“I want to get a well-paid job that uses my skills and talents”
“I want to move into a home of my own and live with my partner”
“I want to meet new people so that I can make more friends”
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides an exciting opportunity for people with disabilities to reach their goals. Most adults have some ideas about goals they would like to achieve in their life – to have meaningful work, happy relationships, travel overseas – but what are goals when it comes to the NDIS? The VALID advocacy team works with people with intellectual disabilities and their supporters every day and has supported more than 60 people in the last 60 days in their first NDIS planning meeting.
So, here are some tips for you on NDIS goals:
- An NDIS plan usually has two short-term goals, and a few medium-to-long-term goals. Short-term goals are the focus for how funding is used. So, if a goal needs to be achieved in the next six to twelve months, it should be written as one of the short-term goals.
- Every dollar in an NDIS plan needs to be used in a way that links to a goal written in the plan. For example, if you want support to get a job, you need to have it as a goal in the plan. That means that you need to write short-term goals in a way that ensures everything you need is covered in two goals.
- Goals should focus on an outcome, rather than about the services needed to achieve the outcome. For example, if an NDIS participant attends a day program, the goal might be “To spend more time in my local community and develop skills so that I can be more independent”, not “To attend my day program.” Goals needs to be broad enough that you can make creative changes throughout the year and can use different types of services that would help achieve the goal.
- If assessments or therapies are needed in the plan, you might need to have a goal that speaks to the outcomes of those supports. For example, if the person needs an assessment from a Speech Therapist, the goal might be “To improve my communication at home and in the community so that I can be as independent as possible”.
- It is OK to have a short-term goal that brings a few similar ideas together into one goal. For example, if you want to make new friends, try out volunteering and get a job, you can write one goal that includes all three, for example, “To meet new people so that I can have more friends, to start volunteering locally, and to get a well-paid job”. If a participant needs multiple therapies or assessments, you can put them all together in one short-term goal, for example, “To improve my relationships, communication and mobility so that I can be as independent as possible.”
VALID is seeing lots of positive changes in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities with NDIS funding. And we hear from people every day who feel unsure about how to navigate the NDIS to get great outcomes. We’re all learning how to make the best of the NDIS, so if you need help with advocacy and the NDIS, please call us on 03 9416 4003, or get in touch with the Advocacy Manager, Sarah Forbes, by email, [email protected]