Hello everyone, hope you are all doing well. I’m blogging about some of my experiences with the NDIS/NDIA in the hope it can be a guideline and useful to even just one person. Everyone has a different experience, in no way am I telling anyone this is the way everyone should go about this, it’s just to offer assistance in your journey. First I will introduce myself to anyone that does not know me personally. My name is Karen Townsend, and I am originally from Brooklyn New York, although I have also lived in New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. I moved to Australia almost 13 years ago after marrying my husband, who is Australian, and I have been here ever since. I have Late Adult onset FA, and I was diagnosed at the age of 32. Living so far away from home has been challenging because I obviously miss my family and friends very much, but I absolutely love living in Australia with my new friends and family, and I have no regrets. I am currently living in Brisbane Queensland. The NDIS is relatively new to my area by only a few years, so everyday is still a learning process. On this note, let us get into it.
As with anything new, sometimes we get stuck in a routine because we do not know, or we simply do not realise that we actually do have choices. I fell into this, and I put up with a lot because I thought I had to. I am here to tell you that you do not! It’s your choice, your plan, and you have to be comfortable in your plan! I am not going to mention names or agencies, I am not here to shame anyone. Just because I might have had a bad experience with a company, it does not mean that you will, but we might have similar experiences. Keep in mind that a lot of companies are also new in dealing with the NDIS/NDIA, so they are also still learning as well.
I would like to address the three different types of plans. There is NDIA managed, and it is just what it sounds like. If you choose this way to set up your plan, you do not have too much of a say as to what providers you are able to use because every aspect is handled directly through the NDIS/NDIA. They have their own providers and services and you have to choose from the list provided, you do not have any flexibility here. Personally I am not overly familiar with this type of plan because I chose to be plan managed, so this is basically the plan I will be talking about. The other plan Is self managed. In self managed plans there is a lot more freedom and leeway, but it is a lot more work because you or a family member has to manage everything from the money, to picking providers, and arranging everything from therapy and beyond. Again I am not very well versed in self managed plans, but luckily we have Terry O’Hanlon that self manages, and he will also be blogging about self managed plans from time to time as well.
I will be jumping into some issues that I have had in my next blog, so please be on the lookout for them. I am trying to work out my technological bugs, and I am planning on having monthly blogs. Hopefully I can get it worked out with no more issues! Until next time, please remain safe out there and remember that you are not alone in your journey!
Sincerely, Karen Townsend