How the Act started and the NDIS

2.1 Early consultations and the beginning of the Act

Thousands of people across NSW helped inform the Act by giving feedback. This started in 2011 with the Living Life My Way consultations. More than 4,000 individuals had the opportunity to share their views through this process.

In early 2013, about 600 people attended face-to-face consultations to discuss the review of the Disability Services Act 1993 (NSW). We also received 64 written submissions.

In December 2013, we released the exposure draft of the Disability Inclusion Bill 2014 (NSW) for feedback. We received more than 90 written submissions. We heard from:

  • people with disability, their families and carers
  • peak bodies
  • service providers
  • other organisations.

During this consultation process, we heard that a new legislative framework was needed. As a result, the Act introduced a rights-based inclusion framework.

The Act supported a more flexible, person-centred approach. It was designed to give people with disability choice and control over their own supports and services.

2.2 The Act and the UN Convention

In 2008, Australia agreed to be bound by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN Convention).

The UN Convention recognises that people with disability should be treated equally to any other member of the community. It promotes that people with disability are entitled to enjoy all human rights and have these rights protected.

The Act ensures that policies and programs for disability services in NSW align with the UN Convention.

The Act uses the same definition of ‘disability’ as the UN Convention.1 It describes ‘disability’ as including a person with long-term physical, psychiatric, intellectual or sensory impairment that, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder the person’s full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. 2

1 United Nations, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 1.

2 Section 7 (definitions) of the Disability Inclusion Act 2014 (NSW).

2.3 National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS is established under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) (NDIS Act).

The NDIS Act provides eligible people with disability individual funding packages based on their needs and aspirations. It gives them choice and control over the disability supports and services they receive through personal plans.

It sets out a framework of quality standards and safeguards. Providers of disability supports and services must meet these to register for the NDIS.

The NDIS Act also established the National Disability Insurance Agency to oversee implementation and governance. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission makes sure safety and quality standards across Australia are consistent.

As at 1 July 2019, the NDIS is fully operational in all states and territories, except Western Australia, where it is expected to start in mid-2020.

As at 30 September 2019, 106,819 people with disability in NSW are active participants in the NDIS under approved plans.

Last updated:

09 Sep 2022

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Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

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