The NDIS Portal has to be one of the least liked pieces of technology since.. well, every other piece of government technology. In some circles it feels like “portal” has become a dirty word but despite its significant flaws, or perhaps because of them, we reckon it’s really important to recognise when it is improved. And now is one of those times!
Earlier this month the NDIA made a very important change in the functionality of the portal to allow Participants to share the basic details of their plan with the providers they have an active service booking with.
This is a hugely welcome improvement for many in the sector but particularly for Plan Managers and Support Coordinators who have until now had to set up and manage NDIS budgets without any visibility on the plan or expenditure.
Participants are able to share the parts of their plan titled “About Me” and “My Supports” as well as the NDIS budget and basic plan details. Access to the “My Supports” section of the plan is extremely important in supporting a participant to coordinate their mainstream, informal, community and paid supports, a core role of the Support Coordinator. This functionality has dramatically improved the scope for Support Coordinators to build participants’ capacity to manage their budgets and has seriously streamlined the work of Plan Managers.
Participants may now also choose to share parts of their plan with providers so that they have the opportunity to ensure the services they provide are solutions to support clients in reaching their goals.
It’s important to remember that this function facilitates the participant’s right to choose whether they share their plan and providers cannot require participants to give access to this highly personal information. They may choose to share their information with some providers and not others. Perhaps it is the perfect litmus test for the quality of trust in relationships with participants. After all, if participants don’t trust providers with their personal details how can they trust them to provide the services that will support them in reaching their goals?
Though the Portal still has a long way to go in becoming as functional as we would like it to be, this is an example of the NDIA engaging with the sector and adapting appropriately. It is great news. We look forward to more of these changes.