Evaluation of the ndis final Report Kostas Mavromaras, Megan Moskos, Stéphane Mahuteau, Linda Isherwood



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The Older People Study


Entry into the NDIS is available to all eligible people with disability aged less than 65 years. Existing NDIS participants who reach the age of 65 years may choose to continue receiving services under the NDIS or transfer into the aged care system. People who develop a disability from 65 years onwards are ineligible for the NDIS and will instead receive support from other funding sources such as aged care.

The overall objective of the ’Older People Study’ was to evaluate the impact of the NDIS on older people with disability and the interface with the aged care sector.



The Older People Study consisted of a number of in-depth interviews with:

  • older NDIS participants

  • older people with disability who were not NDIS participants2

  • representatives from aged care and disability support providers

  • representatives from key disability and aged care agencies.

These interviews collected impressions and assessments of the impact of the NDIS on older people with disability and the interface with the aged care sector. With the consent of participants, each interview was recorded. The analysis and reporting of the interview data collected as a part of the older people study preceded along the same lines as that adopted for the main QIE as outlined in section 1.7. To protect respondents’ identities, no personal information is disclosed, pseudonyms are used in all references in the report and sources of direct quotes are de-identified.

1.9.1 Older NDIS participants


Interviews were undertaken with 20 NDIS participants aged 59 years and above. Participants had a wide range of disabilities including physical disability, sensory impairment, neurological conditions and psychosocial disability. Interviews were conducted between May 2017 and June 2017, and in most case were undertaken face-to-face in the home of the participant. Interviews examined current supports (level, types, how these are funded, length of time receiving, support gaps, choice and control, quality) and assessed how these compared with any previous supports prior to the NDIS.

1.9.2 Older non-NDIS participants


Interviews were also conducted with 26 non-NDIS participants who were aged between 64 to 74 years. A majority of the non-NDIS participants had one of three types of disability (visual impairment, motor neurone disease and polio). The sample was skewed in this fashion due to large mail outs advertising the opportunity to participate in the evaluation undertaken by three disability organisations. Interviews were conducted between May 2017 and June 2017, and in most case were undertaken face-to-face in the home of the respondent.

1.9.3 Representatives from aged care and disability support providers


Twenty one interviews were undertaken with representatives from aged care and disability support provider organisations over the period of January to June 2017. Nearly all of these interviews were undertaken over the phone and lasted between 1 and 1.5 hours. Interviews sought information regarding supports provided in the different funding systems (NDIS, aged care and non-NDIS disability sector), transfers between the systems, and any high-level process issues contributing to or impeding the effectiveness of these supports and transfers. In addition, the interviews were used to obtain support to distribute flyers and promote the opportunity to participate in the Older People Study to eligible clients.

1.9.4 Representatives from key disability and aged care agencies


Thirteen consultation interviews were undertaken with 18 representatives from key disability and aged care agencies including unions, advocacy organisations, peak bodies, and national aged and disability care providers. These consultations were undertaken over the period of April to August 2016 and were conducted over the phone. Interviews typically lasted between 1 and 1.5 hours. The aim was to further inform the content and design of the study. The consultations also sought to understand the supports received by older people with disability through the NDIS and the aged care sector, and the key issues impacting upon these supports.

The Mainstream Study


The NDIS is a new way of providing individualised support for people with disability. However, the NDIS is not intended to replace other mainstream supports. To be fully included in society, people with disability should be able to access mainstream systems such as school education, health, and be supported to participate economically. Wherever possible the NDIS assists participants to access mainstream systems.

The overall objective of the Mainstream Study was to explore the interface of the NDIS with mainstream health, mental health, education and employment sectors.

The Mainstream Study comprised in-depth interviews with:


  • senior NDIA staff involved with the design and implementation of ILC; and

  • representatives from mainstream providers/state government agencies who interact with the NDIA and/or NDIS participants.

This aspect of the evaluation targeted specific mainstream sectors in each of the trial sites as outlined below:

  • SA - early school and children’s health

  • TAS - education with emphasis on VET and employment pathways

  • ACT - early education and health, with emphasis on older people’s health

  • NSW - health, mental health and employment

  • VIC - health, mental health and employment.

Additional health, mental health, education and employment sectors within each state and territory were included where they were identified as central to understanding the mainstream interface within the trial site.

In total 42 interviews involving 73 representatives from mainstream sectors were undertaken over the period of November 2016 to August 2017. Interview evidence arising from the main QIE highlighted the importance of delaying the mainstream study as much as we could as the interaction between the NDIS, the disability and mainstream sectors was slow to develop and a lack of understanding about the interface was apparent. Interview respondents were based in both strategic and operational level roles. Interviews were largely conducted on the phone and typically lasted between 1 and 1.5 hours. With the consent of participants, interviews were recorded. The analysis and reporting of the interview data collected as a part of the Mainstream Study preceded along the same lines as that adopted for the main QIE as outlined in section 1.7. To protect respondents’ identities, no personal information is disclosed, pseudonyms are used in all references in the report and sources of direct quotes are de-identified. The results are presented in Chapter 9 of this report (Mainstream Interface).




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