(Above) At your service: a small part of RichmondPRA’s army of Peer Workers
Under the NDIS, individual people will become responsible for deciding what services they need and what organisations to get them from (See: How do you work with a service provider? Info sheet, page 1). Treat the NDIS as an opportunity to make sure you are getting the services YOU want, not just the services the organisation decides you want.
The NSW Consumer Development Fund site “My Choice Matters” recommends that people with disabilities should talk to more than one organisation so that they can choose the one that is best for them (Choosing a service, info sheet, page 1) Here are some of the suggested questions from the info sheet:
• Do you have programs that fit my plan? (page 2)
• Can I bring people to you so you can employ them for me? (page 2)
• Can I call up when I need to? Will I have to pay for these calls? (pg3)
People are encouraged to ask detailed questions about exactly what they are looking for, for example:
• I am interested in getting a job…how will you help?
• Meeting more people…are there people in your service who can help me?
• Getting more healthy (Questions to ask a service provider, info sheet, page 1)
So people really are serious about people with a disability making an informed choice of what is available. It goes further, though. You can check the organisation’s track record.
Here are some more questions (Questions to ask a service provider, Info sheet).
• What has the service done before? Can you give me examples? (p5)
• How long has the service provided the choice of people doing things the way they want in the community? (p5)
The information sheets insist that the organisation should be talking about things that interest YOU; they should be flexible and support you the way YOU want to be supported. They should want to know what YOU think. They should be happy to give YOU the information that YOU need.
Don’t stop there. You can say if you want to give some training to the people that support you. After all, YOU are the expert. You know what they say in business: “The customer is always right.”
My Choice Matters question sheets and tip sheets can be found here: