A spotlight on the changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), its impact on stakeholders and a focus on Diversity at Work.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is set to revolutionise disability services in Australia. Done properly, it can make it easier for people to access essential care, support, therapy, equipment, early intervention and training. However, as it is only in the early stages of implementation, the NDIS is also mired in confusion and uncertainty amongst its’ different stakeholders. On Friday, 7th November, Diversity Programs at Melbourne City Institute of Education (MCIE) encouraged clarity around this topic by hosting a two hour professional development (PD) session for its government, not for profit and corporate partners and clients. Nearly 20 guests gathered at the MCIE campus in West Melbourne to discuss expected changes to the NDIS and how it might potentially impact their individual organisations and the provision of their scope of services.
NDIS & Its Impact
The session started off with a case study presented by Ric Hubbard, State Operations Manager for Able Australia. Able Australia is a not for profit providing a range of services for people with a range of multiple disabilities including deaf-blindness.Ric started the engaging session with a discussion on the work Able does and how changes to the NDIS will impact the clients it supports. Ric presented a post NDIS world where clients with a disability have a right to choose the different providers and type/ level of services they require. This opens up a world of opportunity for providers that are customer centric and who are able to connect with clients and help them meet their needs. Ric’s presentation was a positive way of looking at the NDIS with an important message for providers to step up and refocus on engaging their clients. The NDIS was also broken down into terms that were easy to understand and opened up to a lively Q&A session where participants shared their experiences or concerns/ comments.
Diversity at Work
The event also featured a presentation by author and motivational speaker Ron Prasad. Ron shared strategies on ways to integrate and celebrate diverse abilities in the workplace; with tangible steps participants could take to encourage a more diverse work environment.
Key takeaways to further inclusiveness in the workforce included the following strategies:
- Create a culture of awareness and acceptance which creates empathy
- Create a culture that encourages educating all staff members on diversity
- Encouraging transparency by keeping an open door policy which has a strong message of not taking the issues from the boardroom to the lunchroom. This helps not only with staff with disability but for all staff members
- Celebrate success with celebrating diverse talents and strengths as success builds on success
- Provide specific support for people
By encouraging and embracing diverse abilities, companies can put in place a culture that in turn would be respectful and healthy for all staff members.
After both speakers had their turn, there was also time for participants to share their thoughts via a discussion on the part education can play in encouraging a more diverse workforce. The session ended right on schedule with refreshments and the opportunity to connect with peers from different sectors with a keen interest on diversity and inclusion.
As workforce demographics shift, workplace diversity inches closer to becoming a business necessity. Employees reap tangible and intangible benefits from a culture that respects and champions diversity at work.
Diversity Programs at MCIE runs work ready programs that assist people with disability to join the workforce.
‘A spotlight on the changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), its impact on stakeholders and a focus on Diversity at Work’ is the first in a series of professional development sessions it hopes to run to bring its partners and community together.
Diversity Programs is proud of its efforts in helping its community gain a deeper understanding of diversity at work.