Accessible Island is a framework to guide government action in the design and delivery of government policy, programs and services for all Tasmanians with disability. The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers found that in 2015 Tasmania had the highest rate of disability in Australia at 26 percent or 131,700 people. The Survey included people who reported a limitation, restriction or impairment, which has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months and restricts everyday activities. More information about the Survey findings is provided in Appendix 2.
This means that Accessible Island has a much broader whole-of-government and population focus than the NDIS. Accessible Island will play a critical role in guiding the Tasmanian Government’s work for all people with disability.
The transition to the NDIS means there will be changes in the way specialist services are delivered to some people with disability. Tasmania’s statewide rollout of the NDIS provides for a staged access according to a participant’s age (see Appendix 3 for full details of the rollout). Current clients of Tasmania’s specialist disability system will continue to receive their existing supports until they become participants in the NDIS. The expansion of the NDIS in Tasmania is expected to create an additional 2,500 jobs by 2019.
Tasmanian participants in the NDIS
- By June 2017, almost 2,300 Tasmanians with disability had joined the NDIS.
- By July 2019, 10,600 Tasmanians with disability will be participants in the NDIS.
While some people were unsure about what the NDIS would mean for them, some consultation participants reported positive changes as a result of joining the NDIS.
“I have mental health and anxiety issues. I’m living independently now. The NDIS has helped me to make more choices for myself. It’s helped me go back to school. I am doing my schooling on-line, my teacher emails me my work and I take it to her every week. We spend an hour on feedback. I like to be busy, I’m currently moving from being a client [of my service] to being a support worker, they asked me to.”
- Consultation participant
4430.0 Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2015 (2012), Australian Bureau of Statistics, State tables for Tasmania. (Figures in brackets are 2012 and 2009 figures respectively).