benefits. Service providers like Ability Options have grown substantially in the Hunter New England and Nepean sites with nearly 300 staff employed due to the positive impact of the NDIS.

“Ability Options are delighted to be working with the state government on the rollout of the NDIS. As one of the first providers to be part of the NSW NDIS trial site, we have seen first-hand the positive impact the scheme has had on people’s lives,” Mr Van Steel said.

With some 43,000 participants coming into the scheme across Year 1 districts including 36,000 existing disability clients and 7,000 new participants in such a short period of time, there is a planned approach to how people will access the NDIS. The majority of people currently receiving specialist disability supports will be able to access the NDIS in the first six months of the scheme launching.

Under the TAP, providers in regional and remote areas can apply up for up to $35,000 in funding for NDIS readiness activities, like updating business plans or purchasing software. Grants are available to providers who have less than $3 million in annual turnover and are located in, or provide services to regional and remote areas and intend to become providers under the NDIS.

The TAP is being delivered in partnership with Aged and Community Services (ACSA) NSW. Applications close on Friday 22 April 2016.

 Information to support people and providers get ready for the rollout on 1 July 2016 is available atwww.ndis.nsw.gov.au

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