Australia’s consumer protection agencies are reminding people with disability of their consumer rights as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) continues to roll out.
The NDIS brings extensive change for people with disability and for businesses or providers in the scheme.
Since the NDIS began its gradual roll out in July 2016, there are now more than 180,000 participants in the scheme and more than 16,700 registered service providers.
There are a range of existing government and regulatory organisations involved in the regulation of the disability sector. A new independent Commonwealth body, the Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) will be available in all Australian states and territories from 1 July 2019, with the exception of Western Australia where it will be available from 1 July 2020. The NDIS Commission will provide a nationally consistent framework for NDIS participants.
The NDIS Commission’s functions include:
- registering NDIS providers and overseeing provider quality and safety
- responding to complaints and managing reportable incidents such as the abuse or neglect of a participant.
State and territory Australian Consumer Law (ACL) regulators are also reminding people with disability of the importance of understanding their rights when buying goods and services under the NDIS, and for providers to understand their responsibilities under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, which includes the ACL.
To help consumers and businesses, ACL regulators, in collaboration with the National Disability Insurance Agency, disability support organisations, disability advocates and disability complaint bodies, have developed a range of resources including videos, fact sheets, industry guidance and an easy English consumer guide.
These resources are available at no cost from www.accc.gov.au/disabilityresources