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Steps to starting your NDIS journey- Questions & Answers

There's a lot to consider when your child has been diagnosed with a hearing loss. When it comes to the NDIS, there may be extra matters to think about. We've spoken to parents about the common questions to ask when you first engage with the NDIS.

Where do we start?

Every family and child’s encounter with the NDIS will be unique so it can be difficult to predict what your journey will be like. We asked parents what they wanted to know most about the NDIS- here are some of the most common questions and answers.

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) entitles Australians under 65 years living with a permanent and significant disability to full funding for supports related to their disability.

The NDIS is designed to help people living with disability, their families and carers implement necessary supports they need to enjoy an ordinary life.

The NDIS is constantly changing and reviewing its processes to ensure it delivers quality services to participants.

Who can apply for NDIS?

Firstly, you must meet the NDIS disability requirements or Early intervention (years 0-7) requirements and live in an area where the NDIS has rolled out.

Secondly, you must be aged less than 65 years old, be an Australian citizen or hold a Permanent visa or a protected special category visa.

Learn more about NDIS eligibility and access here.

NDIS pathway – Hearing Stream 0-6 years

Your child’s early years are crucial to their development later in life. Support provided early will help you give your child the best chance of achieving their potential.

Is my child eligible for NDIS?

Your child will be eligible for the NDIS if:

  • They are aged 0-6 years of age;
  • They are and Australian citizen or hold a Permanent visa or a Protected Special Category Visa;
  • They have confirmed audiological results consistent with and auditory neuropathy or hearing loss greater than or equal to 25 decibels in either ear at 2 or more adjacent frequencies, which is likely to be permanent or long term; and
  • The hearing loss of the person required the use of personal amplification.

How do I access the NDIS?

Hearing Australia work alongside the NDIS to support people with hearing loss. Hearing Australia can help you to apply to access the NDIS at your first meeting. You can choose to contact NDIS or an ECEI partner at a time that suits you best. The choice is yours. You may be able to get early intervention supports in place for you child sooner if you apply during your first meeting with Hearing Australia.

When your child has confirmed access to NDIS, they become a participant and a specialist planner will contact you within two weeks about developing your child’s NDIS plan. Your planner will support you to include a reasonable and necessary level of funding for early intervention supports. Once your child’s plan is approved, you can use this funding straight away.

At your first meeting with Hearing Australia, they will give you information about ECEI partners in your local area. Your ECEI partners will be your ongoing point of contact once you have an NDIS plan. You can speak to you ECEI about anything related to your child’s NDIS plan.

Read more about Hearing supports here.

What is an ECEI partner?

The NDIS have developed a pathway for deaf and hard of hearing children to access funding for supports with minimal delay. This is known as Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI). This early intervention approach has been designed to identify the type and level of early intervention support your child needs to achieve better long-term outcomes. The NDIS ECEI approach will help all children with a developmental delay or disability and their families regardless of the diagnosis.

The NDIS has appointed experienced early childhood intervention service providers to deliver the ECEI approach. ECEI partners understand that every child is unique and will tailor support to your child’s individual needs and circumstances. You don’t need a referral from a healthcare professional or a diagnosis to contact an ECEI partner.

And ECEI partner will support families by:

  • Guiding you to appropriate supports.
  • Getting information to make the right choices for your child.
  • Providing short-term early intervention where it has been identified as the most appropriate support.
  • Helping you request NDIS access if your child needs longer-term early intervention supports.
  • Developing your child’s NDIS plan if they become a participant.

Click to find your nearest Early Childhood Partner here.

What Early Intervention services should I be accessing?

Every parent wants their child to have the best possible start in life and each parent will have their own unique story about looking for supports for their child. An ECEI Partner works with families tailoring interventions best suited to your child’s needs and priorities to achieve the best possible outcomes.

To help you advocate and choose the right supports for your child, we’ve put together a list of questions to ask when looking for the right ECEI partner.

What to ask when looking for an ECEI Partner:

  • How will you work with my family to support my child’s development?
  • How much choice will I have about what to use within the service?
  • Can I choose how the service is delivered – for example, virtually, in my home, in a hospital, clinic, community centre, early learning centre or at school?
  • What can I do if I am unhappy with the support you’re providing my child?
  • Do you follow the Early Childhood Early Intervention Australia national Guidelines: Best Practice in Early Childhood Intervention or the National Standards for Disability Services?
  • Will our family need to wait before accessing your services?
  • Do you have any information about your services that I can take home with me?