News Tag: NDIS

Brain from wooden puzzles. Mental Health and problems with memory.

Reflecting on setting up and operating your endeavour and using your NIDS plan

Not every member of the platform will have an NDIS plan, but for those that do, we thought it would be useful to share a few tips.

The NDIS can’t be used for any setup or operating expenses that the general public might face.  So you cannot put power, phone or internet bills on your NDIS plan; you cannot put the expense of an employee on your plan; and you cannot put something like a purchase of a device (such as an iPad on your plan).
There may be some flexibility if you mention your endeavour or maintaining work on your plan (something to think about when your plan is next reviewed) but you can claim matters relating to your disability (e.g. it’s fine to have something like a social support worker billed to your plan who is also helping you do some work – such as typing, which is what Gary is doing right now; it’s also fine if you will be using an iPad to help you communicate).
You need to get into the habit of describing what you want to do, or what you’ve done in terms of support to help you engage and produce, despite your disability.  It is a semantic dance, but words matter.
Think about whether there are core supports that would free up your time and make it easier to focus on your money-generating endeavours – such as assistance with cooking, laundry, cleaning, yard tasks and maintenance.
If a lot of what you’re doing is on the computer or online, try to engage with a support worker who has good computing skills.
A service coordinator and plan manager can help you operate and plan within the constraints of the scheme.
Choosing to have a self-managed plan might seem a way to avoid these limitations but it is flirting with disaster and might end with a lot stricter limitations on your plan.

If you have a mentor from the platform, they can also be a useful source of ideas and tips.

A graphic about the power of positivity.

References for our recent student interns

During the last couple of weeks, we have provided verbal references for our two recent student interns (Kianna Lowe and Gabrielle Wilson).  We were very happy to do so because they did such excellent work for us, both have a great work ethic and definitely ‘value-added’ in their time with us.

We wish them well for the future and thank them for the contribution they made to the platform.

Our participation in the internship program conducted by Griffith Business School was simply excellent and we recommend all Queensland social enterprises think about ways in which to engage with them.  Given our connection to Griffith University, we were thrilled to be able to offer authentic work experience to two students and benefit from their input.

Handsome man with beard sitting on wheelchair happy face smiling with crossed arms looking at the camera. positive person.

How we will support members of the platform

The not-for-profit platform will aim to create, nurture and support a community of practice in the Australian disability entrepreneurship space.  We will support members to establish and operate money-generating endeavours, such as a monetised hobby/craft, a gig-based micro business, or a small business.  The supports the platform will provide will include:

(i) Mentoring;
(ii) An internal peer support discussion board;
(iii) A Resource Library (of existing resources and tailored resources for members);
(iv) Webinars and online events;
(v) Training, including micro-courses through the Griffith Business School;
(vi) A blog and quarterly newsletter; and
(vii) An online marketplace (link to fiverr.com).

In short, we aim to provide role models, peer support, resources and training to assist our members to establish and operate a successful and sustainable money-generating endeavour.

Australians who live with a disability for free, as can their carers and other people with an established connection to disability in Australia.  The fees associated with becoming a paid member and getting access to all of our services can be billed to the NDIS or other disability support.

At the moment, this service will be for any Australian who lives with a disability who is aged between 18 and 65.  We are currently considering extending the service to include young people aged 15 to 18.

A cartoon of a woman in a wheelchair enjoying reading a large hardcover book.

The next steps toward NDIA registration – Thanks, Gabrielle!

As part of our journey towards NDIA registration, we asked GBS student, Gabrielle Wilson, to first write us a report about the requirements (her report was excellent) and look at what we already had and what we still need (her summary was great and encouraging).

Thanks, Gabrielle! We wish you well for the conclusion of your studies and for your future career.  Your contribution to the future of the platform was stellar.  Please feel free to list us as a referee for future job applications.

 We now have the basis for a couple of student interns.  Here’s hoping we can entice two more great student’s from GBS.

A Black visually impaired man reading at homed beside a lush plant.

Interviewed for another podcast

This week, Gary was interviewed for an NDIS podcast show, it was an opportunity for Gary to reflect on the platform’s journey, the NDIS and his disability.  It was a terrific and energising chat.  Fiona Stutz seemed happy with it as well.

Fiona will also be interviewing the incredibly talented, Joe-Anne Kek-Pamenter.  Jo is a member of our Advisory Board, is hearing impaired and is an experienced freelancer.  She has also been doing some superb design work for us.

This has been a great opportunity to promote the platform.

Positive handicapped black lady in wheelchair enjoying wonderful summer morning outdoors. Happy disabled African American woman having great time at city park. Urban lifestyle

Gabrielle helping us towards NDIA registration

Gabrielle Wilson, another student intern from Griffith Business School, is doing great work in helping us towards registration with the National Disability Insurance Agency.  Drawing from the great feedback from Rollie Pontigon, she has updated our report on registration, the summary report and now is moving on to look at our existing policies.

This is all incredibly important components of setting up a platform as a new disability service in Australia.  NDIA registration will help bolster our reputation with new potential members and provide another route for which we can be engaged.

We are incredibly grateful for Gabrielle’s work and for the continuing support we have received from GBS.

A man with an artificial leg walking across a stretch of cement.

Subscription based websites

You may have noticed over the last few days as well as the last few weeks before that we have been linking to some pages that require a subscription to access the full text.  We try to do so sparingly and the content has all been extremely good.  The recent sites have been WIRED and Medium.  

If you have an NDIS plan or other regulated form of support, we suggest with a little work, you should be able to charge the subscription fee to your plan.  The key thing is to focus on the amount of content that relates to disability, assisted technology and social engagement.  By describing having access to the articles would mean you will be able to read essential content specifically of value to a person who lives with a disability, you really should be able to do this.  

This is once again a good example of how you describe things, the words you choose, will give you the best possible chances of success.

A man in a wheel, wearing a jacket, working on a computer on a table.

The life changing power of assistive technologies – TED Talks (Jane Velkovski | December 2021)

This great and inspiring TED Talk isn’t about disability entrepreneurship but it is a great example of the transformative potential of assistive technology to enable people who live with a disability to pursue their potential.  In Gary’s case, in addition to his great wheelchair, he uses an over-bed desk and a headset plus chest speaker to supplement his thin voice.  The NDIS is far from perfect (especially during this period of cost cutting), but Australians can be proud to have the scheme, which gives us options far beyond those available in other countries.  Assistive technology can be such a boon to assist you with your endeavour.