An exploration of the NDIS planning process from the perspectives of adults with intellectual disability and their families/carers


The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is currently being implemented in Australia and is predicted to achieve full roll out in all states by 2019 (Bonyhady, 2016). Its introduction marks an historic transformation of disability support in Australia and was established on the assessment of the disability system conducted by the Productivity Commission (2011).

The theoretical framework for this transformation can be found in the social model of disability that encapsulates the notion of the right of an individual with a disability to lifelong well-being. Previous to the adoption of this model a person with a disability was a passive recipient of a ‘fixed’ budget of care. Now with the NDIS philosophy, individual funding is determined by an assessment of a person’s needs and it adopts a person centered model of care and support. This approach it is argued empowers people with all types of disabilities (Fisher et al 2009: Stevens et al 2011) to have some choice and control over their life choices. It is considered that each participant will have a plan and goals that focus on maximising independence and social and economic participation. However there is limited research that has investigated the NDIS planning process from the perspectives of adults with intellectual disabilities and their families/carers.

The aims of this study, therefore are to investigate the complex and multifaceted planning process of the NDIS from the perspectives of adults with intellectual disabilities and their families/carer. There are three key aspects in the planning process that the research will focus on. These are exploring and developing an understanding of the relationships between the rhetoric of person-centred planning in NDIS documentation and how this plays out in the planning process; the expectations and experiences of the participants and their families/carers with regards to NDIS planning; and the implementation of the NDIS plan for adults with intellectual disability.

A multiphase mixed methods approach will be used to collect the data in 5 phases over a 12 month period. Quantitative data will be collected using standardised assessments and questionnaires. The qualitative data will be collected using document analysis, observations, questionnaires and interviews. The data from the questionnaires and standarised assessments will be analysed using descriptive statistics. Frequency and mean scores will be calculated. The documents will be analysed using content analysis, while the data from the observations and the transcribed interviews will be analysed using thematic analysis. Findings and reflections from each phase will feed into the development of the next phase. The study will contribute to the growing literature on the implementation of the NDIS, and the role planning plays in the lives of adults with intellectual disability and their families and carers.

Principal Advisor

Associate Professor Karen Moni

Other advisor/s

Professor Monica Cuskelly

Panel Chair

Dr Rhonda Faragher

Other panel member/s

Dr Rhonda Faragher & Professor Robyn Gillies

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