Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme: Implications for people with lived experience of disability and occupational therapy education

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Introduction: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has significantly influenced political and societal expectations regarding disability rights. The introduction of Australia’s $22B National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), with principles of participant choice and control, has further strengthened this focus. Specific to occupational therapy, there is now greater emphasis on the inclusion of service users in student education. There is, however, limited research to guide contemporary occupational therapy curriculum design to produce NDIS-ready graduates able to work collaboratively with Scheme participants.
1. To explore the experience of occupational therapy input from the perspective of people with lived experience of disability
2. To gain understanding of participant perceptions regarding the NDIS and whether the Scheme will change how they work with health professionals
3. To explore the participants’ perspectives regarding curriculum content that should be included in occupational therapy student education.
Method: A pragmatic qualitative design, underpinned by the constructivist paradigm, was utilised. Demographic surveys and semi-structured interviews were completed with ten participants who were purposively recruited. Peer debriefing and use of an audit trail enhanced analysis rigour. Results: Three themes were identified:
1. Occupational therapists as Gatekeepers for Equipment Provision
2. The NDIS, with sub themes of Knowledge and Understanding of the NDIS; Uncertainty Regarding the NDIS; and Choice and Control in the NDIS
3. Curriculum Content for occupational therapy.
Conclusions: Whilst still in the early stages of policy development, the NDIS is a monumental disability reform and one that requires emphasis on authentic contributions of people with lived experience of disability to occupational therapy curriculum redesign and delivery. Flexible curriculum content, which captures the changing NDIS requirements, is also necessary to educate and produce NDIS-ready graduatesand these combined approaches will enhance real-world applicability of learnings, and an embedded focus on person-centred practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
EventOccupational Therapy Australia National Conference and Exhibition 2019: Together Towards Tomorrow - International Convention Centre, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 10 Jul 201912 Jul 2019
Conference number: 28th

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